Saturday, January 16, 2010

Importance of Glossary in maintaining Consistency

In the field of Translation, use of glossary and maintaining consistency is the first and foremost rule. But before we move on, let’s first understand what a glossary is?

A glossary is a specialized, customized dictionary used by translators working on difficult text with specific terminology. It includes a term and its definition in the target language.

For any project to be perfect and consistent, glossary plays the important role. Apart from providing you the meaning of the words, it also gives you appropriate meaning in sync with the project. A glossary plays more vital role in industrial or technical translations then in general translation. For a general document, you can compromise with consistency sometime as the same word may mean different and they don't even have strict guidelines of maintaining consistency, but in technical or industrial translation there are norms and rules to be followed. A glossary helps you alleviate this consistency problem in this kind of translation. The glossary helps translators make sure that each time a defined key term appears, in any language, it is used consistently and correctly.

This helps maintaining the essence and true spirit of the source text. Another reason is that most translators know that names of companies, abbreviations, etc. are usually retained in English when translating documents. But a layperson will just go ahead and translate everything without considering the end reader and the accepted norms in translation. This will give a negative impression of the Translation Agency and the translator. Therefore, to ensure the translation adheres to company style guidelines and preferred terminology, for very specialized texts clients are sometimes asked to provide a glossary. The preferred terms are entered into the glossary to ensure consistency throughout a project. A glossary may also include a list of not to be translated terms, typically product names.

The glossary contains key terminology in source language and approved translations for that terminology in all your target languages. It is one of the key tools, along with a style guide and Translation Memory, to assure that all translated materials meet your quality expectations. Moreover, the glossary becomes even more important for consistency if you use more than one translation resource. This is especially true in the case of tight deadlines when many translators may be working on various elements of a project simultaneously.

By helping in eliminating uncertainty in the translation process, the glossary will enforce consistency, shorten the time it takes to translate a document, makes it easy for translators and reviewers to translate and review the document and saves effort and time, while making changes after the review.

No comments:

Post a Comment