The Importance of a Translation Glossary

If translation is to be done properly, boilerplate content should be updated regularly. It should have no repetitive content, inaccurate terminology or mistranslation because all of these can all lead to an undesirable outcome. A good tool for regular updating and maintenance of your translation is a translation glossary.

Ensuring Consistent Terminology
A translation glossary is a document/database that contains much of the terminology in your company’s source language; it also stores all of the approved translation variants of the terminology in your target language(s). Glossaries can differ in size, from spreadsheets to large databases, but all of them help translators standardize a company’s terminology and use keywords and definitions consistently and correctly. Glossaries also help businesses enforce and secure consistent use of certain phrases, and they shorten the amount of time needed to translate a document.

Information Stored in Translation Glossaries
Depending on the client, glossaries can include names, job titles, keywords, etc. When you decide to make a translation glossary for your company, you should first submit a list of suggested translations and send it for approval. Then your professionally skilled translator will create a list of suggested translations and resend it for your approval. The whole process might be time consuming but, in the end, it will be worth the effort because your translation projects will be accurate and consistent.

A Necessity for a Quality Translation
Translation glossaries are absolutely necessary in technical and marketing translations, but they should be used for any localization project. You should know that a glossary is not simply a directory; it is a valuable resource that will reflect upon a company’s business approach and overall success. This is very important for companies that tend to spread across many markets and target their native language(s). Before your terminology is stored for future reference, it must be validated by an expert in the language of your target market.

Be sure to give your terminology some thought, and never skip the important parts or shorten the list for other languages. The consequences of such actions can be quite detrimental to your business. Always analyze past projects and see what type of content is recurrent in terms of lexicon and data. If you have special terms that should stay in the source language, leave them as such. Moreover, you are strongly advised to add term definitions, because it will improve your accuracy and help you avoid confusion.

A translation glossary is the corner stone of your company’s international communications strategy. As your glossary becomes larger, the quality of your translations should improve. The bigger it is, the easier it will be to get a good translation and avoid problems. That is why it is absolutely necessary to make it a part of your business.

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