Managing terminology is an essential part of the process of developing content, whether monolingual or multilingual. As opposed to words that have a common meaning, and words that have a purely syntactic purpose (articles, prepositions, pronouns, and so forth), terms frequently have a narrow meaning in a given context (technical, scientific, etc.). To facilitate understanding, they should be used consistently and their meaning should be made clear. Proactively managing terminology is the way to achieve these objectives.
Terms are smaller units than full translation segments, which are normally the length of one or more sentences. In addition, terms have properties that larger text segments do not, such as a part of speech value and a definition. Therefore, applications that focus on translation segments are not suitable for tracking terminology use and consistency throughout the document authoring and translation process. Thus, standards such as XLIFF and TMX are not appropriate for managing terminology.
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