The New Terminologist – An All Around Talent

The Translating for Europe Forum took place this week In Brussels and Rodolfo Maslias, Head of TermCoord, made a very engaging presentation focusing on the skills required from terminologists. I recommend you check out his full presentation as it gives an overview of the work that TermCoord is doing.

In TermCoord’s blog post “TermCoord presents their new profile for terminologists“, they indicate that the terminologist “nowadays needs to cover not only linguistic but also communication and technical skills in order to adapt to the huge challenge of gathering, selecting and connecting the accurate terminology with all kinds of new tools assisting and automating translation.” Read More

Phrase Miner: A term extraction macro

Who doesn’t love macros! I know I do. If you like to experiment, I have a task for you. Let me know what you think of this macro created by David Turner. It looks interesting, but I don’t have time to play with it right now, so take a look and let me know if you used it and how it worked. You need to send Mr. Turner an email: in order to get the file.

Click here to read about Phrase Miner: where you will also find some screenshots of how it works. Also, please note what the author says on his page: “PhraseMiner is available under the same conditions as CodeZapper, i.e. you pay a small, one-time development donation of twenty euros, which entitles you to free future updates”. Sounds like a good investment to me. If it works for you, you might be saving a lot of money as compared to buying more expensive tools.

I have added this to my TOOLBOX cloud tag. Happy mining!


VARIENG: Corpus Resource Database

I´m hoping no one is complaining about too many posts. This is what happens when you attend a conference and people are sharing information. So here is another little jewel: The VARIENG corpus search tool.

According to their home page, “VARIENG stands for the Research Unit for the Study of Variation, Contacts and Change in English. It also stands for innovative thinking and team work in English corpus linguistics and the study of language variation and change. VARIENG members study the English language, its uses and users, both today and in the past. We are interested in how language is situated in social, cognitive, textual and discourse contexts, and produced in speaker interaction; how language varies and changes in meaning and structure; and how change is connected with language typology.”

The corpora list looks like an Excel file with filters. You may start clicking to your heart´s content here:

I will save this post under my CORPORA tag in this blog´s cloud. Please remember to share the love!

Nine Terminology Extraction Tools: Are they useful for translators?

I am happy to share this 2016 article that was recently brought to my attention during the ATA Conference: Nine Terminology Extraction Tools: Are they useful for translators? by Hernani Costa, Anna Zaretskaya, Gloria Corpas Pastor and Miriam Seghiri from the University of Malaga.

Originally published in MultiLingual Magazine, the authors picked nine term-extraction tools to figure out if “they provide the translators´ most favourite features”. The tools revised are: MultiTerm, Simple Extractor, TermSuit, Sketch Engine, Translated s.r.l. Terminus, Rainbow, and JATE. Some of these are not so well-known, so if you have used them let us know in the comments.

I thought this would be a good complement to my recent post on a similar comparison of extraction tools. Enjoy!




Water terminology

A colleague and friend shared with me this list of water/hydrology glossaries that he received during a session on water conservation at ATA’s 28th conference. I usually don’t share glossaries, since there are a lot of places where you can get them online, but I thought the list of glossaries from the Euro-Mediterranean Information System is very comprehensive and worth taking a look.

  1. Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
  2. AQUASTAT. FAO’s global water information system. Search directly here:
  3. Water resources in the US (The United States Geological Survey)
  4. Lenntech’s water glossary. Lenntech is a water treatment company

And we all know Lexicool and its glossaries, but I’m sharing the link here too:

If you know any related termbases or glossaries dedicated to water, feel free to share in the comments.



Bilingual Terminology Extraction from TMX. A state-of-the-art overview

Take some time to go through this presentation “Bilingual Terminology Extraction from TMX. A state-of-the-art overview” by Terminologist Chelo-Vargas Sierra, published a year ago. I found this publication during a recent workshop on Terminology at ATA’s 58th Conference here in Washington.

Her presentation offers a quick overview of four term extraction tools: Multiterm Extract, SynchroTerm, Similis, and Sketch Engine. For precision, Similis takes first place, followed by Sketch Engine, SynchroTerm, and MultiTerm. For recall, SynchroTerm is at the top, followed by Similis, Sketch Engine, and MultiTerm. For extraction Similis is closely followed by SynchroTerm and for validation SynchroTerm takes second place while Similist takes first.

In the overall classification that takes into consideration effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, and context coverage,  SynchroTerm takes first prize, but followed closely by Sketch Engine, MultiTerm, and Similis.

In summary, it looks like all four tools have a lot to offer. In case you are still wandering which tool to get, I am sure this information will help you make a decision. In case you already have one, what do you think about these results? Which one is your favorite? I know for a fact that TermCoord uses SynchroTerm for IATE, which is a good sign that it is a good product.

P.S: If you ever need to come back to this post, I have added it to my cloud under the “toolbox” tag.

