translation glossary

A translation glossary is a list of approved translations for specific terms. Glossaries often contain not only the correct translation, but also a definition, the context, and the part of speech the term comes from. Glossaries help translation services create accurate and high-quality translations in less time.

Benefits of translation glossaries

A translation glossary helps to keep translations consistent across your company. It often lists niche, industry-specific vocabulary, meaning the translator saves time they would’ve otherwise spent looking up a term. 

Likewise, a glossary might list words relating to your organization or product line. That way, you preserve your brand identity by keeping your messaging consistent.

The glossary may also list terms that shouldn’t be translated, such as internationally recognized phrases or company-wide terminology.

Using a translation glossary means the translator doesn’t have to make assumptions about the correct translation, it’s there in front of them. This can save money and time spent on translation services’ revisions.

How do translation companies create glossaries?

1- Compiling the glossary

The translation company you choose may be able to compile a list of relevant terms by independently reviewing your existing materials. This is sometimes an automatic process but can be done by manually adding terms. Alternatively, the translation company may need your input in creating the glossary.

Either way, the glossary doesn’t need to contain every possible word that might appear in a document. It’s best to include only terms that are relevant and helpful to translation services.

2- Reviewing the glossary

Once the glossary has been created, you will have a chance to review it. Ideally, this should be done by someone from your company who is an expert in the target language. You’ll have the chance to query any translations and validate the whole glossary, knowing that your finished translations will be consistent.

Using a translation glossary

Once the review process is complete, the translation company will work on your texts. When the translator comes across a word from the glossary, they can use the pre-approved translation. The finished translation should be quality controlled by the translation provider, so you can be confident in the standard of work you receive. 

Translation glossaries can work in tandem with translation memories (TM), although the two are different. Translation glossaries act as a client-approved guide for potentially difficult words. Meanwhile, translation memories analyze previously translated documents to suggest translations for segments of text. 

Translation memories examine the likelihood of an accurate match and inform the translator. However, these translations are not always accurate and need to be reviewed and edited.

Choosing a translation services provider

The most important element when choosing a translator is to ensure they’re professional and knowledgeable about your domain. While many people speak different languages, translating is a specific skill that requires up-to-date knowledge of techniques, specialisms in other fields, and high-level language skills.

Future Group – Making translation services simple

We aim to make translation simple, so you can concentrate on your day-to-day. Whether you need one-off translations, managed services (where we take care of the translation process for you), or creative localizations, we can help.

We’re an ISO17100-certified company with over 25 years of experience in translation. To get started, simply send us a message with details of your project.