The Pan-Latin Terminology Network and its multilingual glossaries

realiter TerminologyCreated in 1993, the Pan-Latin Terminology Network (Realiter) brings together individuals, institutions and bodies that actively work in terminology in Neo-Latin languages, that is, Romance languages: Each language is represented in The Realiter Committee as follows:

  • Catalan: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Spanish: (Spain, Mexico and Argentina) Universidad de Salamanca, El Colegio de México, Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
  • French: (France, Canada) Université de Paris III, Bureau de la traduction
  • Galician: (Spain) Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
  • Italian: Università del Sacro Cuore di Milano
  • Portuguese: (Portugal and Brazil) Universidade do Algarve and Universidade de São Paulo
  • Romanian: Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti

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Code of Good Practices for Copyright in Terminology

code of goodprAfter having completed the Advanced course as Terminology Manager by TermNet, I received with my certification a complimentary copy of the Guide for Terminology Agreements, also available online. I have mentioned it before, but I think it’s important to highlight its Code of Good Practices.

The Code of Good Practices is Part 2 of the Guide and it is a great quick read (only 3 pages) to increase your awareness on this important subject. I summarize its contents here to peak your interest and encourage you to read it.

First, let’s take a quick look at its five General observations:

  1. The importance of terminologies: Short note on how terminology transpires in every basic scientific and technical area.
  2. Cooperation in Terminology Work: Explains why cooperation among institutions is key to promoting joint collaboration to avoid duplication of efforts, especially considering how time consuming and labor intensive terminology work is. Information exchange allows institutions to complement or build on the work carried out by others and leverage knowledge, with the appropriate acknowledgement given to the originators of data.
  3. Applicability of intellectual property rights to terminology: Any representation of concepts (e.g. a term entry or a collection of terms) created or prepared by you as originator is protected by intellectual property.
  4. Call for the provision of terminologies: You basically have an ethical duty to share with the users any terminological work that you create, “on terms and conditions which reflect the nature of the terminologies in each case”.

Then, the Code itself has four sections. Let’s take a look:

  1. Originators’ intellectual property: (i) Always indicate the origin of the terminological data; (ii) large volumes of data only require to be referenced once but the user must acknowledge the originator as owner of such data; (iii) for data marketed by the originator, the user must obtain permission before sharing it with third parties; (iv) except for research or teaching purposes and for individual entries or a limited set of individual entries, you cannot share without the previous consent of the originator; (v) abide by agreements made on licenses and royalties; (vi) organizations with many users must make sure that the data is not downloaded or copied without authorization of the originator.
  2. Data integrity: (i) you cannot make any changes to the data, except for typos and obvious mistakes; (ii) observe data integrity when working with sensitive information for individual items or data collections; (iii) do not share private or confidential data without previous consent of originator.
  3. Standardized terminology: (i) standards bodies and specialist organizations may and are urged to share terminological data among them to improve its quality and volume; (ii) terminological records must indicate its originator, be it a single item or a collection of items; (iii) standards bodies should provide language equivalents of data received by its peer organizations and, if possible, free of charge; (iv) active exchange of data among and between standards bodies and other institutions is encouraged; (v) standards bodies must negotiate a license agreement with the originating standards body when sharing information from the originator.
  4. Limited quotations of terminological data for scientific, research, teaching and training purposes: You don´t need to follow these rules for very limited extracts of individual terminological data or when dealing with limited data in scientific publications as long as you don’t violate data integrity rules and acknowledge the originator.

In addition to the Code, there’s a 10-term glossary at the end of the Guide (Part 3) for associated information, copyright holder, database, data usage, originator, quality of data, quantity of data, subject field, supplier, and terminology database.

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog post is a summary of the Code as interpreted by the writer with the purpose of giving the reader a quick overview of its contents. You must read and abide by the Code to make decisions on the use of your data. Thank you.


Guide to Terminology Agreements, Christian Galinski and Jürgen W. Goebel, InfoTerm, 2006. available online.

