Importance of glossary in legal and financial translations

Published on 30 May 11:26 by Sam Yip
Tags: translation   research   finance   legal   industry  

TranslateFX Importance of glossary in legal and financial translations

Having a glossary of defined terms for a translation project is essential. It plays a huge part in making sure translations are accurate and specific terms are translated consistently. Glossaries are especially critical in the case of financial and legal translations, but should also be employed for any localization project. Below are 3 reasons why glossaries are important:


The main reason for having a glossary is accuracy of translation. Every client is expecting their translations to be 100% accurate, and if a translator fails to adopt an industry- or company- specific glossary, he or she runs the risks of inaccurately translating a term in a way that is out of context. Simple words such as “revenue” may have 4-5 variations when translated into a different language, and without a glossary the translator will not know the most appropriate way to do their job.


Consistency is important, especially when it comes to recurring translations. A listed company’s announcements, for example, should be translated in a consistent style, and it would be unacceptable for a term to be translated differently each time. A glossary ensures all the key terms to be translated in the same way, and therefore the tone and communication of the company will also be consistent.

Translation Speed

Using a translation glossary can also speed up the translation process. When it comes to industry-specific and technical translation, a diligent translator will often spend a bulk of their time researching the background of each key term. Having a glossary in place will save the translator a tremendous amount of time doing such researching, and allow him to focus only on the translation itself.

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