Language is constantly evolving. While this provides new, innovative ways for people to express themselves, the constant transformation can become a hurdle for translators and interpreters.
These professionals may even come across phrases they have never seen or heard before, making them difficult to translate. Plus, there are often various ways to transcribe a single sentence. Two translators given the same content may produce similar — but not identical — translations due to expression variety.
So, how do you help create consistency across translations and offer guidance with phrasing? Translation glossaries are a helpful tool. Let's learn more.
What Are Translation Glossaries?
Translation glossaries are like mini dictionaries or cheat sheets that provide translators easy access to terminology and phrasing. These documents are typically extremely organized, lumping similar words together or grouping vocabulary by industry vertical. They should be routinely updated so that translators can stay up-to-date with the language evolution.
Why Are Translation Glossaries Important?
Translation dictionaries are a translator's best friend. Yet even they don't have all the answers. New terms, industry jargon, and brand phrases are likely not in a standard translation dictionary.
Instead of spending time searching the web or digging through other resources, linguists can turn to translation glossaries.
Easy access to industry jargon
When someone starts working in a new field, there is a huge learning curve to pick up all the terminology, jargon, and acronyms. Linguists may feel like they are entering a new field daily as they work with different companies and organizations.
Translation glossaries can be a lifesaver. Things like medical terminology, healthcare services, and insurance jargon are all easily accessible within the glossary database.
Improved Brand Consistency
Do you want your trademark phrases translated or left in the original language? How do you want your call-to-actions, slogans, and products translated?
Without a translation glossary, all these things are left to the discretion of the individual translator. However, that means that your core branding — what people recognize and remember you for — can become muddled. Perhaps in one document, your services are titled one thing, and over the phone, an interpreter refers to them using different phrasing. While technically not incorrect, the differing translations can confuse potential clients, customers, and patients.
A translation glossary simplifies the process by including company- or organization-specific guidelines. For example, the database may include a "do not translate (DNT)" list for any words that should remain in their native language. It can also provide approved translations for taglines, products, model numbers, and services. Translators can even access the correct company acronyms, so they don't spend time translating the entire phrase and then reforming the acronym in the new language.
With these overarching guidelines, companies and organizations can rest assured that their customers or contacts receive the same brand information no matter who they speak with over the phone, what documents they read, or who they chat with online.
Imagine this: An interpreter is working on a phone call and hears a company tagline. They could interpret it literally, word for word, but they know that would not capture the true meaning. They stall for a few seconds trying to create a new tagline in the target language, making both the customer and the company representative wait.
Not only is this situation incredibly common, but it's stressful and time-consuming. Translators working on written documents may spend even more time researching similar phrases to see the best way to represent an idea in the target language.
This process wastes time for translators and interpreters — time they could be spending on additional projects. It also slows down production for the hiring organization or company. Plus, the client or patient may be left waiting or confused during live translations.
All this is a recipe for disaster, one that could have easily been avoided with a translation glossary. These organized databases give translators and interpreters the company- or industry-specific information they need at their fingertips.
Increased cost savings
Of course, saving time equals saving money. Faster, more accurate translations give companies a greater return on their investment. If they can get uniform translations for company branding and industry jargon from the start, there's no need to spend money redoing web copy, documents, or landing pages. Plus, smooth over-the-phone translation means less time on the phone, both for your agents and customers. It's a win-win situation.
Learn More From GLOBO
Don't let your message get lost in translation. Contact GLOBO today to learn how our translation services can help you reach more customers and patients in a more meaningful way.
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