Basic Translation Glossary

Basic Translation Glossary

Once we get accustomed to our daily chores, any tool, idea, tip or resource that can make our life easier is welcome, especially if through it we can shorten the hours or our workday. 

The task of a translator or interpreter depends mainly on knowledge and experience; however, there are tools and resources than can be very useful.

For example, a glossary consists of a list of definitions and explanations of the meaning of a word or expression that is difficult to understand or easy to forget. If we moreover add comments or alphabetical guidelines, the glossary will become even more useful and substantive. In general, a glossary follows alphabetical order, to permit finding a word more quickly.

Creating our own glossary is an idea worth considering, as it helps to never forget concepts and reduce translation times.  

It is a good idea to include it a glossary instead of searching each time for a word or phrase that we use often but that we tend to forget. 

We offer some ideas and suggestions to save time and create an accurate glossary quickly. This tool will shorten your workday, especially if you are still in the learning phase. It can be a great way to note down and remember concepts

Advantages of Making Your Own Glossary

A glossary helps us to improve the quality of translations and interpretations, by remembering concepts and having in a single place often-used words with their meaning.  

It also helps us to preserve coherence among words that may coexist under the same concept, as well as to harmonize different texts, by helping us to find similar ideas and words in a single place.   

The content of a glossary is the fruit of experience, knowledge and of our daily effort. Its content can help us in the future or even be very useful for a colleague or friend in need of support. In this way, knowledge is shared and your ideas benefit someone else.    

A well-made glossary can help us avoid mistakes. For example, Paul Barreto de Mattos, a linguistics specialists from Microsoft worked on a glossary foo 11 years. Thanks to it, he reduced mistakes by 70% and later made it available to the general public.

How to Create a Glossary

The basic content is concepts and their meaning. However, you can enrich your glossary by including images, figures, drawings or any other element that helps to conceptualize the terms more effectively.  

Another good idea is to incorporate concepts and terminology to be avoided.  This will make the glossary even more useful. This can include commercial brand names, contractions, idioms or words that should not be used in a formal setting, but that nonetheless may be valid in other occasions. 

Review and update the glossary often, as the meaning and context in which words are used may change over time. Reviewing the glossary often will help you maintain your ideas fresh and avoid forgetting them.  

Basic Elements of a Glossary

Criteria to be followed in making a glossary is somewhat subjective. It all depends on what you deem easier. This being said, below some ideas to improve it or get it started.  

Focus on the terminology, rules and meaning that appear frequently but that are difficult or confusing and disregard the concepts and  verbs that are easy to use and which you know well —you would waste too much time writing them all down. Instead, note down ideas and rules that help use those words better. 

Sometimes in translation and interpretation projects specialized terminology is used, which is included in a glossary for the client. This is a common practice and this article can be useful to create it. 

We would only add that the client should review any inclusions and additions, as they are the ones that confront situations in which the terminology is used.

If you want to create a glossary, you will require a specialized translation and interpretation agency. Using professionals is the best idea in such cases. Contact us to obtain a price quote or check out our full translation offering in our website.  

We are here to help you succeed!

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