Introduction of translation-oriented terminology work

Use case: Migros

Introduction of
translation-oriented
terminology work

Client: Federation of Migros Cooperatives, Switzerland’s largest retail company

As the largest retail trade company in Switzerland, the Federation of Migros Cooperatives, which consists of several dozen different companies, operates in three languages – German, Italian and French – across all sectors. Therefore, an in-house language service, the Migros Translation Service, manages all translation-related matters. As an external service provider for the Migros Translation Service, our task consisted of transferring the terminology, which had previously only been recorded in various glossaries, into a central, translation-oriented database. At the same time, we tested and optimized a new terminology management system and expanded it during its introduction. Since there were no in-house terminologists and two employees are currently undergoing terminology training, our tasks also included technical training and the transfer of terminological expertise.

Problem: Heterogeneous structure of Migros and new terminology management system

The various individual clients of the Translation Service within the Federation of Migros Cooperatives attach great importance to their own use of language. The glossaries previously maintained individually for each customer, which contained little information apart from designations, therefore had to be consolidated and rectified without disregarding the individual needs of Migros’ individual departments. Additionally, a balance had to be found between detailed, systematic terminology work and translation-oriented terminology work. We also faced challenges with the new system, which is still partly in the development phase and lacks some functions essential for terminology work.

Solution: Basic set of rules and mapping of customer requirements in the database

Based on the glossaries, we initially created a clear set of rules to serve as a basis for processing the legacy data and for future terminology work in the ongoing process. In this, both the linguistic rules and the processes for terminology work are defined clearly. The definition of the terminology database we have designed also allows detailed mapping of client-specific wishes and needs. Regarding the system, we created a systematic documentation of the existing and still required functions and forwarded it to the developers.

Advantage: Solid foundation for future terminology work in day-to-day business

By processing the heterogeneous glossaries of the Migros Translation Service and putting the new system through its paces, we created a solid foundation for its future terminology work. We also uncovered inconsistencies that would have remained undetected without our systematic approach. In addition, a broader awareness of the importance of terminology work for efficient and economical work in general has developed, not only among the translators of the Translation Service, but also throughout the Federation of Migros Cooperatives.