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April 17, 2024

The glossary is crucial for getting the best possible translations. Whether you’re using automatic translation or working with human translators, the glossary helps you get accurate translations from the start. 

On This Page:

Why the Glossary is So Important

Your website’s content likely contains words, phrases, or names with multiple meanings. For both human translators and automatic translation, such words can be difficult to translate.

WPML provides a glossary that you can use to add context and correct translations to any words and phrases. It allows you to define the text you add as a Name or proper noun or General term

This is especially important if you use automatic translations powered by DeepL. When DeepL automatically translates your WordPress site, it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make sure the general terms from your glossary fit well into your sentence and use correct grammar.

For other situations, like when you use Google Translate or Microsoft Azure, or languages not supported by DeepL, the Advanced Translation Editor displays the terms from the glossary as suggested translations. 

This is also helpful if you’re working with professional translators. It lets you maintain consistency in your translations and ensures the high quality of your website’s multilingual content.

How to Create Glossary Entries

You can easily add glossary entries and translations into each language by going to WPML → Translation Management. From there, click on the Tools tab and then the Glossary subtab.

  1. Click on the Add New Entry button.
  2. Enter the text you want to add to the glossary and add a description for it. The description is optional but recommended because it adds context.
  3. Select the source language of the text.
Adding a new glossary term

In the next step, you need to define the type of text you’re adding and enter the suggested translations. The type of text you add and your translation method determine how the translations appear in your secondary languages:

Name or Proper Noun

When you add a Name or proper noun to your glossary, it appears in the translations exactly as you enter it in the default language. However, if you’re using automatic translation, the translation engine might adjust these terms to fit the grammatical rules of the target language.

General term

In contrast to names and proper nouns, General terms offer more translation flexibility. However, the way the text appears in translations depends on your translation method. 

If you’re using automatic translation powered by the DeepL translation engine, artificial intelligence (AI) adapts the translation of a General term to the text. It makes sure the term uses correct grammar and follows the right sentence structure. This feature only works for DeepL and its supported languages.

In all other cases, the translations for General terms in the glossary serve as suggested translations. This includes the following scenarios:

  • When translating into languages not supported by DeepL
  • If you use translation engines Google Translate and Microsoft Azure
  • When working with professional translators
Adding a new glossary entry for a General term

Managing Glossary Entries 

After adding a new term, it will appear in a table in the Glossary tab. You can search through the entries and filter them by Type.

You can adjust a term’s text, change its type, edit its translations, or delete it.

Inserting Glossary Entries into Translations in the Advanced Translation Editor

When you use the Advanced Translation Editor to translate a post or page that includes terms from your glossary, you can see and insert the translations you specified in the glossary.

In this case, you will see the word highlighted in blue with a thin box around it. Hovering your mouse over the word will show you the suggested translation for it.

Hovering over a highlighted glossary term in the Advanced Translation Editor

Clicking on the Glossary terms icon in the Advanced Translation Editor also shows you information about the glossary term in the sentence.

Clicking on the glossary term icon when translating a page in the Advanced Translation Editor