Top 5 Benefits of a Translation Glossary

According to industry estimates, 15% of the total spending in the localization industry comes from redoing translations. The leading cause of rework is fixing inconsistent or confusing terminology. This is where a translation glossary can help.

A translation glossary is a list of terms and definitions for a localization project. Creating a glossary ensures that your industry-specific terminology will be translated accurately throughout your entire project.

Building a glossary can help your brand save time and money during the translation process.

What Should be in a Translation Glossary?

Every online business has a set of words that are often used to describe products or brand messaging. Most brands reuse key terms, catchphrases, and taglines. When a website is translated to another language for localization, these words and phrases need to be translated, too.

A translation glossary explains exactly what specific terms mean, and how and when to translate them. Glossary terms are unique to your project and not easy to find in regular dictionaries.

Before you start your translation project, be sure to add these types of terms to your glossary:

  • Business-specific terms or technical jargon
  • Acronyms or abbreviations
  • Approved translations for confusing terms
  • Company names
  • Business slogans
  • Taglines
  • Product names
  • Trademarks
  • Model numbers
  • Words or phrases on your DNT (do not translate) list


Example Translation Glossary:
Here’s an example of an English-Japanese translation glossary from

Image: A screenshot of a translation glossary
This brief  glossary tells translators how to handle trademarks, common words, and proper names

Benefits of a Translation Glossary

A good glossary identifies key terminology in your source language and communicates how you want those terms to be translated into your target languages.

These are the top 5 benefits of working with a translation glossary.

1. Time Savings

When you prepare a translation glossary, you’ll need to invest the time at the beginning of the project to define business-specific words, phrases, and terms. But this is a one-time investment that will save a lot of time later. With the translation glossary serving as a ready reference, translators don’t have to waste time searching for the correct way to translate challenging words or phrases into different languages.

2. Improved Translation Quality

A glossary improves the overall clarity of translations. When a translator has clear guidelines and plenty of context for translation, they can concentrate on providing high-quality, accurate content.

3. Brand Consistency

A translation glossary keeps your message consistent across all translations. No matter what region your website is localized for, it still has to represent your brand and your message. Tools like glossaries and style guides help you retain your brand voice and standards in different languages.

4. Higher Engagement

International customers can quickly spot inauthentic content or bad translations in their native language. When words and phrases have multiple meanings, there’s a lot of room for translation errors. Keeping a consistent glossary boosts the quality of your translations. High-quality content leads to better engagement with your target audience.

5. Cost Savings

Translating the same words or phrases more than once adds unnecessary translation costs to localization projects. Using a glossary and translation memory can eliminate time-consuming, duplicate tasks. Once a new term is translated, your LSP should never have to translate it again. Storing and remembering frequently-used terms is a lot more cost-effective than starting each translation project over from scratch.

The Localize Solution

Localize uses advanced technology to translate your websites, online software, mobile apps, or documents.

With a built-in translation glossary, brand style guide, and terminology management tools, Localize helps to ensure that your industry-specific terms are translated correctly and consistently. The Localize TMS integrates with many translation agencies and language service providers to optimize the entire translation process.

Contact Localize to find out how we can help you publish content for a global audience.

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