A Glossary is a list of terms and expressions that represent your brand, and influence your translations. Companies create Glossaries in order to provide a shared understanding of terms to be used across all business units and languages. With Smartling, you’ll be able to utilize the Glossary to synchronize translations across all responsible parties working on your translations.
Glossaries are not a set and forget type of feature. It is a “living” document, and as your brand(s), product(s), service(s) and content evolve, so will your Glossary. It’s important to remember that the maintenance of the Glossary is critical to ensure up to date, accurate and consistent translations. Furthermore, it is recommended to set a regular schedule of revising, reviewing and refining the Glossary every 6 months, or perform rolling maintenance throughout the year.
Historically, the Glossary included one source language and selected target languages. This meant that if your account had multiple source languages, you needed to create a Glossary for each project. This was unintuitive, as a Glossary is associated with your brand, not the languages you translate your content into.
With the idea that there is no one source language, it extends the reach of your Glossaries, as all languages are multi-directional, with any language now being the Focus Language.
Glossary Best Practices
Here are some best practices for improving your Glossary quality:
Include industry or company-specific terms
Every company has its lingo; terms that have a specific meaning when applied to your product or offering, and might not always be clear to someone outside the company. Do you have any of those terms? Start listing them and add them to your Glossary list with a definition.
Add terms you do not need to be translated
Smartling offers a "Do Not Translate", or "DNT" option, for each term in the Glossary. Use it for any terms, such as industry or company-specific terms, acronyms, proper nouns, etc. that you do not want to be translated, i.e. remain as seen in the source.
Add terms that should never be used to the Blocklist
Smartling's Blocklist is a list of terms that should never be included in your translations. There is often a legal implication as to why such terms should never be used. By creating and maintaining a Blocklist, you can safeguard against these terms ever being used. Smartling will block any of the terms in the Blocklist from entering your translated content, and translators will not be able to save or submit strings containing such terms.
More is better
There is no limit to the number of terms you can add to a Smartling Glossary, so don’t be shy about adding to your Glossary. The more terms you include, the easier it will be for the translation resources team to understand your content and message.
Complete the Entry
When adding an entry to your Glossary, ensure to complete all fields across all applicable languages.
Always add a definition to your terms
For a Glossary term to be of any use to your translation resource team, always add one or more definitions, explain why it's in the Glossary, and how you want it translated or not translated.
Use Glossary Custom Fields for further reference
Custom Fields on a Glossary allows for additional, non-standard information to be collected to each for each Glossary term. Once you create the Custom Field, you will have the option to include specific metadata for that Custom Field when you add a term to the Glossary.
Include links to your definitions
Like the Style Guide, a Glossary can teach the translation resource team a lot about your tone and style. Make sure you let them know which reference material to follow, for example, a certain version of grammar or dictionary, even a specific site that uses similar terms.
Include images for further context
The New Smartling Glossary allows you to upload an image representation of the entry, and can be viewed by linguists in the dashboard, under Assets > Glossary. This gives linguists further clarity of your terminology, beyond words.
Clean-up and update your Glossary often
It is recommended to set a recurring schedule of revising, reviewing and refining the Glossary every 6 months. Take full advantage of the fact that Smartling lets you update your Glossary as you go, by performing rolling maintenance throughout the year.
No more excuses for not cleaning up the Glossary! Smartling lets you remove terms manually or export your Glossary so that you can clean it up offline. Take a bit of time regularly to remove or edit unnecessary terms, terms that are no longer current, to make sure the translation resource team does not use erroneous or out-of-date definitions and translations.
From one language to another, conventions, like tone, punctuation, capitalization, active/passive voice, etc. might not be the same. Make use of Smartling's ability to add multiple definitions to list language-specific variations.
Let your translation team decide how to translate (and sometimes not translate) terms you’ve added to the Glossary
Although you might be tempted to translate your Glossary terms, leave it to the pros! They know better what term fits your instructions, and they also know what terms may need to be translated for some countries and not for others.