Translation Style Guide and Glossary: What every marketer should know

A translation style guide and glossary are a vital part of any translation project. Not only do they provide translators with guidelines to follow, but they also outline the necessary terminology to help them stay consistent in their work. Every marketer knows that language style guides are important to ensure high-quality professional translations, but many struggle to create them.

In this blog post we will outline what every marketer should know about translation style guides and glossaries – from why you need one, how it helps your business and what should go into it!

A translation glossary contains a list of key terms used when translating written content. It includes key terms from the source language and the approved translations in the target language. This means that every given word has multiple definitions depending on its use in the sentence or context. Glossaries will also include specific data, variables or a list of terms that should not be translated such as brand names or slogans.

What should a glossary include?

  • Brand/Company Names

  • Product names

  • Trademarks

  • Corporate slogans

  • Acronyms

  • UI Buttons and options

  • Frequently used terms

  • Units of measure

  • Non-translatable terms

Why should you use a glossary when localizing your content? Not only will the glossary help the linguist follow the client-approved terminology, but it will also help ensure consistency between translated versions of a company’s documentation. A comprehensive glossary will also guarantee faster project turnaround, as well as minimizing the number of queries.

A translation style guide is a document that provides guidelines for formatting, translating and editing any text. It contains the standards and requirements to be followed when producing translations in a particular language or languages. This set of guidelines outlines your company’s preferred tone, register and style that you want to use in translation, the way you present yourself textually, but also visually.

Translation guides include rules for punctuation, abbreviations, capitalization of titles etc. They also usually contain templates that can be used as starting point when translating texts from one language into another. The goal of these guides is to ensure consistency among all translated texts. This prevents any confusion about cultural interpretations, as well as avoiding errors such as mistranslations or misinterpretations by readers who speak different languages than the original author of the text being translated.

What should a translation style guide include?

  • Target audience

  • Tone of voice

  • Formal/Informal language

  • Active/Passive voice

  • Colloquial expressions, Jargon, Slang

  • Visuals and formatting

Glossaries and style guides are important tools for industry relevance and the consistency of terms and product names. Linguists use these tools to recreate a global brand’s voice in local markets to help you reach your target audience quicker. As a result, your content will resonate with your clients the way you wanted it to.

Style guides and glossaries change over time, as cultures and languages evolve frequently. Our dedicated team will work with you on creating a tailored glossary and style guide that will ensure your translations are up to par.


Get in touch and we’ll take your brand to the next level.

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