“Do you already have a TB?” This is a question you will no doubt be asked if you are dealing with a professional translation firm. What exactly is this about? To fully understand how a terminology database (TB) works, you must first fully understand how the Computer assisted translation (CAT) tools work. At the heart of the translator’s work, we find these powerful and versatile software programs that save a lot of time and improve quality, while guaranteeing consistency and uniformity of terminology in translated texts.
Translation in a CAT tool

The CAT tools are easy to use and integrate translation memories (TMs) and terminology databases (TBs).

In the translation interface, the main window is divided in two. On the left is the source text, and the target text is on the right. In the upper or right part of the screen there are two boxes. One displays the TM results and the other displays the TB results. Happy translation!

Terminology database

There is no need to specify the importance of maintaining consistency and uniformity of terminology when working on a translation project. There was a time when it was difficult to do this without the important technological contribution that CAT tools offer today. These have an essential function called “Terminology Database” (TB) which complements the function of translation memories.

The TB can be used to create a terminology bank where it is possible to record the correct word or term translated into the target language by associating it with its equivalent in the source language. Thus, when translating, it is much faster and more efficient to simply insert the translation of the term that appears in the source segment by clicking on the term suggested in the TB window. It is also possible to start typing it, and the TB will automatically suggest it in the suggestions window of the CAT tool. Here is an example of a TB, on the left.
By using the TB function, it is no longer necessary to search for every term when it appears in the source text, nor to search within the TM. It is also possible to create a TB for each client, which will be specialized for the client’s translation domain, or even a TB for each domain of specialization for the same client. Some clients also provide their own TB, or sometimes a glossary or lexicon containing pre-approved terminology from previous translations for their projects. It therefore becomes even easier to create a TB from these documents. The terminology base, like the translation memory, allows the translator to work more efficiently. Moreover, TBs integrate well in Post-Editing and Adaptive MT projects, in which we specialize. We are open on Saturday and Sunday too, do not hesitate to contact us!

Laurent Chevrette


Founder of two Canadian translation firms successfully established in South America and Europe, he is a passionate entrepreneur. Years before it became a buzz in the language industry, he prioritized the practical integration of artificial intelligence into daily processes.

He leads the development of a novel e-commerce solution, which combines these new technologies in an easily accessible language solution. He can also be found skiing or diving.