The Importance of Having a Glossary.

by | Aug 5, 2021 | Content Strategy, Translation & Localisation

The importance of having a glossary is sometimes underrated. But to ensure a high-quality translation, it is essential that the client clearly states what they want to achieve. In the perfect circumstances, the client would provide a style guide with information about the language, terminology, tone of voice and punctuation that should be used or not used. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen often. We could say that this is an exception rather than a rule. Therefore, here is a brief article to explain why it is important!

It is a very effective way, for a client, to convey their requirements.

Having a glossary ready prior the beginning of a project can determine its success or unsuccess. It is a very effective way, for a client, to convey their requirements. Also, it makes communication easier among all parties – linguist – project manager – client, avoiding that back and forth of questions, feedback and changes that can really slow down the process and increase costs.

On average 15% of all globalization project costs are caused by rework and review, mostly due to inconsistent terminology !

What is a glossary?

A glossary is a tool that helps you ensure consistency of the terminology used across all channels and languages. It contains the key words in your source language and the approved translation in all your target languages. It can also contain the “not to be translated” terms (NTBT).  The terms that appear in company glossaries are usually either industry-specific terms or client-specific terms. 

What are the benefits of having a glossary?

  1. Cost saving. Having a glossary will make the work faster for translators and will avoid having to review the work due to terminology usage. Also, you will be able to save and reuse the glossary in the future.
  2. Time efficiency. If linguists are provided with a glossary, they will be able to work faster. They won’t have to ask too many questions or to do research themselves on which terms are more suitable. A glossary really helps translator avoid making “mistakes”, considering the multiple translations that one single word can have.
  3. Brand consistency. A consistent translation will ensure a unique brand experience across all channels. Referring to products or services in an inconsistent way can create confusion among your users/clients.

How can you create an effective glossary?

  1. Select the most important and specific terms that appear the most in your content.
  2. Rely on local professionals to review all translated terms.
  3. Be specific about which terms are to prefer for the same language but in different countries (e.g., UK or USA, Latin America or Spain etc)

To conclude, having a glossary can really save you time, money and stress. Need help? Get in touch!

Let us know if you have questions about any of the discussed content topics.