Image source


Fall and winter terminology training events by TermNet

TermNetRegistration is open for TermNet’s Terminology Management online courses: The Basic and the Advanced courses will take place from October-December 2015. Visit the following page to sign up:

In winter 2015, they will start NEW ONLINE COURSES particularly tailored to the needs of professionals dealing with terminology in:


For these new courses please contact Gabriele Sauberer at

Take opportunity of the discounts they offer for:

  • TermNet Members (25% discount)
  • Early Birds (Register before September 15th 2015 and get 15% discount)
  • DTT (German Terminology Association) Members (20% discount)
  • AILIA (Canadian Language Industry Association) Members (20% discount)


Using Google Ngram Viewer to draw graphs from corpora

google ngram viewOne of the things I love about writing this blog is receiving feedback from my readers. Terminologist Licia Corbolante, owner of the blog in Italian, terminologia etc, reminded me of this tool after reading my most recent blog post on corpora. So I thought I’d share it with you as another useful tool and copy her message literally.

“Let me add Google Ngram Viewer, a tool that lets you draw graphs from a collection of corpora obtained from books in English (worldwide, but also American and British English), French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Spanish, simplified Chinese. Read More

Get to know (and use!) your English corpora: BNC, GloWbE, COCA, COHA and more!

corpusDocumenting yourself during you terminological research is essential for terminology work, especially if you’re dealing with an unknown topic, regardless of your target language. Corpora gather the works of subject-matter experts using concordancers that allow us to look at terms in their context. It also allows you to see the variations of language throughout time. Corpora from 2 through 5 presented here were created by Mark Davies, professor of Linguistics at Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah, USA. Read his University profile here. Read More

Brushing up on your terminology skills

refreshersAugust is here and you will probably have just a few hours a week to freshen up your terminology skills. So I’m back on terminology ON mode with a little reminder of what you can do. It might not be news for some of you, but since I have quite a few new followers I wanted to point them into the right direction. Here is my advice: Read More

Short break

breakJust a short note to let you know that I’m taking a break for about 2-3 weeks. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. Do you have any special request? Is there a terminology topic that interests you? Do you have someone in mind for my section “Who is Who in Terminology”?

If you do, contact me (click here), and I’ll be happy to oblige to the best of my ability. I will be writing a lot after my break, so take advantage of this opportunity. :-)

See you soon!



ISO’s Online Browsing Platform (terms and definitions)

ISOYou are probably aware that every technical standard published by ISO has a corresponding terminology. So you have access to reliable terms and definitions. It is indeed one of the little known sources to look for terms and definitions. The browsing platform allows you to search standards, collections, publications, graphical symbols, country codes, and, most importantly for terminologists, terms and definitions.

The languages available are English, French, Russian, Spanish and German. You can search by alphabetical order, by relevance, and view basic or full entries, among other useful options. On the left side of the screen you can see the language, the committees involved with the term or definition, as well as the technical sectors, the publication year, and the type of standard.

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Writing your first terminological definition

energyWriting your first terminological definition might be a bit overwhelming. So how do you start? Well, many authors seem to agree that the most widely used type of definition is the intensional definition. I recommend you consult the sources below for more information as this is just a brief introduction to the subject, especially if you are going to be writing a lot of definitions for your termbase.

First, let’s review the ideas of superordinate, subordinate, and coordinate concepts. Let’s say we have three levels: The top level is superordinate and refers to the general topic (e.g. energy), the second level is subordinate and refers to those specific concepts under the general topic (e.g., (i) renewable energy or (2) nonrenewable energy) and the third level is coordinate and refers to same-level concepts (e.g., (1) wind, solar, bio, geothermal energies, etc. or (2) fossil fuels, coal, petroleum, etc.).

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Terminology: The DNA of Translation

TermDNABreathe in, breathe out. Open and close your eyes. Every little movement in our body is imperceptible. Every time you perform an action, DNA is covertly spinning its wheels, “writing the instruction manual on building the life that defines us”, as the BBC Knowledge and Learning puts it.

