Monday, May 25, 2015

Interpreters’ glossaries best practices

This is a follow up post to the previous one, in which I asked your thoughts on what are good practices when building a glossary.

This time I’m going to tell you what we, at Interpreters’ Help, believe is good practice. This is also what is taught at certain schools.

A good glossary has:

- A precise name in opposition to broad one
- A short description
- No more than 300 lines
- Short cell content (no more than 10 words)

Applied to Interpreters’ Help:
- It has relevant tags
- Use columns already available in the list whenever possible, as it provides coherence between your different glossaries

To the question: is it better to have one big glossary or a lot of small ones ?

We think it’s better to have a lot of small glossaries and we have built Interpreters’ Help around that idea.

While only one glossary has the advantage of having everything in one place, it has also downsides:
- if you lose it, you lose everything
- A big file means a slower search, more noise in the search results, more doubles
- It acts rather like a database, it looses the specificity

Having multiple glossaries makes it easier to keep a history of glossaries for a specific assignment, makes it easier to reuse and to collaborate on.

On Interpreters’ Help, we currently have two tools that let you search through all your glossaries, select or deselect a glossary really quickly to be or not added in your search.
  • « BoothMate » a dedicated Mac OSX that let you search without the need of an Internet connection.
  • « Global search » which is an online search (it’s currently in beta, available here: when signed in)