5 Facts to Glossary Use in Translation

Feb 20, 2016

Company terminology pushed through an entire enterprise, including all business communication, should be organized, saved, and continuously updated – and all crucial terms in your working language as well as all other languages your work in should end up in one or more Company-level glossaries (click here to learn more about why you need a glossary in translation).

If you have never peaked behind the curtain of professional, human translation – and we are explicitly excluding machine translation solutions because of liability issues – in technical translation, trying to understand “exact matches”, “terminology consistency”, “glossary maintenance” and such can be a taxing undertaking to anyone, while trying to understand “fuzzies” and “content matches” not to mention “200% matches” is probably gobbledygook to most of us.

In this post we will try to clarify the issues and underscore what’s important in the translation process.

What does a glossary in translation cost?

Done professionally, a glossary should not cost anything extra if two conditions are met:

  1. a) It is done on the fly within the translation process, and
  2. b) you have already indicated which terms you want to add to the glossary.

How many terms and expressions should be featured in a glossary?

The size of glossaries vary, but typically a general glossary for a machine manufacturer would have around 500-1,000 entries, while glossaries for standard consumer products should have from 100 to 500 entries.

How to update a glossary in translation?

We recommend running a check on your glossary to identify potential problems and areas to update. How often this should occur depends on product releases, but generally once a year, or when terminology changes are implemented.

A Glossary Review should be performed by professional linguists who correct and update incorrect entries and clearly indicate what has been changed and why.

How to maintain a glossary in translation?

With a good glossary, translators and reviewers are warned by their CAT tools whenever a term is not used or a different one is used; glossary terms should only be ignored by stating a reason and if possible also giving a condition why a given term should not be used. These reasons and conditions should be collected in the form of a report and presented to the end client in the final delivery. This helps ensure consistent quality, and it will integrate with any ISO9001 undertaking to make sure all issues are documented – and it will guarantee your translated documents are up-to-date with company terminology.

Where to get a professional glossary in translation?

Every competent language service provider should be able to create and process a glossary for you. If you do not have a language service provider available with this service, you can ask to GET A GLOSSARY CREATED HERE. We have the means and smart tools to create glossaries even from aids as simple as PDF files.