A Translation Glossary is a Worthwhile Investment
Last updated: March 31st, 2016 by admin
You might have heard about the use of translation glossaries but think you don’t need one or wonder why they are supposed to be beneficial. Imagine you asked a simple question to someone from Australia, Canada, the U.S., Britain, South Africa and India. Guess what? Each answer is likely to be different, or more specifically, the answers will all be similar, but not exactly the same. They won’t be consistent. Now apply this to a translation task. Imagine each person was a translator and they were all given the same text to translate. The translated text is likely to be different from one person to the next. That’s one of the main goals of a translation glossary. It maintains consistency in the style as well as the vocabulary of translated text.
A translation glossary is particularly useful for any larger scale translation service in Australia where different translators are employed, whether they are in house or are freelancers working from home. The glossary defines the preferred choice of words and phrases to be used during translation and avoids the sort of inconsistency when several different translators are used to translate material for one particular client. The more extended the relationship between the translation service and client, the more important that consistency is achieved.
What else is a glossary useful for?
Translation services in Melbourne and across Australia as well as many other parts of the world have discovered there is more to developing a glossary apart from achieving a more consistent translation, even if that is one of the main aims. Glossaries also help to make translation faster as well as cheaper. A good glossary can help to protect a brand, especially when the marketing translation is involved.
By avoiding confusion, a good glossary helps translators avoid spending time trying to work out which term to use when it comes to translating a particular batch of text. This means faster translation times. Immediately, this means that the whole task is going to be cheaper for the client as the faster and smoother the translation task, then the cheaper it is going to be.
Branding is really important and there is no pint in trying to translate a brand name or slogan word for word as it will then be harder to recognise. Brands are international. Google is Google in Arabic, English, Hindi and Vietnamese! So is an iPad, McDonalds, Nike etc. etc. These are brand names and of course they should be retained whatever the target language used in translation, but some branding slogans are harder to translate without making cultural errors. There have been some famous translation blunders in the past which most translators have heard about. The point here is to retain in the glossary a brand slogan that works for the particular language. Experimentation and alternatives could be dangerous!