Setting up glossaries

While glossaries are sometimes neglected by end-users and LSPs because terminology work is rarely a paid task, their importance is growing because of the way that the translation process is evolving. Now a lot of information is processed in chunks rather than in complete documents, keeping track of terminology is important to maintain consistency between batches of content being translated.

As with other linguistic resources, there are no limits on the number of glossaries that you can create in Smartcat or the amount of data that you add to these glossaries. But like for the other linguistic assets, it’s a good idea to organize the glossaries that you create using the labels that we provide — either the client label or the project group label. This will be helpful during project creation. To help preserve data integrity, Smartcat features a data entry workflow where users like linguists are given a right to only suggest terms while others like resource managers can add entries or correct suggestions. Smartcat glossaries are multilingual so any number of languages can appear in every glossary.

Creating a glossary is simple in Smartcat. Choose Glossaries in the Resources option of the main menu:


Then click on the Create Glossary button:


The following dialogue box will appear:


Simply choose a unique name (1), add all the languages that will be used in the glossary (2), assign a client label (3) or a project group label (4) and click on Save (5). If you already know the structure that you want to use in the glossary, for example different fields, click on Advanced (6) which will open another dialog box to change the glossary structure.

You can change most of that information after the glossary has been created so no need to worry about forgetting anything. In fact, the next step after glossary creation is to make changes to the structure since in most cases, additional fields will need to be added to store information other than the terms themselves. If you have not exited the glossary creation window, click on Advanced (6) now otherwise, click on the glossary name in the list of glossaries to open it and then click on the Settings wheel:


This offers two options:

  • Glossary properties — this allows you to change settings such as languages, labels and add comments. The dialogue box is similar to the creation dialogue box so see above for more information. This is also where you can choose to delete an existing glossary.
  • Glossary structure — this is where you can add fields to the glossary structure.

The glossary structure option opens the following dialogue:



The glossary structure has three levels — Position (or entry), Language and Term. This is helpful if, for example, you wanted to add a translated definition for each language or if you have multiple translations for an entry and want to add information at the term level. You can add fields at every level using the Level drop-down box (1). At each level, there will be fields available (2), some will repeat between levels. Choose the field you want to add and click on Add to List (3). The selected fields will appear in the bottom list (4). When you are done, click on Save (5).

It is also possible to create custom fields and the dialog box will display different options:


Choose a unique field name, the type of data that will be entered — text, number, Y/N, etc. — a default value if needed, comment and check if this will be a required field.

The glossary is now ready to be used. You can import data, link the glossary to a project and let project participants enrich the content. It is possible to edit both the structure and properties even after data has been added although if you delete fields, you might lose data contained in these fields.

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