How To Create a Perfect Company Glossary?


Until now, we have discussed how to localize your content, which workflows could best suit you, and what you should have in mind when localizing your business for a certain market.

We didn’t discuss one of the pillars of any serious translation project – your company glossary (that will be also reffered to as terminology repository throughout this blog post). 

Today, we are going to change this by explaining different types of terminology and how to actually prepare and manage it properly.

 What is a company glossary?

Glossaries, or terminology repositories, as they are called in the Text United Translation Management System, are a collection of terms used by your company which help you keep the consistency in your translation projects. Like this, they also help you and your translators save a lot of time.

Terminology repositories can contain terms in several languages. In our system, you can also add a lot of additional information, such as reference images, the domain, descriptions, context information, and many more.

Now, what type of terms would you expect in your company glossaryThere are two very distinct types of terms:

  • Industry-specific terms
  • Client-specific terms

As already mentioned above, industry-specific terms can be separated by domain within Text United’s TMS. These are terms that are also not specific to you as the client but to the whole industry. For example, in technical translations, our clients expect certain types of screws to be translated in a certain way which is used within the industry.

Client-specific terms, on the other hand, are specific only to you, not the industry in general. Using the above example, you may want to translate one specific type of screw in a very specific way.

How is a company glossary created?

There are several ways in which you can create a company glossaryThe most common one is importing a list of terms which you already use within the company. This is usually the starting point for a more complex terminology repository, with reference images and other files that help to understand the context. In our system, you can import the terminology from TBX or CSV files.

How do I keep adding terms?

Terms can be added in several ways. The easiest way is to keep adding terms with each project you translateWhile you are translating a project into a certain language, you can translate the terms as well within the project. These project terms will then be added to your terminology repository.

What if you make a mistake? Don’t worry. You can always browse your terminology repository online and make any necessary changes from your browser. No additional software needed!

Keep in mind, however, that you are working on a terminology repository, not a Translation Memory (read about the differences between these two here). It should only contain individual terms, or very specific phrases (2-3 words).

Do’s and Don’ts 

  • If you are adding multiple identical source terms (like homographs), make a clear distinction by adding either a description or providing some sort of context.
  • If a source word with the same meaning has several translations, explain when a certain term is used to avoid inconsistencies.
  • Do not add too many terms to your terminology repository. Often, clients are struggling with not entering everything they see into the repository.
  • As a simple rule of thumb, only add terms if they will be useful to you in a week’s time. If you can remember the translation without a doubt in a week, you don’t need the term in the repository
  • Besides terms that you want to use, also enter terms you know you don’t want to use. You simply must let your translators know which terms cannot be used in your translation projects.

Company Glossary is the thing!

If you somehow managed your translation projects without a company glossary, just know that it’s an extremely useful tool for you and your translatorsDuring a translation project, you can even run a Quality Assurance Check within our system, and it will show you all the instances in which your translators are not using the terminology properly.

If you still have doubts due to time that you have to dedicate to create it, just believe us when we say that it is a quick and efficient way of checking if everything is going as expected, or if you have red flags you should be worried about.

If you need help in setting up your initial company glossary, feel free to reach out to our teamWith hundreds of clients who trust us with their content and terminology, we are here to help you make these first steps!

Written By:

Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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