Meet the Translation Glossary: A Tool For Better Results

Glossaries are a key translation tool for website localization. Generally, a translation glossary defines specific words and phrases, like client-specific terminology, which saves time and confusion for translators. A glossary can also be used to highlight “do not translate” terms, such as company names, product names, etc. (Apple, for example, wouldn’t want their company name translated into Pomme on their French site.)

So, you can see why the glossary is important. That’s why it’s part of Smartling’s translation management system. Say you’re a professional translator working on a few Spanish translations for You’re working live on the site, in context, with the translation interface toolbar. When you come across a glossary term, like Floaty, it will be highlighted blue. You can hover over this to see the part of speech (noun) and the definition (“Name of accessory that lets the HERO camera float in water”).

A term with a specific translation will also be highlighted blue. Hovering over a translated term will give you the appropriate translation, along with the information above. Glossary terms that are not translated are highlighted yellow, and the translator can add the translation in the toolbar. Integrated glossaries are nothing new, but here’s the fun part about using it in Smartling: the ability to see the context while translating the glossary term. So, “home” as in “homepage” is translated correctly in the glossary, instead of “home” as in “house.”

The basic point is that glossaries help you translate specific terms correctly (and in Smartling, in context), and protect your brand during the localization process by omitting terms like your company name or your unique terminology. (GoPro chose not to translate “epic” because of it’s strong usage by action sports athletes.)