What is Terminology?

Terminology is defined as the entirety of all concepts and terms in one specialist field. Therefore, one can equate terminology with specialist vocabulary. Efficient communication with regard to technical language is not possible without the correct use of specialist vocabulary.

Terminology work deals with the preparing, the processing, the documenting and the use of specialist vocabulary; tools like terminology management software support this work. Terminology work is concept-oriented and thus, from a methodical point of view, specially suited to solve multilingual communication tasks. Terminology is, as a general rule, very time consuming and cost intensive. For that reason it is important to work with reliable methods, procedures and tools. A good consultation and education of the terminologists is a necessary precondition.

Access to existing terminology stocks can reduce the expenditure of terminology work. Therefore, a reference list of existing terminology collections would be helpful; in addition to this, processes as well as standardizations for the exchange of terminologic data must be available.

Terminology Work within Companies

The results of terminology work within companies influence construction, production, purchasing, marketing and sales, the nature of contracts, technical documentation and translation.

In addition to the determination of terms, with regard to technical language and the codification of their concepts, terminology work is also concerned with:

  • intra and inter company standardization
  • terminological determination in connection with legal conditions (environmental law, product liability, etc.)
  • determination of mono- and multi-lingual company-specific product nomenclature (also for the maintain of Corporate Identity)
  • determining the terms on component lists, to avoid confusion and multi stocking of spare parts etc. and to provide a fast and thorough access to the components
  • transforming specialist language into consumer/user-friendly language (technical documentation, advertisement, etc.)
  • mono- and multi-lingual adaptations of linguistical (and cultural) requirements for the globalisation and/or localisation of processes and documentation


Information management cannot be efficient without methods based on systematic terminology.