Category

Blog

Translations: Why a glossary is a valuable translation tool

By Blog

The IWCF translation team is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the translation of IWCF exam content into 16 languages. The team are working to embed a new translation process which aims to improve quality. This includes the development of an expanded translation team, the use of new technology to improve workflows and developing linguistic resources to assist translators and reviewers. One of our areas of responsibility is to help build and maintain glossaries for the most commonly used languages in IWCF centres. While not the only factor in maintaining quality, these glossaries are very important for preserving consistency across a complex field, which make them valuable resources for IWCF and our stakeholders.

The field is vast, but the glossaries are a select choice of terms which act as a point of reference, and they are focused on the terms that appear most often in assessments. These help the translators and reviewers make sure that the correct technical terms are used, especially when there is more than one possible option. If translators did not have access to them, it would be like a reconnaissance team trying to complete a mission in thick fog with no GPS or map – some would go north, others would go south, and every so often someone might get stuck in a bog or fall off a cliff – in the worst-case scenario of course!

We don’t expect IWCF translators to over-rely on a glossary in place of their own knowledge and experience. However, the terms have been specifically selected for inclusion to help maintain consistency and quality, therefore our job is to ensure adherence.

To date we have piloted the use of glossaries in 5 languages (French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Russian) and are working with the branches to continuously improve their content. However, there are a few other languages where it has made sense to draft glossaries based on the work taking place. For example, as part of the process to translate the drilling question bank into Azeri we have recorded how technical terms are used and these inform the translators as they work through the project.

The IWCF translation team wants to make sure that the glossary and its equivalent translated versions contain the most up-to-date and accurate terminology for each language. This can be a challenge, but by working with our branches we can harness the expert technical knowledge of our members to aid us in the task. We aim to extend this process to cover all languages we offer.

You are welcome to discuss the importance of glossaries at Branch level and can contact the Translation Team at Translation@iwcf.org for more information.