Efficieny by implementing rules

Use case: Sauer Compressors

Efficieny by implementing rules

Client: Sauer Compressors, globally operating medium-sized machine manufacturer from Germany

Sauer Compressors was already using source language terminology lists as the foundation for terminology checking in the content management system of the technical documentation. Together with an external documentation and language service provider, these lists were maintained, supplemented and updated as part of a regular terminology circle. At the same time, English equivalents to the German terms were coordinated. The threads of internal terminology work came together in the hands of a terminology manager.

Problem: too few rules, too much dependence on the language service provider

The existing editorial guide only contained rules for German spelling and other rules for the use of controlled language and hyphenation. Validation criteria or rules for term formation to coordinate German term candidates were not yet available, nor were rules for determining and coordinating their English equivalents.

The goal was to be able to evaluate and coordinate terminology candidates more quickly, consistently, and competently in the future. At the same time, a corresponding set of rules should enable the client to act more independently of the external service provider.

Solution: creating a company-specific set of rules based on the existing terminology resource

Using a terminology list provided by Sauer Compressors, we drew up rules for evaluating the German designations and demonstrated during a training how these rules can be used in practice.

Apart from that, we conducted an analysis of the already coordinated German and English terminology. We also used regularly occurring examples to show which term formation rules had already been applied or where there was still a need for regulatory action.

In addition, we provided the terminology manager at Sauer Compressors with a collection of reliable external sources that she can use to research and evaluate term candidates or their respective concepts. It also serves to distinguish more easily between coordinate, generic and specific concepts if necessary.

On top of that, we conducted an analysis of the existing definitions and provided suggestions for improving their creation. Not only in this case, a short set of rules ensured that common standards of terminology are followed.

Finally, we consolidated the individual set of rules into one document, the terminology style guide. For the sake of clarity, it only contains the rules relevant to the terminology work at Sauer Compressors, which are further illustrated with the company’s own examples.

Advantage: more efficient coordination processes and more consistent terminology

The terminology manager at Sauer Compressors now has a basic set of rules that she can use to evaluate individual term candidates in advance. From now on, only controversial concepts need to be discussed in the terminology circle, which can be appropriately prepared using the validation criteria defined in the set of rules and then presented for discussion.

This considerably shortens the time required for coordination processes in the terminology circle itself, since numerous term candidates can be coordinated in advance independently by the terminology manager or bilaterally together with the originator of the term candidate. The English equivalents are now also coordinated and determined in a new consistent way based on established rules and criteria.