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! 

Elevator Speech for Terminology

elevator speechHow many times have you had to explain why managing terminology is important? Probably more than you would want. The arguments could be convincing to some people, not to some other, especially if you have to ask for money!

First of all, what is an elevator speech or pitch? It´s a short explanation of a service or product to convince someone of its value, and it comes from the idea that you should be able to explain it in the short amount of time that an elevator ride takes. You have only 30 seconds, which is equivalent to about 80 words or 8 to 10 sentences.

Can we come up with a convincing elevator speech for terminology? I would like to hear your ideas or proposals of an elevator speech. How can you convince or at least pique someone’s interest to learn more? Read More

Who’s Who in Terminology: Ingrid Meyer (1957-2004)

whoiswho2A renowned lexicographer and terminologist, Ingrid Meyer held a BA in French and German from McMaster University (Canada), an MA in Translation and a PhD in Linguistics, both from the University of Montreal (Canada). She worked as a professor at the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa (Canada), a position that she held from 1983 until the time of her death.

She worked primarily at the intersection of language and computing. Some of Ingrid’s most notable achievements include her pioneering research into the development of terminological knowledge bases and a variety of corpus-based studies, including investigations of terminological metaphor, de-terminologization, phraseology and the identification of knowledge-rich contexts via lexical patterns. Read More

Sunday, 14 June: Last day to vote for In My Own Terms!

nervous2Hello, dear friends.

I haven’t been very active lately, due to work overload, but I will be soon. So, in the meantime, if you haven’t done so yet, please vote for my blog. Tomorrow, Sunday, 14th is the last day to vote. You can only vote once but you can do it from different computers and connected to different wifis.

So, let’s see how we do. Results will be published this coming Wednesday, June 17!

Here’s the link: Language Professional Blogs 2015

Thank you!



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Terminology fun with Google Fight

Igoogle fightf you haven’t heard about Google Fight then you are missing the fun of comparing two words or terms and see which one is the most popular in Google, that is, which one is more frequently used.

Although this is just to have fun, it can come in handy when you are writing or trying to decide which word or term to use. Take for example “term base” or “termbase”: you get 15.400 results for the first one and 6,680 for the second one (Put them between quotes, otherwise you won’t get exact results).

Terminology versus Terminography? 6.910.000 results versus 1.700 results.

Give it a try!

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An infographic, an article and two videos: New terminological resources

terminology resourcesI’m always so happy to find new resources for my blog, because I can share it with you and expand my resource lists so that you can always come back to them when you need them. This time they came in the form of an infographic, an article and two videos. Read More

You can only vote for my blog once

I wanted to let you know that I wrote to the organizers of the contest to clarify how many times you can vote for a blog and they have informed me today that you can only vote ONCE. Actually, they were going to change the wording of their rules because it was a bit confusing.

So, if you haven’t voted yet, please do so and share the link with friends and colleagues. I really appreciate your vote. The contest will close on June 14.

Best regards and thank you!