27 May 2021
Female fashion designer at work

In the world of fashion, you need to use the right terminology to achieve and maintain a professional image. While this is considered a matter of course in your own language, it's often a different story when it comes to translations.

Consistency is a key factor in effective communication and one that is often underestimated. Consistent messaging creates trust, and trust creates more loyalty and more sales. Reason enough to check if your preferred translation agency uses a high-performance fashion terminology database.

Defining terminology – what does that even entail? 

Terminology refers to a collection of words, terms and specialist expressions used in a particular field – in this case, the fashion and textile industry – and includes both industry-specific and company-specific terms.

When you need to have text translated, it pays to use a translation company that has compiled these terms into a terminology database, also known as a termbase. This is a multilingual glossary that is stored and managed digitally.

What are the advantages of using a termbase?

Firstly, our translators can access it directly online while they work. This ensures that specialist terms, including yours, are always translated consistently. In addition to this, selected translators and fashion industry experts on our team are authorised to add new, verified terms. What’s more, you can augment or change your corporate terms whenever you need. Together, this creates an up-to-the-minute termbase that is constantly learning and expanding.

Using defined terminology means you pay less for better-quality translations with a faster turnaround.

Here’s how:
• It saves us time researching terms, which gets the job done faster and saves you money
• Your translations will contain pre-approved, industry-relevant terms
• These terms will improve your SEO keyword search rate
• We will use your specific corporate language, and the correct industry language, every time
• Your branding and messaging will become more consistent and recognisable
• The quality and consistency of your translations will be based on technology rather than a translator’s memory
• This is particularly important if you have more than one document translated, at different times and by different translators
• You can update our database any time you need to keep abreast with any changes in your business

So, all that for less money.

Using terminology management will help you act with agility in the international fashion market

Acting with agility – described globally as the new business currency – is an organisation’s ability to shift business direction quickly. To maintain stability when adapting to rapidly changing environments and to renew itself.

The fashion sector is just one example of an industry that thrives on change and innovation. It is constantly evolving, and so is its language. It's not enough to rely solely on a translator’s expertise, memory and ability to use the right term each time. Especially when more than one translator is involved. Using professional terminology management that caters to your company is a much better strategy.

One of the main advantages of intercontact's terminology management for the fashion industry is that the entire pool of specialised terminology, covering 12 languages, is located, stored, and maintained in a single location. This allows us to check it for duplicates, ensure accuracy and evaluate the terms’ relevance.

intercontact collaborates with experts – including those of our customers – in all target countries, in order to allocate the correct, and most SEO-relevant, specialist terms.

This results in a consistent fashion language that transcends national borders and can be reliably implemented. It also reduces the time required for translations and increases the overall quality. 

Corporate communication across borders

Brands are a major part of fashion, and brand recognition is essential for their survival and success. Branding also includes brand-specific language, i.e. the supplier company's corporate language. As consumers become more international, it’s even more important to maintain uniformity in your corporate language as it is used across national borders.

Fashion terminology helps keep it consistent, even when different country units or subsidiaries are involved. And especially when new developments require a fast and flexible response, which is often the case in the fashion industry.

intercontact has a strong track record in fashion terminology

Our fashion industry termbase contains twelve languages and we have been maintaining, updating and expanding it at intercontact for the past 10 years. These languages are:

English (British and American)

Each language currently has around 4,000 entries, ranging from basic fashion terms like T-shirt, cotton or blazer to highly specialised terms used in the fashion and textile industry.

Our rigorous quality management systems ensure high standards at all times. We use renowned terminology tools for the technical framework, which allows our translators to access the database content via our central translation platform. Only a selection of native speaker fashion translators are authorised to edit entries in their respective languages. These entries are always reviewed using the 4-eyes principle.

For your individual project(s), we are also able to integrate terms from your in-house glossaries into the intercontact fashion database, to use in your translations.


Fashion businesses are becoming more international than ever and this trend is set to continue

From the get-go, several continents are usually involved in the design and production phases. When we come to trade and distribution, the list of participating countries is even longer. In general, digitisation has extended fashion's global reach even further.

Fashion is one of the best-selling products in online retail and this development is gaining strength. At the same time, we are seeing a period of unprecedented speed. Trends often emerge unexpectedly and this fast-growing demand needs to be met at the same pace.

Companies that want to communicate promptly and compellingly at an international level need the help of an experienced translation agency – one that speaks the language of fashion in the important target markets and that strikes the right tone with the different target groups.

intercontact translations has the experience, knowledge and technology you need.

Translating for the fashion industry: experience pays off

Internationalisation always brings challenges. This is especially true in emotional industries such as fashion, sports and clothing. Their target groups know what they’re talking about and will notice even the smallest details. If you don't speak their language – i.e. their interests, culture and style – then you've already lost them.

Translation agencies with no fashion experience are left out in the cold just as fast.
It does not look good when an international online shop uses the wrong choice of words. Instead, it creates a big speed bump in a consumer’s decision journey.
Very quickly, the customer will question the vendor's authenticity and professionalism, then purchase the item one click away – from a competitor.

Some text within the fashion industry can also have legal – and potentially costly – consequences, as it is used to enforce legal requirements. The wrong terminology on a label, for example, can easily render a collection or product unfit for sale. This problem can also be easily avoided by using the intercontact fashion termbase, which is always kept up to date.

Something else about fashion language – it’s peppered with French and English terms. “Prêt-à-porter”, “denim” and “must-have” are just three examples. In fashion journalism, these forms of expression are used regularly as a sign of industry savoir-faire, or “savvy” to you and me.

The only problem is, it’s often hard to know whether or not they should be translated. Using the intercontact terminology database, we can advise you about these and other specialised terms; when it is better to translate them and when it is better to keep the original term.

The right fashion terminology every time. We make sure of it

Our extensive fashion term database makes intercontact translations the ideal translation agency for the fashion, sports and textile industries. Your international communication will become more consistent, better quality and faster than ever before.

Ask us a question about fashion-related translations. We’re always happy to advise you. And it’s free!


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