Canadian Language Industry Association – Terminology

ailia_logoI just added to my resources in French the information on the Canadian Language Industry Association (Association de l’Industrie de la Langue), that has a great section on terminology work in Canada. The page is bilingual English/French. The Terminology section has seven subsections which I summarize below (plus 3 interviews to renowned Canadian terminologists).

1. What is Terminology?: A definition of terminology compared to lexicology.
2. Terminology Nuances: The different nuances of Terminology as a discipline, as a set of terms, etc.; what distinguishes a term from other lexical units; and which challenges led to the creation of Termium. Read More

Overcoming Terminologiphobia: Causes and cures!

Phobia-SymptomsIt was professor Mark D. Childress who referred to this term in his article “Terminologiphobia” in a Multilingual Magazine article published in June 2006. It was a fun article about how he had to deal on a daily basis with the terminology phobias that students had when dealing with terminology management for the first time. It was a run-for-your-life feeling that kept them on edge.

I smiled when I read his article because I remembered the first time I myself approached the overwhelming task of learning about terminology. Why is this fear so common among translators and other professionals when we deal with terminology every day? From a visit to the dentist to a call to our bank, or lawyer (well, unless you haven’t paid your debts, of course!). We deal with terminology every day!

The funny part is that it is precisely that contact with specialized terminology which has made it so scary. We always wanted our doctor to go straight to the point and “speak our language”, and Childress suggests that those negative experiences with terminology makes people fearful. A powerful psychological factor I should say!

Professor Childress makes a suggestion to Terminology teachers and instructors, which is to basically make it a more approachable and practical subject.

This is why I created this blog. And do what I did to overcome the fear: start slow. Read the basics first. You have great information on the Internet today. Check out my basic Readings in Terminology, visit TermCoord’s webpage to learn about their traineeships and know about the universities that offer courses, or just check out their e-books and follow their blog for interesting and entertaining posts. Check out BIK terminology for practical cases on terminology work, and if you speak Italian, the blog by Licia Corbolante Terminologia etc, is also full of practical cases (If your Italian is basic like mine, she has this great tool that you can double click on any word and it gives you a definition!).

Pick your favorite Terminology place here, or your favorite training course here.

Maybe after a few clicks here and there you will realize, as Professor Childress says, that you have been a terminologist for far longer than you ever expected!


Childress, Mark D. Terminologiphobia. Multilingual Magazine, June 2006 (page 86).

Image source

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Last call for Terminology book raffle!

Deadline-Ahead1Dear readers. You have until April 30th to send me a note via the Contact me page to let me know that you want to participate in the raffle. Since I want to make sure that the person who receives the book is really going to make good use of it, I’m not including all of my subscribers automatically.

Therefore, don’t delay! Send me a short note saying “Sign me up for the raffle!” saying what your country of origin is and I’ll gladly add you to the list.

Share with colleagues in the social media! Thank you.

Read my original post on the raffle by clicking here.

Picture source

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

MySmarTerms 10: Termhood and Unithood

Terminology extractionThese two little, strong terms are widely used in automatic term extraction (ATE) and I wanted to introduce them today as a first contact with the complex world of ATE, which can get highly technical. I wouldn’t dare to make up my own definitions and examples, so I think it is better to refer to the experts.

Unithood and termhood refer to the qualities of terms, or as Nakagawa calls it “two essential aspects of the nature of terms”, and they make part of the extraction tasks that are carried out during an automated extraction process. (The first task is corpus collection, then detection of unithood and termhood, then detection of term variants and finally evaluation and validation), as per Heylen and De Hertog.

Read More

Who is who in Terminology: Heinrich Paasch (1853-1904)

heinrich paaschI had the honor to have been recently contacted by Marc Van Campenhoudt, from the Belgian Terminology Research, Termisti, to forward me some interesting information about Captain Heinrich Paasch (born in Germany but naturalized Belgian). The following is my attempt to summarize some of that information which I have translated very loosely from French into English (since I’m not a translator in that language pair). Please refer to the sources below to read the original material.

