How to Create Glossaries Using TermWiki

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Creating glossaries (either monolingual—with only one language—or multilingual) is a widely recognized best practice for individual content developers and companies alike. On an enterprise level, glossaries validated by subject-matter experts help improve the consistency of your documentation, thereby improving customer experience and even helping you save costs on translation later on down the road (if your company actively engages in localization to drive global market share). Similarly, freelance content developers and translators alike can significantly reduce their workload by importing glossaries into content management systems and computer-aided translation (CAT) tools. is a free social learning network built around the concept of industry-specific, terminology-driven knowledge sharing in 75 languages. Through the site’s free My Glossary portal, registered members of the TermWiki community can develop, maintain, edit and store their personal glossaries in a centralized and secure online environment. Through this portal, users can even share their glossaries with peers and colleagues, seek their input, discuss terminology-related issues in dedicated discussion forums, and also keep track of any changes made to glossaries all throughout this collaborative process. The site also supports import and export functions, so that fully developed glossaries can be integrated with a variety of content management systems for live use on writing and translation projects.

The following article is a concise, step-by-step tutorial of how you can sign up for your own free account at and use the site’s My Glossary function to its fullest potential for your personal and professional benefit.

Step One: Sign Up for Your Free TermWiki Account

Visit and click Sign up for a free account, then follow the instructions that follow. Registration is completely free and only takes a few moments.

Step Two: Start a New Glossary

After logging in, find and click on the My Glossary link that is located in the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the page. On the My Glossary page, click Add your glossary now to start developing your new glossary.

You will be directed to the New Glossary page, which contains multiple data fields that are essential to properly labeling and categorizing your new glossary in the system. All fields marked with a red asterisk (*) are mandatory, so fill them out to the best of your ability in order to identify the industry or domain to which your glossary is most applicable.

Under Target Languages you can also specify if your glossary will be in English only or multilingual. Users who would like to create a multilingual glossary will need to check off their target languages in the available field. If you would like to receive automatic notifications whenever the terms in your glossary are edited by other community members, check the Notify Me box towards the bottom of the screen. When all of the data fields are accurately filled, click Submit to create your new glossary, which now needs to be filled with terms.

Step Three: Add Terms to Your New Glossary

Your new glossary homepage contains two different functions for populating the glossary with data: Add a new Term manually and Import Terms. If you have more than ten terms, it is recommended that you use the Import Terms function to upload your terms in bulk via a tailored Excel file.

To manually add a new term to your glossary, click the Add a new Term button, then in the form that appears enter the name of the term and its part of speech. You may notice that the information in the Industry and Product Category fields is locked. This is to ensure that these tags are consistent within your glossary. After entering the term name and its part of speech, click Add or edit term to continue.

The following page has more data fields for you to enter detailed information about the term. You will need to enter the definition of the term, which must be at least one sentence to ensure the consistency and quality of term entries throughout the system. You also have the option of entering synonyms, uploading illustrative images and sound files, as well as any company or product name to which the term is relevant.

After entering data for all required fields (which are marked with an asterisk [*]), click Save to add the new term to your glossary.

Step Four: Import Terms in Bulk (if applicable)

To import terms in bulk, click the Import terms button on your glossary’s homepage. The page that follows contains a downloadable Excel template, which you will need to download and complete. In the Excel file, make sure to enter a definition, part of speech, and industry/product fields that already exist as standards in the system. The usage status for each term should be entered as “New” or be left empty.

When importing terms in bulk via TermWiki’s import feature, you can import English source terms alone or in multiple languages at once. If you are importing a monolingual glossary, make sure to add your terms into the worksheet named “EN,” which is a tab that you can select at the bottom of the spreadsheet in Excel. EN is the two letter ISO code for English.

If you want to import a bilingual (or multilingual) glossary, then you will need to fill in all the data fields in the spreadsheet named after your target language. For example, term translations in English-to-Italian glossaries should be entered in the “IT” tab that can be found at the bottom of your spreadsheet.

After saving the completed Excel file to your local hard drive, you can directly upload your terms to My Glossary by clicking Choose File on the Import Page, selecting the correct file on your hard drive, clicking Open in the dialogue box, and then clicking Import on the main page.

Please note that it may take some time before imported terms show up in your glossary. This is because, in order to promote quality and consistency in the system, all terms imported en masse must first be reviewed by system administrators for quality.

Step Five: Translate Your Terms

If you imported your terms in bulk, you can also upload their translations in the same file. Alternatively, you can also translate individual terms in your glossary right within your browser.

To translate a term in your glossary, click the “T” button next to the term that you would like to translate. Note that in glossaries with more than one target language, you will need to click the “T” button in the specified column of the language into which you would like to translate.

Alternatively, to translate all terms at the same time, click the “Ta” bottom at the top of the column, which will take you to the TermWiki Workbench. While translating terms in the TermWiki termbench, you can click the “G” button to see machine translation suggestions. Review the machine translated output as needed, and then click Save to add the translations of the terms to your glossary.

Step Six: Share Your Glossary with Peers and Colleagues

TermWiki was designed to facilitate collaborative content development workflows. Terms and glossaries can be shared, reviewed and commented on by multiple parties at the same time. Glossary owners can also invite colleagues to add translations in their own language.

On your glossary’s homepage, clicking the Share button provides others with a pathway to view and amend your glossary. After receiving your invitation, they are able to make comments and review your terms. All you need do is to provide your name (as you would like it to appear in the email invitation that TermWiki sends), the name of the person whom you’d like to invite, and their email address. Those you invite to view and edit your glossary will be sent an invitation e-mail from TermWiki that links them to your glossary. If they are already members of the TermWiki community, they can start reviewing your glossary immediately. If the person you invite does not have a TermWiki account, they will need to sign up first (it’s free!) before contributing.

To invite other users to translate your terms, click Invite. In addition to the required details described above, you will also need to indicate the target language into which you would like them to translate your terms.

Step Seven: Exporting Your Completed Glossaries

If you would like to integrate your glossaries with content management systems (CMS) or computer-aided translation (CAT) tools, you can export them whenever needed your My Glossary portal on TermWiki. To export a glossary, select the glossary that you would like to export on your glossary homepage. Next, click Export terms to Excel. Choose the target languages that you would like to export, as well as any relevant data fields, then click Submit to export your glossary.

The exported Excel file will be split into different spreadsheets by language. You can use the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to navigate between languages.

Changing Glossary Settings

When viewing a glossary page, you can update the glossary’s settings—e.g. change the industry or target languages, etc.—by clicking the Edit button that can be found along the top navigation bar. Make sure to save all changes before leaving the page.

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For more information about creating a glossary in TermWiki, go to

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How to Create Glossaries Using TermWiki

This article was published on 2011/08/03