Attending ATA terminology sessions

Calling all terminology lovers who will be attending ATA this week. I’d like to know if you are attending ATA’s conference in Washington, D.C. this week. I will be attending a few terminology sessions and taking a lot of notes! I can’t wait to be there. Send me an email to,

I will be happy to report back to you with any new terminology insights I learn.


Love your Terms!

Motivated (or transparent) terms

When reading about the formation of new terms (neology), you might come across the term “motivated” or “transparent” term. A motivated term represents key features of a concept. Sonneveld and Loening on Chemical Neologisms note that “A term is motivated when a language user is able to deduce, at least partly, the meaning of the term from the analysis of its components. Words that respect the morphological laws are generally said to be motivated”. Termium defines it as “transparent term”, as follows: “A term whose meaning is readily understood from the form or meaning of its main components, e.g. energy-efficient building”.

In her article “High Tech Translation in the Information Age”, Heather Leighton provides an example with the term “thesaurus” and its translation into Spanish: “She gave me the example of the term “thesaurus” which is a word-processing feature in the software that her company markets. Pointing and clicking on the “thesaurus” arrow gives access to a drop-down menu of synonyms (called sinónimos) that the end user can choose from. The Spanish translation of “thesaurus” poses a problem since it is a word that designates two different concepts: thesaurus and treasure. In order to avoid this ambiguity, terminologists and translators choose a key characteristic of the concept as a suitable term. In this particular case, sinónimos was chosen instead of tesoro. Translators and terminologists refer to this as a motivated term: a term which represents an essential characteristic of the concept.”

And just as we have motivated terms, we also have unmotivated terms. Take for example, the financial term “greenmail*”. You would not be able to figure out its meaning just by analyzing its components; unless we start receiving some type of environmentally friendly mail in our mailboxes!

Sources and further reading:

Standardization of Technical Terminology: Principles and Practices. The Road to a Truly Authoritative Chemical Dictionary, Kurt. L. Loening

Essays of Terminology, Alain Rey


* Greenmail is the process in which a buyer acquires a large number of a target company’s shares and threatens a hostile takeover but, instead, forces the target company to then buy back their shares at a higher price. (Divestopedia)

The Basque Centre for Terminology and Lexicography (UZEI)

Last year, during the Eighth European Terminology Summit in Luxembourg, I had the pleasure and the honor to meet Imanol Urbieta, manager of the Basque Centre for Terminology and Lexicography (UZEI), and Begoña Arrate, a terminologist at UZEI. So after a short break from blogging, I am very pleased to start again by presenting a brief profile on UZEI.

The Basque Centre for Terminology and Lexicography has been providing linguistic services for almost four decades now. In fact, it will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018. Terminology is its core activity, the main outcome of which has been the creation of EUSKALTERM, a public terminology databank, which UZEI has maintained since 1989.

UZEI also focuses on other activities such as lexicography, linguistic corpus management, specialized translation, and software tool development. As a result, UZEI supports the lexicographic work of several task groups of The Royal Academy of the Basque Language (Euskaltzaindia), and is regarded as a technological agent by the Basque government. Moreover, it is a member of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network.

UZEI’s research activities have also resulted in the development of an advanced translation memory management program, a Basque spelling and lexical checker (HOBELEX), a Basque text anonymizer, as well as several diagnostic tools for terminology usage. Its line of work in language technology includes text corpus management, translation technologies, natural language processing tools, and the creation of terminology dictionaries and lexicons.

UZEI currently has a staff of 17 employees and an estimated budget of €800,000, 3% of which is allocated to research, development, and innovation.


I’m back!

Slowly but surely, I will restart publishing soon. It’s been about a month since my last post, but I had a few personal issues to deal with, from moving to a new place to closely monitoring my family’s situation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. As you know, I am originally from Costa Rica, but my older sister and her family have been living in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for many, many years. I finally got a call today from her saying that they are fine. We had heard from our nephew a few days after the hurricane that they were fine, but there’s nothing more reassuring than being able to talk to them after so many days without communication. There is a lot of damage in Puerto Rico. Food, gas, and water are scarce, but they are trying to get ahead.

I will start posting soon, but in the meantime, please look for a way (Red Cross or other organization) to make a donation for Puerto Rico.

Thank you to those who have been asking and I am deeply touched by your messages and a special welcome to the people who have been subscribing to my blog during my absence. The world is going through tough times, but it is our obligation to keep doing what we are doing, to take care of our friends and family and to help those in need.



Term Time: Terminology resources in Connections Magazine

It’s been a busy period for me. No vacation, mostly work and moving to a new apartment. I still need to get back on my feet, so I appreciate your patience. In the meantime, check out my latest contribution to the translation magazine Connections:

For other magazine editions visit my tag cloud TermTime



Corpus analysis: The Ugly Duckling of Translation

The American Translators Association blog, The Savvy Newcomer, published my guest post on corpus analysis. Check it out and, if you like it, share!

Corpus analysis: The Ugly Duckling of Translation