How a Glossary Helps Save Time and Money During the Translation Process

Sep 21, 2022

There’s no question that translations can be expensive and take time to produce good results. The good news is that tools like a glossary can help you save time and money during the translation process, and are a valuable addition to any professional translation service. A glossary can also help increase accuracy and consistency, resulting in higher-quality translations. You will partner with your translation company to create and maintain a glossary. As experts in managing multiple language combinations, different formats, and components, SumaLatam breaks down what a translation glossary is and how it can benefit your next translation or localization project..

What’s a Glossary?

A glossary is a collection of terms, such as terms related to an industry, a product, a service or a business, that are commonly used throughout a set of content. Terms can include anything from a product description, to a phrase, to industry-specific jargon. You can pull terminology from one set of content, such as an installation manual or brochure, and then reuse it in other content as well as build on it.

It’s a best practice to establish English terminology before a translation project begins. This way, the translators can use the correct form of the word during the translation, resulting in a faster time-to-market.

How to Create a Glossary

A language services company and a client work together to create a glossary from a set of content (e.g., webpage, document, etc.). Once the terms are added to the glossary, the translators will translate them.

If you have in-country reviewers (ICRs), meaning people who work for your company or know your products well, the language services company will send the glossary to the ICRs. The ICRs will review and provide any feedback, and the translation company will then incorporate the changes into a term base. The result is a library of translated terms.

How a Glossary and a Translation Memory Work Together

translation memory (TM) is an important tool that works with the glossary. A translation memory is a database of all the English and translated content. The TM houses the glossary of terms, and all the translated content is reused for a project. So, when a translator works on a project, the terms in the content are then automatically populated with the translated versions.

As you add more terms to the glossary, the library of translated content will continue to grow. In addition, as the LSP works on more translation projects, the more the TM will continue to grow. These tools ultimately decrease your translation cost and save the translators time. The TM helps with consistency, as any segment that was translated and approved in the past doesn’t have to be translated again, even if there’s a new translator. The TM and glossary together improve translation consistency, and both of these tools are essential to the translation process. A professional translation services company will set these tools up for you.

The Benefits of a Glossary

A glossary has several benefits including:

Faster time-to-market – Having previously translated content allows the translator to focus on the new content, thereby reducing the time it takes to work on a project and reducing the time-to-market.

More savings – The least expensive type of word segment is a previously translated one, and the most expensive type is a brand-new word. So, the more word segments that are already translated, the lower the translation cost will be.

Improved accuracy and consistency – Since the terms and translations are stored in a term base, they can be reused at any time across any type of content. Reusing content improves accuracy and consistency, leading to higher-quality translations.

Conclusion and Next Steps

A glossary is an essential translation tool for any business. It improves time-to-market, saves money and improves accuracy and consistency. With so many benefits and an easy set-up, it’s a great way to leverage translated content and build this company asset.

If you have any questions about how to get started, please visit our website or email us at As a woman-owned translation company with over 20 years of experience, SumaLatam is here to help with your next translation or localization project.

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