Glossary creation

In an earlier blog post, we wrote about terminology management and how to make sure your terminology is all in order. In aiming to achieve consistency, having all your terminology properly stored in a glossary makes all the difference. In this latest post then, we’d like to look into glossary creation and best practices.

Getting started with glossary creation

Glossaries are normally created in a joint effort by LSPs and their clients. It’s normally the client’s task to help in coming up with terms in the source language, while the LSP then uses them to produce a bilingual/multilingual glossary. Although this may sound like a lot of work, it’s actually straightforward, if you follow some basic steps.

Term selection

Firstly, you need to select the terms you’d like to include in your glossary. These could be anything from product names to technical terms. If you’re unsure what is worth including, just consider all the words that people have problems with – do they sometimes use the wrong synonym? Or do they get mixed up with technical terms? Also, reflect on how you’d like your products or technical equipment to be referred to. If there’s a certain way you definitely prefer, then that’s what you need to put in your glossary. As the purpose of a glossary is to keep terms consistent, it’s important to pick a name/word to describe something and stick to that as that will be used throughout your documentation from when the glossary is approved.

Glossary Creation Review

Terms can either be selected by you in person or if time is short, software is available that can do it for you. If you opt for the latter, your LSP will use appropriate software to extract possible glossary terms from existing documentation. The LSP will then send you the result so that you can edit what has been found and come up with a final glossary you’re satisfied with.


Next, it’s time to translate all the terms in your glossary into the required languages. This will be done in a standard translation process using a translation team with experience in dealing with very specific terminology. Any reference materials you can provide would obviously be of great assistance.


Once you’ve approved the translated versions of your glossary, you’re good to go! As well as your LSP partner, your colleagues drafting texts in their native language should also receive the glossary to ensure consistency.

It’s also good practice to have a person in charge of glossary management so that they can add new terms when they come up, and review the whole glossary from time to time to make sure it’s all still relevant.

If you have any questions or would like some help with glossary management, please get in touch – we’d be happy to help.


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