How to add a termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognition

September 27, 2012 by

How to add a termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognitionIf you translate using Trados Studio, it’s very useful to know how to use MultiTerm to manage your terminology. It can help you translate faster and make the terminology in your translations more consistent.

In recent posts I've explained how to create a termbase in MultiTerm and how to import terms from an Excel glossary. (You might also want to look at: The quick way to convert glossaries and termbases between Excel and MultiTerm.)

Once you've done this, you can add your termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognition to insert terms into your translation.

The process is very simple and is described in detail in the PDF below. Have a look through the steps and you'll see how easy it is to do this.

How to add a termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognition

How to add a termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognition
Dowload file (1 MB PDF)

What else can you do with your termbase?

While you’re translating within Trados Studio, you can search your termbase and add new terms. You can also add multiple termbases when you’re setting up a project, or to a project template. I’ll explain how to do this in future blog posts.

By Jayne Fox BSc MITI, German-English translator.
For German-English medical translation – and translation of corporate communications.

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About the author: Jayne Fox is a German-English translator specialising in corporate communications for sci-tech and health care. She works with German and Swiss organisations to help them communicate effectively with international audiences.

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  1. Andrew JAMES

    Very clear instructions (as usual!) - but once I've imported my sdltb file into Trados (2011) no results are displayed, in fact nothing happens, even though I'm on a segment with a term in the database. I've deleted everything and restarted several times. Any ideas? All the mdf, mtf and ldb files are present and correct.

    • Jayne Fox

      Hi Andrew, the problem might be with the termbase or perhaps with Java. You could test your set-up by trying to add another termbase to see if the terms display in Studio. You could also have a look on the Proz forums. Hope you get it sorted soon!

  2. schmandt

    I had a similar problem as Andrew. Very frustrating. I added two term bases but after closing the add dialogue, the term recognition window would not use my bases, it showed 'no term bases open'.
    I'm really new to SDL but with some more work i was able to use the termbases only after closing and reopening the file i was working on. I also noticed for certain that under certain conditions, like when you are editing one project and create a new project, the list of termbases displayed in the term recog window does not match the project which is open in the editor.

    Anyway Jayne, I mainly want to tell you I'm using your blog posts about this and they are a nice help, thanks!

  3. Bronwen

    Thanks for this post, Jayne! I'm using a termbase for the first time and I found these instructions very clear. Thanks again!

    • Jayne Fox

      Good to hear - thanks for the feedback! You must be doing it right. 🙂

  4. Peter Riccomini

    I've just upgraded from Studio 2009 to 2014. I'm conscious that I probably wasn't using the full potential of Studio to improve my speed of translation, partly because of the difficulty of finding useful guidance on how to do it. The main improvement I've found in these first days is that there are some useful tutorials, at least on the basics.

    I was looking for information on how translators use MultiTerm, which led me here. I must say you have created some very useful material.

    I do have a question, however, though I suspect I know what the answer will be!

    I have found it useful to translate the entire document with machine translation before I start work, which consists of editing the MT version. I use the Search/Replace function a lot to edit repeated mistranslations of terms, so I have thought form time to time about using MultiTerm.

    So the question is: Can termbases be used in conjunction with machine translation? i.e. MT would incorporate terms from the termbase when it comes across them?

    • Jayne Fox

      Hi Peter, thanks for your question. Mats, who writes the Trados Studio Manual, is looking into the use of SDL Language Cloud in Trados Studio. Keep an eye on his Facebook page, where he posts updates:
      You could also look at:
      You would also need to be aware of the concerns about data protection and confidentiality of information submitted to machine translation engines.

  5. Karla

    My termbase is blocked, how do I unblock?

  6. Hayashi

    Hi Jayne, thank you for writing this blog! I find that reading not just your posts, but also the comments, is very helpful.

    Regarding term recognition, using a termbase is great, as you translate each segment. But sometimes, as Peter mentions above, you want to pre-translate all the terms in a glossary before starting translation. Trados 2007 used to have a function to do this, but it is no longer possible with 2014/2015.

    I suppose you could edit the sdlxliff file in a text editor and do a bunch of find-and-replace, but that changes the source segment also, which is not desirable.

    Right now, the only way I know of to batch find and replace a glossary against an SDLXLIFF file is to use, but you have to make the glossary a UTF-8 CSV file, instead of using a termbase or an Excel file, so it's not for everyone.

    Hope this information helps someone, anyway. 🙂

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks for the tip, Hayashi. I'm not sure if there's a tool to do this in the app store - have you checked?

  7. Lucy

    Your blogs are great, really informative! One question: is it worth adding a termbase to an existing large project?

    • Jayne Fox

      Yes, definitely. It's never too late (until the project is over!)

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German-to-English translator specialising in medical and technical translation and corporate communications
Welcome to my blog, Between Translations! I'm Jayne Fox, German-English translator specialising in sci-tech, health care & corporate communications.
I work with clients from around the world. From my location in New Zealand, I translate overnight for European customers.
See my websites for more information.
Sci-tech translation and corporate comms:
Medical translation:
Email: jayne(at)