Glossary Creation Workshop


After this lesson, you should be able to: 

  • Learn what is a glossary and why you need it.
  • Understand the process of creating a glossary for your locale team.
  • Methodologically and collaboratively make a decision for a translation of a term even when there are multiple conflicting opinions from contributors.


  • Translation editors
  • General translators

1: Intro/Overview

(10 minutes)

Why spend time creating a glossary?

  • Have you experienced…
    • Wrong translation submissions from new contributors
    • PTEs approving wrong translations
    • Translation disagreement
    • Spending too much time on correcting the same mistakes
  • Why a locale glossary is necessary
    • Builds a common ground to work as a team
    • A low-friction tool to communicate the correct way to translate
      • Avoids emotional stress/bad feelings among contributors
      • (shows a sample of good vs bad communication)
  • What is a WordPress locale glossary?
    • A collection of terms and definitions (translations)
    • Includes terms that tend to be inconsistent
  • Who should create a glossary
    • The whole team should contribute to keep it well-covered and up to date
    • Only GTEs have permission to make updates, but they should be open to suggestions
      • If anyone has trouble getting help from GTEs, please let the global mentors know
      • GTEs are responsible for explaining why the decided translations were chosen
        • Avoid “because it feels right to me”, if you can, and use reference sources to show that the glossary translation is commonly used in the context (usually in the tech field)

2: Mini-work #1

(5 minutes)

Find a link to a translation/writing glossary for other projects or publications in your language.

If it’s hard to find one, try a web search for other variations in your language, such as “term list”, “term base”, “terminology list”, “terminology database”.

You may need to add a name of specific projects or brand to your search, such as Mozilla, Microsoft, or Please note that some glossaries may include the definition of the terms instead of translations.

After you find one, look through it – do you find any terms that can be helpful to have in your team’s WordPress glossary?

3: Glossary Creation Process

(10 minutes)

4: Mini-work #2

(5 minutes)

Select 5 or more high-priority terms you think should be in your locale glossary.

Use the methods explained earlier:

  • Common variations and mistakes
  • Pick frequently translated terms in the consolidated glossary.
  • Search for rejected terms using the filter on

If there are multiple translators from the same locale, try to work together.

5: Deciding on Glossary Translations

(10 minutes)

There are some tips for making a decision on a translation. I’ll share some of them here, but you don’t have to use all of them. These tips are useful especially when you have disagreements among your team members.

  • Search for a commonly used translation
    • Software and services – especially document authoring tools (eg Microsoft Word, Google Docs, other blogging services)
    • Popular mobile OS/apps
    • Other OSS CMS/software (Linux, Mozilla…)
    • Wikipedia (country names and other general terms)
  • Use Google search to find popularly used terms
    • It can be useful when comparing frequently used terms
    • For some languages, the Ngrams tool is available. Maybe more languages will be added in the future
  • Use translation tools to review translation examples
  • Any other ways?

6: Mini-work #3

(5 minutes)

Translate the terms you found for mini-work #2 and write down the explanation of the decisions.

If there are multiple translators from the same locale, try to work together by using the same list of terms.

7: Tips on Making a Decision as a Team

(5 minutes)

First of all, you will need a place for discussion. Teams often use their locale Slack. If you don’t have anything yet, you can get started by using the Team P2 on your Rosetta site.


  • Do’s:
    • Explain your opinion using references
    • Use a form, Slack emoji, or other tool to take a vote
    • Be open to different perspectives
    • Remember that you’re translating for the audience
      • Who will be reading the text (non-technical users, developers, etc)?
      • Which decision will help them use WordPress with the least confusion?
    • Go back and change translations if there are new, better ones
    • Discussing over a video call is great but make sure to keep the decision-making reasoning in writing for later reference, especially if the discussion takes longer than usual
  • Don’ts
    • Attack or diminish others
    • Get too attached to your own perspective
    • Make a decision behind closed doors or only among selected members
    • Try to put everything in the glossary
      • Only the ones that tend to have inconsistency need to go in

8: Mini-work #4 (Optional)

(5 minutes)

If there are multiple members from the same locale team:

Use the tips above and try to resolve disagreement(s). Share which method was helpful.

9: Recap

(5 minutes)

Basically, repeating these will eventually build a good glossary!

  1. Find key terms
  2. Translate them
  3. Come to a consensus of the translation as a team

10: Mini-work #5

(5 minutes)

What’s your next action plan for enhancing your glossary?

For example:

  • Add 10 more frequently used terms to the glossary
  • Hold a glossary creation workshop for your team
  • Post to Team P2 about terms that are inconsistent