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Creating glossaries
Thread poster: Arben Seva

Arben Seva  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Apr 3, 2004


I have been asked from one of my clients to to deliever along with the TM also the translated Excel wordlist. I suppose he is talking about the glossary. Can anybody tell me the most efficent way of building a glossary. Thanks in advance.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:48
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Its up to you, but not your duty Apr 3, 2004

Your glossary is your property. You wouln't expect a plummer to leave his tools after repairing your toilet? Building a complete word list would take ages to complete.
The client should send you his list of relevant words and you would translate this and charge for it.

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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:48
English to Spanish
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True! Apr 3, 2004

Excellent - and really funny - example, Heinrich. Keep your tools to yourself, plumber!

And regarding the building of a glossary, that is up to your usual way of working. I have been trying to do so for 26 years.
You may have a double glossary, i.e. one in your computer and one on paper, naming them according to the subject. My glossary folder is fat enough to go on a diet, but it has proved useful. You put flaps like: Marketing adding source and target language, for example.
There are many ways of building a glossary.
Surely our colleagues will contribute far more intelligent/practical ideas.
Have a nice Sunday.

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Arben Seva  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
size of glossary Apr 4, 2004

Thank you for your replies.
As the client didn't provide the word list I have to build it my self. Can you approximately tell me what can be an acceptable glossary size for a document of 10.000 words. What about how to charge for it?
Thanks a lot

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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 19:48
German to English
Consult with the client Apr 4, 2004

In terms of preparing a glossary, you should charge by the hour on top of whatever rate you're charging for the translation.

But you need to find out *exactly* what the client wants. I've prepared glossaries for clients who genuinely only wanted subject-specific nouns and verbs translated. I made sure they clarified this, and a few indicated that they had employees who had a solid basic knowledge of German, but needed help with technical vocabulary.

On the other hand, I had a client who said that they only wanted words that they wouldn't find in a standard dictionary. Although the document they sent me related to a technical subject, the text was about readers' reaction to a product, and the vocabulary was quite simple; any 1st year German student with a medium-priced dictionary could have read the text. It turned out that the client company really wanted a bilingual document.

In a 10,000 word document, it's possible that more than half the words are repeated at least once. You have to decide whether prepositions are "stand-alone" or are part of a larger idiomatic phrase which might be specific to the subject of the translation. Common adjectives might also be eliminated, along with a few hundred of the most common verbs.

All in all, you might wind up with a glossary of just a few hundred words, but it could take you several hours to compile it.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Just tell him you don't have it Apr 5, 2004

Arben Seva wrote:
I have been asked from one of my clients to to deliever ... also the translated Excel wordlist.

If you don't have an Excel wordlist, just tell him so. Or, ask him what he means. Does he realy want a glossary? How big does he want it to be?

I agree that your own glossary is yours to keep, but so is the TM (since a TM is basically a complex glossary). Although nothing stops you from adding glossary building to your list of services offered.

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