25 March 2013

Product-specific terminology

In the latest issue of his highly regarded Tool Box Newsletter, Jost Zetzsche writes:
"If you have ever translated SAP products ... you know that everything you have ever known about computer-related terminology needs to be forgotten before you even sit down. ... Over the years, SAP's approach to supporting the external translation community has been a little capricious, but that has just changed with the amazing SAPterm project, a terminology resource with official translations of SAP terminology into 37 standard languages and 150,000 source entries. ... This reminded me of a talk I once had with Aiman Copty and Heinz Lueken, then the responsible representatives for translation at Oracle and SAP respectively. ... I asked Aiman and Heinz -- very naïvely, might I add -- whether this would not be a tremendous opportunity for these two fierce competitors to share terminology so that the customers would not be confused with contradictory terminology, a trademark of Oracle and SAP's history. I actually don't remember what their exact words were, but the gist was: "You've got to be kidding!" No, wait, I think they actually didn't say anything, they just gazed at me with serene and very pitying smiles on their faces."

I have quoted Jost at length to highlight just how company- and product-specific some areas of technical terminology can be and what an enormous mistake it can be if even a highly skilled translator fails to identify this type of context and go to the right sources.

1 comment:

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    Technical Language Translation

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