important for localization

What is a Translation Glossary (And Why It’s Important for Localization)

If you’re looking for ways to save some cost in your next translation project, a translation glossary could help. A translation glossary also keeps your branding, tone, and style consistent.

Read on as we explore further what a translation glossary is, and why it’s important for localization.

What Exactly is a Translation Glossary?

A translation glossary consists of a set of standardized phrases or key terms with the corresponding translations. It instructs the translators:

  • How to translate key terms
  • What are the preferred translations
  • When to translate certain terms
  • When not to translate certain terms

As we’ll see, a translation glossary is extremely useful during the localization process.

Why is a Translation Glossary Useful for Localization?

Developing a translation glossary benefits both the client (i.e. game developer) and the translation/localization provider. Here are some reasons why.

1. Saves Money

A glossary helps save time on any back-and-forth or rework. Rework can be costly and cause project overruns. A glossary can also enable translators to standardize parts of the translation process – again reducing costs.

2. Saves Time

A defined set of terms can save the translator a lot of time. It cuts out the ambiguity that can often result from translating words with multiple meanings. A glossary provides clear direction as to how and when to translate key terms.

3. Maintains Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to your brand voice identity. Character names, titles, and other brand-specific words must be translated consistently throughout. Translating the same term in multiple ways can result in negative user experience. A translation glossary can keep your messaging and branding consistent, helping improve user engagement, and establishing brand credibility.

How do You Create a Translation Glossary?

Typically, a translation glossary would be developed in partnership with both the translator and client. Create a translation glossary by taking the following steps.

  1. Compile a list of terms: Decide what you’d want to include in your glossary. Terms you’d want on your list include brand-related phrases, abbreviations, frequently used words, game slogans, etc.
  2. Provide a description of the terms: Offer some context to the translator with a brief description of each term. Explain how each term should be used (i.e. noun, verb, adjective), and how it relates to your game.
  3. Translate the terms: The next step is to actually translate the terms. Ensure you have a high-quality translator work on the translations to ensure it is accurate and suitable for your intended market.
  4. Update your glossary: Maintain your glossary to keep it updated with the latest translations and descriptions. Since your products and services will constantly evolve, your translation glossary should as well.

iGlobe: Translation & Localization Agency

If you’re looking for translation or localization expertise, contact us today! iGlobe has a team of professional translators who can help with translating, proofreading, and localization QA services.

At iGlobe, we’ve worked on some of the top-grossing games in the world. Rest assured, we’ll do our best to ensure your project is a success.


Contact us today for more information!

E-mail: hello@iglobe.ca

Tel:+1 604 355 3023