Re: What are good tool choices for making teminology databases?

Subject: Re: What are good tool choices for making teminology databases?
From: hedley_finger -at- myob -dot- com -dot- au
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 11:26:35 +1000


> Our company currently use Excel to administrate our terminology database.
> This works quite ok, but has it's limitations. We also have an exported
> version into Trados Multiterm used by our translation company.
> So far the Trados reseller hasn't been very willing to give us the price
> his product, so we have no clue if Trados is chere or not. Maybe someone
> you have any knowledge of this. We also like to hear what's good and not
> good about this product.
> We also indeed would like to know if there are any alternatives to the
> Trados product line.

Your 'terminology database' sounds like what librarians call a thesaurus: a
dictionary of preferred vocabulary. Librarians typically use them when
cataloguing books to ensure that a consistent taxonomy is used to classify
subjects. (For example, the Library of Congress cataloguing rules, used as
a de facto standard by many libaries worldwide, is nothing more than an
enormous thesaurus.)

There are many thesaurus applications around but a useful one you can try
for free is Thew32, available from
<>. Prof. Tim Craven developed
this as a research tool for use by his students in the Faculty of
Information Management and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, so
it is not a polished shrink-wrapped product. But it will certainly let you
find out whether such a tool is useful before spending big bucks on a
commercial product.

Here are some useful relations you can set up:

USE gasoline

liability accounts
RT equity accounts
RT expense accounts
RT income accounts

diminishing-value depreciation method
BT depreciation method

civil engineering
NT dam construction
NT road construction

What makes the thesaurus particularly useful is that it displays RECIPROCAL
relationships. So, if you want to know what NON-PREFERRED terms point to
'gasoline', you can display

USE FROM petrol
USE FROM petroleum oil

Other reciprocal relationships taken from the examples above would be

equity accounts
RT liability accounts

depreciation method
NT diminishing-value depreciation method

dam construction
BT civil engineering

We have found a terminology thesaurus useful in vocabulary control (to
ensure that all writers on a project are using terms consistently), as a
checklist to select terms to be defined in a glossary, and to ensure index
main entries are consistent and as a checklist for adding index

You can define your own relationships and edit those already provided. You
can also add 'scope notes' to each entry in the thesaurus (librarian talk
for 'explanatory comments').


Hedley Finger
Technical Communications/Technical communicator and FrameMaker mentor
MYOB Australia <>
P.O. box 371 Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
12 Wesley Court Tally Ho Business Park East Burwood VIC 3151
<mailto:hedley_finger -at- myob -dot- com -dot- au>
Tel. +61 3 9222 9992 x 7421, Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558

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