Glossaries and translation memories overview

Critical localization projects, especially the more technical, require extra attention to terminology and phrasing to ensure consistency. That’s why we let our users create and use translation memories and glossaries.

Translation memories (TMs) are databases of previously translated sentences, usually in CAT tools, and glossaries are databases of set terms.

You can use them as translation references for your projects and save time and money on editing and keep translation quality standards high.

Glossaries are organized collections of approved translations for specific terms. These can be technical terms, industry-specific jargon, or just set words that are used frequently in your content.

While you can use TMs to search for previous translations of a given term, glossaries provide a much more structured and organized interface, making them easier to use and maintain. 

How do translation memories work?

Each time you edit and confirm a segment in the Editor it’s saved in Smartcat’s internal database for further use.

Translation memories automatically retrieve and suggest previously translated text when the technology detects identical sentences or similar fragments of text.

When you get a suggestion from the translation memory, you can either accept the proposed translation, edit it, or ignore the suggestion and translate the segment from scratch.

How do translation memories help you?

  • Saving time. The more content that is already translated, the less work the translator and the editor have to do.
  • Improving quality. Translations are more consistent in terms of terminology and style.
  • Cutting costs. The less work involved in the translation, the less you’ll have to pay translators and editors. In addition, Smartcat offers special rates for TM matches.

If we take a document containing 31 words, where 14 words are new, 12 words are fuzzy matches, and 7 words are repetitions, this means you’ll save almost 40% on translation costs.

The calculation looks like this: (14 × 1) + (12 × 0,4) + (7 × 0) = 18.8.
Translation memory settings while creating a project
Importing translation memory
Deleting translation memory

How do glossaries work?

After you create or import a glossary you can associate it with a specific project. After, when a glossary term is detected in the source text, the system will automatically offer the stored translations for the term. You can accept or decline the word or phrase suggestion. 

How do glossaries help you?

Diversity. You can have the same term translated differently for different clients as it's stored in different glossaries. 

Easier collaboration. Your translators always have enough context even if they have to switch between multiple projects. 

Speed and quality. Glossaries help to ensure consistency the same way as translation memories do.

More on how it works

Setting up a glossary while creating a project

Importing and exporting glossaries



Did this article help you find the answer you were looking for? If not or if you have further questions, please contact our support team.


Was this article helpful?

Do you need a human-assisted guidance? 🙌

Request a demo