Apple glossaries compatible with Windows CAT tools

When translating software strings for an iOS app or an Apple App Store app description, your terminology should match Apple’s terminology.

Apple allows software developers and translators to download bilingual glossaries that enable them to consistently localize apps for Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple Watch.

The following tutorial explains how to prepare Apple’s glossaries for use in your favorite CAT tool running under Windows.



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Download Apple glossaries

Apple provides free bilingual glossaries for the following operating systems: iOS (iPhoneOS), iPadOS, tvOS, macOS, and watchOS. You must register with Apple’s Developer Network to be able to download them. If you already have an Apple ID, you can use it to sign in and register with the network.

  • Sign in to Apple’s Developers Network and enter the verification code for two-factor authentication, if applicable.
  • Click the Downloads menu item, and then click More (or All) at the top right of the page.Apple menu
  • In the search box of the Download tab, filter on the keyword Glossaries.
  • Select the glossary for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, macOS or watchOS as required and then click the plus sign (+) next to the relevant glossary. A list of DMG files appears, alphabetically sorted by country (the source language of all bilingual packages is English).
  • Click the language package you want to download, and in the dialog box that opens, select the folder where you want to save the file. Take note of the file location.

Extract glossary with 7-Zip

The DMG files you downloaded are image files for the Apple Macintosh. In order to use these files in Windows, you have to extract and convert them. The extracting is done with the free open source tool 7-Zip.

  • Open 7-Zip and browse to the folder where you saved the DMG file earlier.
  • Select the required DMG file, click Extract, and then click OK.

7-Zip extracts the DMG files by default to the same directory in a folder with the name of the selected language. If you open this folder, you will see that hundreds of files with the extension .lg have been extracted (e.g. for macOS Dutch there are 678 files).

Import glossary in Xbench

Next, you need to convert the released LG files into an editable bilingual TMX file format that can be used in your CAT tool. You can use ApSIC Xbench to do this. Xbench version 2.9 is available as free download.

  • Open ApSIC Xbench, click Project/New, and then in the Project Properties dialog box, click Add.
  • In the Add Files to Project dialog box, on the File Type tab, select Mac OS X Glossary, and then click Next.
  • On the File List tab, click Add File, and in the Add Glossary dialog box, browse to the folder where you saved the LG files. Filter on LG files by entering the character combination *.lg in the empty box next to File name, and press Enter.
  • Xbench will show all LG files. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + A to select all files, and click Open. Xbench includes the selected LG files in the project. Click Next, and on the Properties tab, click OK.

You will return to the file list on the Files tab. Make sure you’ve selected all required files, and if necessary, correct by adding or removing files. Next, click OK.

Xbench will import the glossary. Verify if the glossary has been imported successfully and returns useful results by entering a common keyword in the Source Term search box – e.g. Translate.

Convert glossary to TMX

Next, we have Xbench convert the imported glossary into a TMX file and export it for implementation in your CAT tool.

  • In Xbench, click Tools/Export Items. In the File Name text box of the dialog window, enter a file name and choose a file location by clicking the ellipsis icon (...) and browsing to the desired folder. Then, under Language, choose the Source and Target of your language combination.
  • Next, click OK. Xbench will export the bilingual glossary to the specified directory.

Import Apple glossary in CAT tool

The exported TMX files are now ready to be imported in your CAT tool. Below, I show you how to do that in memoQ.

Because Translation Memory eXchange is an XML-based open standard for exchanging glossaries, TMX files are compatible with most if not all modern CAT tools.

  • Open a project in memoQ, go to Project Home and click Term bases. In the ribbon, click Create/Use New, fill in the appropriate information, and click OK.
  • Select the newly created term base and click Import Terminology in the ribbon. In the dialog box, browse to the directory where you saved the Apple glossary in TMX format. Select the file and click Open.
  • In the dialog box that opens, verify the language combination and optionally add default values. Click OK.

memoQ will import the TMX files. Depending on your computer’s memory and the number of glossaries you’re importing, this process may take some time.

If the import was successful, a number shows up in the information bar next to entries indicating the number of imported entries. Click Edit to view all entries.

Clean up term base

Having merged the terminology of different operating systems in the previous steps, duplicates have accumulated in the final term base. Read on to see how you can clean up the term base in memoQ.

  • In Project Home go to Term Bases, select the term base you want to clean and then click Edit.
  • The term base will open in the Term Base Editor. In the ribbon, click Show Duplicates.

Let’s start by consolidating all entries that are identical for both languages.

  • In the screen Filter for Duplicates on the tab Filter for under All Terms Same for select the radio button Both [source and target].
  • Click OK. memoQ displays groups of duplicate entries.
  • To merge each group into a single entry, click the Merge Selection button.

Next, let’s merge all entries that contain all identical source (or target) language terms. All metadata of the individual entries are merged into the master entry.

  • In the screen Filter for Duplicates on the tab Filter for under All Terms Same for select the radio button [Source Language] or [Target Language] as required.
  • On the tab Duplicates Not Automatically Selected as Master under Text Metadata Values for Merged Entries select the radio button Concatenate Using Commas.
  • Click OK. memoQ displays groups of duplicate entries.
  • To merge each group into a single entry, click the Merge Selection button.

To add a term pair to the Apple term base, press keyboard shortcut Ctrl + E or Ctrl + Q.

You are now ready to use the term base for your Apple translation project. Do you also need to provide a translation for Android? Then take into account the 8 translation differences between iOS and Android in Dutch.