In order to allow more consistent translations, done by several translators in parallel, we’re going to add a translation glossary, per client.
This glossary will tell how to translate special terms to different languages and will be used for all the client’s projects.
Let’s start with an example.
iPhone golf-instructor application
Supposing a client is creating an iPhone application that teaches how to play golf. That client will have a multilingual website, an iPhone application, customer support translation and some small texts to translate from time to time.
It would be nice (for us) if we could get everything to translate at once, fully documented and explained. In practice, it doesn’t work this way.
First, we’ll get the iPhone application’s texts with minimal documentation. The translator will ask questions and get to know the application.
Then, a few weeks after, the website will follow and then customer support calls will trickle in.
It means that several translators will need to work on the same project. One on the iPhone application, another on the website and whoever is free first on small translations that follow.
In order to produce consistent translation, the translators will need to have a glossary that tells how to translate phrases used repeatedly. Each client would have a glossary, used for all projects and accessible by any translator working on that client’s projects.
How the shared glossary would work
Both the client and translators would be able to add phrases to the glossary. Clients can create the glossary entries and translators can add both the entries and their translation.
For instance, the Spanish translator would probably add phrases like ‘trainer’, ‘club’ and ‘swing’. Then, when the client starts translating the website to Spanish and the word ‘trainer’ appears, the (possibly other) Spanish translator would already see that it should be translated as instructor.
Later, when the client also decides to go French, the French translator would see that ‘trainer’, ‘club’ and ‘swing’ require special attention and would first add their translations to the glossary.
Glossary entries would be used for any kind of project done by ICanLocalize. No matter what we’re translating, if the text includes a phrase that appears in the glossary, the translator would see its explanation and previous translations.
Translation Assistant (our translation software) will scan the glossary automatically and would automatically highlight phrases found in the glossary. It would also let translators create new glossary items and consult the client about the meaning of key phrases.
Glossary and Search Engine Optimization
One of the most important things to notice when translating is search engine optimization (SEO). Even if you’re not translating a website, what you translate will most likely appear in some website somewhere.
It’s important to check what people are looking for and translate according to that. This would be good for search engine optimization and, generally, for getting more business.
When you begin translating, make a list of the main phrases in your application, that people might use to find you through.
The new glossary would be the perfect place to document these phrases and discuss their best translation with your translators.
What do you think? Any ideas for what a glossary should do?