Term base

How to work with term bases (previously: glossaries) in Phrase. A term base contains terms, their definitions & the meaning of the terminology unique to your business.

Term bases for translation

Term bases are part of our Advanced plan and higher.

A term base consists of terms, their definitions and the meaning of any terminology unique to your business. It helps your translators to identify terms and apply the correct translations which speeds up the translation process and improves consistency.

Set up a term base

  1. Go to “Organization” → “Term bases”
  2. Create a new term base (previously called glossary) and assign it to projects or Spaces. When a term base is assigned to a Space, any new project that is added to this Space will automatically have the term base assigned to it.

    Add Glossary to Space
  3. Go to the term base detail page by clicking on the entry, and add terms by following the “Add term” link.


Terms in the term base (previously: glossary terms) are used to highlight matching words or phrases in your translations. This tells your translators which terms should be translated and how.

For example your company name (e.g. “Apple”), should never be translated in any language. For this you should select the Use term for all languages option when creating a new term:

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Terms that are marked as “translatable” however, (e.g. the word “Save”) can be translated in each language but in a consistent way through predefined term translations. In that case, you should select Term can be translated and add translations for all desired languages:

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Using the term base during translation

When working in the translation editor, you will find matching terms from the term base highlighted in the source translation and listed with additional information in the term base tab located in the sidebar:

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You can easily insert a term from the term base in the target translation by clicking on the Insert button next to each listed term.

Phrase will also validate the presence of the terms listed in the term base tab while typing. That way your translators can easily verify if all terms are used correctly while translating. The following states will be visualized next to each term in the list by using different colors:

  • Grey: not yet validated
  • Green: present in target translation
  • Orange: missing in target translation

Upload terms via CSV

You can also import your terms to Phrase via CSV. To upload a file, simply select

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And then upload the file using the upload dialog:

CSV file structure

A typical CSV file for a term base is structured like this:

term,case_sensitive,translatable,description,en-GB,de, ...
"PhraseApp",true,false,"","","", ...
"",true,true,"When clicking on a button save something","Save",
"Speichern", ...

The first line must contain the column names (“header”) and can also contain multiple locale codes. Each following row then describes an actual term in your term base.

Supported columns are:


The term used as an identifier.


If set to true, the term is set as translatable.

case sensitive                         

If set to true, the term is case sensitive.


A description of the term, e.g. when to use it.

The order of the columns does not matter. The file must contain only valid locale codes and must not contain any unknown columns.

A minimal file must contain at least the locale codes and may omit other columns:

Download terms via CSV

Similar to the import you can export terms via CSV. To download your term base simply select


What if I have several terms for one term?
Terms in the term base are shown on the right side. You can select the matching key from this list.