The first question you have to ask yourself is: Do I need to build a terminology database? This is an important question because building a good TDB can take a lot of time. Before you decide to build a TDB on your own you should make sure that you really need to do it:
· If a dictionary is available on the market which serves your purposes, especially if available on CD-ROM, you do not need to build a TDB. In this case, you can integrate the software in MetaTexis very easily (see External Programs).
· If you need to streamline a translation this can partly be achieved through other functions in MetaTexis: The Search for text function presents you with TUs so that you are able to see how you have translated the text searched in a document or a project (see Searching for Text). And if you are using TMs you can easily look up words and their translations (see Displaying TMs).
So, in which cases do you need to build a TDB then?
· A TDB is needed when the dictionaries available do not serve your needs, and when it is clear that you will need the information for other projects except the one you are currently working on. For example, if you want to specialize in the field of regional development in the European Union you will want to build an own TDB because there are many special concepts which you will not find in any dictionary.
· A TDB is also needed when the translation of a word or phrase is critical, e.g. when only one translation of a word is accepted by the customer although many are possible. For example, in the field of technical translations many customers provide glossaries which are mandatory. You can import these glossaries in a MetaTexis TDB to work with them conveniently.
· You also need a TDB when different translators are working on a project in parallel. To be able to produce a consistent translations they often need to exchange glossaries/TDBs. Or they need to access one TDB saved at a central location (access via internet, intranet of local area network). (Currently, MetaTexis does not actively support this. Networking support will be available in version 2.)
Besides the question whether to build a TDB at all, you need to find your way in organizing the TDBs. In principle, you have the following possibilities:
· One TDB for all translations, entries are organized by categories:
Advantages: It is always clear where all terminology is saved. Copying, making backups and transferring the TDB to other computers is easy.
Disadvantages: The more entries are added, the more heterogeneous will the TDB get. You lose overview, and the TDB can almost only used by yourself. Especially, in the case of glossaries this approach does not seem to be wise.
· One TDB per translation project:
This approach make sense only when more than one translator works on the project.
Advantages: The TDBs remain relatively small, and searching and saving is very fast. If you want to search in more than one TDB, you can simply add other TDBs as secondary databases.
Disadvantages: You can lose overview. You have to be careful where to save the TDBs: Together with the project documents? In a special directory? With sub-directories?
· One TDB per broad subject:
In many cases, this strategy is the most appropriate one for TDBs.
Compared to TMs, the choice of strategy is more important, for to change the TDB strategy is not as easy as to change the TM strategy. The reason is that TDBs are always "hand-made". Unlike with TMs, the entries are be produced automatically. (To be able to reorganize TDBs the entries have to be made carefully, and categories should be added.)