DNA is written in a four-lettered alphabet (a combination of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs) in which words make up sentences that the cells encode and decode in a special language. And there are rules that can’t be broken: Every A goes with a T and every C pairs up with every G. They are like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together and that not only complement each other but also act like a backup for the other to save vital genetic information–information that gets imprinted in a beautiful and intricate double helix.

Now, imagine a similar situation with your translation…

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The European Association for Terminology (EAFT)


It was 18 years ago that a consortium of 40 major stakeholders in the European terminology field carried out the work that lead to the creation of the EAFT. Their goal was “to create a set of concrete recommendations for activities leading to a co-ordinated but flexible terminology infrastructure for Europe”. It was called the POINTER project, which stands for “Proposals for an Operational Infrastructure for Terminology in Europe”. One year later, in 1996, one of those recommendations called for the creation of the EAFT “as a non-profit professional association for terminologists in Europe. […] At first, the grouping should be loose and relatively unstructured, but it should aim in the long term to become a true professional association…”1

And, indeed, it has become a true professional association. Nineteen years later, the accomplishments of the EAFT in the promotion of the terminology profession have been outstanding not only in Europe but also outside its multicultural borders (It has established co-operation agreements with institutions such as Realiter, the Pan-Latin terminology network). It has developed activities in the form of workshops, symposiums, summits, seminars and conferences. Their first terminological summit took place in Brussels in June 2002 when they presented the “Brussels Declaration for International Cooperation on Terminology”,2 which includes 13 different actions to promote special language communication. Currently the Declaration is available in 20 languages. You can read the English version here.

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From the terminologist toolbox: Rafael Guzman’s “T-Manager”

TManagerA few weeks ago, translator Nancy Matis (@nancy_matis) sent me an email asking if I knew about this terminology tool. Indeed, I actually didn’t have it among my terminology tools but I did find it in Maria Pia Montoro’s blog, Wordlo. (By the way, if you haven’t visited, Maria Pia has a complete list of Terminology Management Systems and Free Online Terminology Tools and Extractors –a much more comprehensive list that the one I have in my blog.)

Anyway, I have been reading about this tool and Rafael Guzman, it’s developer, sent me some additional information that you might also find informative and useful.

T-Manager doesn’t need any installation, as it is embedded in an Excel workbook. You can download it for free in his webpage. Once you download it there’s a tab called “ReadMe” which contains important information. He has also added online demos and case studies that he updates from time to time. Read More

Linked Data: Connecting the terminology dots

Linked Data: Connecting the terminology dots

Last Saturday Rodolfo Maslias (TermCoord) shared in Twitter his post titled “One big cloud: All Terminology – All Languages”,1 a recount of the Datathon 2015 (Spain), in which he was a keynote speaker. The event was the first Datathon on Linked Data applied to Linguistics and it was offered in the form of a “summer school”, allowing participants (linguists and engineers) “to migrate their own (or other’s) linguistic data and publish them as Linked Data on the Web” or, in Rodolfo’s words, “to link terminology data in one multilingual cloud covering all domains of institutional, academic and industrial activity”.

In his post, Rodolfo gives an overview of the rationale behind the need to link data on the web: The large amount of information from business and academia that is being shared in the web needs to be interconnected in “one unique terminology cloud”. The methods being used to gather that information get rid of duplicates that are unavoidably created then those resources are brought together to the same space and to make data interoperable.

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Link to’s Top 25 list

In the excitement and the rush of writing my previous post, I forgot to add the link.


In My Own Terms voted 5th best blog by

celebrateI was hoping to make the 25 list, and today I woke up to tweets by Licia Corbolante and Maria Pia Montoro saying that I made it to the top 10 and In My Own Terms is the 5th Top Language Professional blog!

Thanks to you, my dear friends, this is possible. I’m grateful to you for your support and your enthusiasm.

Licia’s blog terminologia etc made it to the 6th place. It’s the first time that two blogs on terminology make it to the top 10 list!

Special thanks to Rodolfo Maslias and TermCoord staff too.

Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Obrigada! Let the celebration start!