What is a glossary?
In the translation industry, a glossary is basically a list of specific terminology that helps to ensure consistency in translation. Every language, every industry and even your very own company use specific expressions that need to be addressed and used properly in order to give your translated documents the right meaning. Additionally, glossary creation together with our TRM Services™ help you to significantly lower your future translation cost.
Why is a glossary good for you?
Working with glossaries in your organization creates unified expressions and ensures everyone understand each other. The same applies to translation: to assure we use your preferred terminology in documents we translate for you, it is important to have access to glossaries. While some companies have developed internal glossaries, we know that many still lack them.
One of idioma’s Translation Memory related services involves creating glossaries for its clients – either to help expand an existing glossary with more terms and more languages, or to build new glossaries from scratch based on existing multilingual documents. If source expressions do not exist, we begin by extracting the typical terms and expressions from the client’s existing source files. After this, we then add corresponding terms from matching target documents to create bilingual glossaries. We can do this for one language or many. To work efficiently, we use our Term Grabber™ tool, which extracts the terms from PDF files. This makes work fast and efficient, while it makes the service affordable to clients.
An ideal glossary?
Ideally, an export company should have one general glossary for terms that apply to the various product fields it covers, and it should have specialized glossaries that apply to product categories, e.g. power tools, white goods, generators, etc.
The size of glossaries vary, but typically a general glossary for a large manufacturer would have around 500-1,000 entries, while product category glossaries should have from 100 to 500 entries. The latter will increase for some product types, e.g. automobiles, trucks and motorcycles that often have more than one thousand entries.
Ensuring consistent terminology
The end goal of course is to ensure consistent terminology. Once we have glossaries in place, when we translate documents for you, our translation process includes mandatory glossary checking to make sure preferred terminology is used consistently, exactly the way you prefer it.
Translators and reviewers are warned whenever a term is not used or a different one is used; glossary terms can 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 will be collected in the form of a report and presented to you in connection with final delivery of projects.
Get a glossary health check
If you are not sure about the current state of your glossary and whether terminology is correct, we will be happy to run a check on it to identify potential problems. This check is performed by idioma’s professional linguists who will correct any incorrect entries, clearly indicating what has been changed and why. To use this service, please contact our project managers.