Why terminology management is the linchpin of localization

Julio Leal
2 min readJan 8, 2024

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Have you ever stopped mid-sentence, wondering if your words truly resonate with your international audience? If that’s a yes, then you’re already tiptoeing around the edges of terminology management, a not-so-secret ingredient in the hearty stew that is localization.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein wasn’t just philosophizing about life; he was onto something that hits home for businesses going global. Language shapes perception, and your terminology can make or break your global strategy in the bustling marketplace of ideas and products.

So, what’s the big deal with terminology management? Let’s dive in.

It’s All About Consistency

Imagine this: your brand’s slogan is “Powering your potential.” But in some countries, it translates to “Feeding your possibility.” Sounds like a diet plan, right? That’s a no-go. Terminology management ensures that every piece of content across all platforms and languages stays consistent. It’s about delivering the same brand message, whether you’re sipping coffee in New York or tea in Tokyo.

Lost in Translation?

We’ve all had a good chuckle over translation blunders. But when your business is at stake, it’s no laughing matter. Terminology management is the superhero that swoops in to save your brand from the perils of “lost in translation.” It’s not just about words; it’s about context, culture, and nuances that Google Translate can’t handle (yet).

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Terminology management is the bridge that connects your brand to the world. It’s not just about speaking multiple languages; it’s about speaking them right. And speaking them in a way that makes people feel like you’re not just another foreign brand — you’re a local friend they can trust.

SEO? Yes, It Matters!

Here’s a juicy tidbit for you: search engines love consistency. By using the same terms across your content, you’re not just making your human audience happy; you’re also giving search engines the green light to rank you higher. And who doesn’t want to be the first name that pops up on a Google search?

Terminology Management is a Game Changer

At the end of the day, terminology management is about making real connections. It’s about telling your brand’s story in a way that resonates universally. It’s a commitment to quality, clarity, and cultural sensitivity. And let’s be honest, it’s also about not ending up as the next meme on social media for a translation fail.

So, there you have it. Terminology management might not be the hero we always talk about, but it’s definitely the hero we need. It’s the unsung star of the localization process, and if you’re serious about going global, it’s time to give it the spotlight it deserves.

#localization #mensatio #julioleal #terminology

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Julio Leal

Localization enthusiast who has been helping corporations create, develop and execute localization strategies for more than 15 years. Father of mensatio.me