Why should translators use glossaries

One of the qualities of a good translator is a constant improvement and desire to learn. He or she should always strive to build up vocabulary resources in order to prepare the best translation that appeals to clients. However obvious constant learning may sound, it could be a hard task for many individuals working in the industry due to the busy schedule and simple unwillingness to spend time on building up resources.

Creating a database of useful vocabulary has a few obvious benefits both for the translator and a client. First and foremost, it ensures consistency between translated works and quality of the job done. Uniform terminology and phrases will have same meaning across all texts and documents and will help avoiding any possible confusion.


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Secondly, it allows a linguistic expert to save time on translation while not sacrificing quality. For a client, such time saving will usually lead to more cost efficient translation received in a shorter period of time.

It is also relatively easy to create such databases of language terms. Computer-assisted translation tools, commonly referred as CAT (not to be confused with machine translation) are usually used for such a purpose. These software tools allow a translator to manually record words and groups of words creating a bank of resources to be used in the future translation works. The CAT tool then tracks texts an expert works with and helps to identify potentially similar phrases. Such manually complied, language-resource databases are then used to produce style consistency and high quality documents which, after undergoing mandatory proofreading, are presented to clients.

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