Why Your Business Should Have a Monolingual Company Glossary

In the translation industry, you hear a lot of talk about the benefits of glossaries and term bases. As useful as these tools are, they are typically bilingual or multilingual and only contain approved translations for a set of key terms, phrases, or trademark terms. This is where a monolingual glossary can really come in handy. 

A monolingual company glossary can be an extremely valuable asset to translation teams, internally within companies, and for their customers.  

What is a monolingual company glossary?

Your typical monolingual company glossary will provide a set of definitions for commonly used business terms. A monolingual glossary functions similarly to a translation glossary, but explains the meaning of a word in the same language. 

A monolingual company glossary can step in to increase understanding around the specific business terms a company uses and encounters frequently. When these terms are misinterpreted, employees risk making unnecessary mistakes or uninformed decisions that can be costly and time-consuming for a company to fix. 

What are the key benefits? 

The neat thing about a monolingual company glossary, is that all parties benefit when one is in place.

  1. Benefits for the company itself. Companies will find a monolingual glossary helps their employees improve communication, increase understanding, and get up to speed on workplace training quicker. With this type of resource at hand, less mistakes will be made, trust in your product and processes will increase, and everything will run just a little bit smoother, which can save a company a lot of money. 
  2. Benefits for translation teams. On the translation side, one of the benefits is that translators don’t have to spend hours researching online to find out more about a specific process or product. Also, they save time by not having to send queries to the client and wait for a reply. Having all the information already compiled helps the translation team quickly answer the questions that arise during the translation process that are not answered in the materials themselves. 
  3. Benefits for customers. Because a business glossary can help provide much needed clarity to workers, they’ll have the tools they need to provide better products and services for customers. Your employees will always use consistent terminology and can provide a clear customer experience, as customers will encounter the same terms when they visit the website, interact with you through social media, or when they call your customer service. 

Misunderstandings can lead to mistakes and subpar work products, neither of which you want to expose your customer to. 

How to maintain a monolingual company glossary

Over time, you’ll want your monolingual company glossary to grow and evolve. To ensure accuracy in your monolingual glossary, you’ll need to have someone in your staff who has a high-level knowledge of the company operation and who can proofread new additions to the company glossary and rewrite any terms or definitions as needed. It’s important that the person in charge of this has professional linguistic knowledge, as the last thing you want is to introduce mistakes to the document everyone will use as a reference. Also, make sure you share this document to all parties when it’s been updated and every time you need to have content translated into a different language.

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