Dr. Van Campenhoudt wrote his PhD thesis, “Un Apport du Monde Maritime à la Terminologie Notionnelle Multilingue. Étude du Dictionnaire du Capitaine Heinrich Paasch, De la quille à la pomme de mât” to prove that all the methodology of Wüster was already used in the 1894 edition of the dictionary, except for the normalization, which was rejected by Paasch. The thesis includes a comparison with Schlomann’s work, using mostly his aeronautics dictionary that most resembles Paasch’s maritime dictionary.

Captains Paasch trilingual (English/French/German) dictionary De la quille à la pomme de mât (From Keel to Truck) was produced and published before Scholoman’s dictionaries and, certainly, before Wüster times. He was a renowned nautical expert and in one of his prefaces he claimed to offer the commercial and maritime world a technical dictionary out of the ordinary.

Read More

Upcoming terminology-related training events

study_owlThis is usually the time when you see webinars and courses related to terminology being announced. So exciting! I love to sign up to all of them and be updated, especially if they are free! Check these out!

  1. Introduction to Terminology Management, by David Morgan, SDL Senior Marketing Manager, April 15. (free)
  2. Terminology personas: the role of terminologist & terminology manager, a 60-minute webinar by Silvia Cerrella Bauer, April 21. (free)
  3. Ciberseminario de Miriam Seghiri: Diseño y compilación de corpus virtuales para la traducción especializada (Spanish), April 30. (paid)
  4. Net-Translators Webinars – Managing Source Terminology Even if You Don’t Translate

    5.  Managing Source Terminology Even if You Don’t Translate. Net-Translators. April 30 (free).

    6. Corpus Linguistics: Method, Analysis, Interpretation. Lancaster University MOOC. Duration 8 weeks (certificate available). Watch the trailer by Prof. Tony McEnery, Professor of English Language and Linguistics. Unscheduled. You need to register to show interest and they will open the course when they have enough participants.

7. Terminology & Ontology : Theories and applications. ToT Conference. June 4 and Friday, June 5, (with a training session the two days preceding the conference) in Chambéry, France

If you know of any other upcoming events, send me a note via Contact Me.

Note: I make the list based on information I find in the social media and as a service to my readers, and by no means do I receive any compensation in promoting them as this is an educational blog with non-profit interest.

Image Source

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Take note! Language codes versus country codes

ISO codesWhen working with termbases it might be confusing at first to remember which code to use. Don’t get confused! ISO has two lists of codes (well, actually more than two, but let’s keep it simple): the language codes called ISO 639-1:1988 “Code for the representation of names of languagesPart 1 Alpha-2 code and ISO 3166 “Code for the representation of names of countries”.

Both consist of two letters. The language code is written in lowercase while the country code is written in uppercase. However, both ISO classifications may be combined to differentiate regional languages.


Language code

Country code


en: English

US: United States

GB: Great Britain

en US: American English

en GB: British English

fr: French

FR: France


fr FR: French France

fr CA: French Canada

Read More

Terminology and Term – An interactive presentation

use mouse to open window picMaking Terminology fun is one of the goals of this blog. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to achieve, but I try to combine serious stuff with more fun stuff, when I can. Learning doesn’t have to be boring. So I have made this PowerPoint presentation on “terminology” and “term”.

I have selected the most common ones, otherwise it would be an endless list of words. I have provided the definitions I found in several sources, mostly and ISO’s browsing platform, OBP, which are excellent sources when you are looking for definitions related to terminology.

I hope you find it useful and fun! Don’t forget to share in the social media! Enjoy!

Read More

April 8: In My Own Terms’ First year anniversary!

anniversary cupcake bonitoOne year has gone by since I published my first post. It was a bit unnerving to start writing about a topic that many people, including translators, probably found boring or uninteresting, or just “not their thing”. But 365 days and 100 blog posts later I’m happy to report that the blog visits have been steadily growing, with an all-time high of 290 visits for one single day!

So, here are some stats, just for the fun of it, of the top ten most popular posts, with the respective links in case you missed it!

  1. Who is Who in Terminology: Ferdinand de Saussure (359 views)
  2. My SmarTerms: The Semantic Triangle: Words don’t mean, people mean
  3. My Termbase Cheat Sheet
  4. The Business Case
  5. The Ins and Outs of Term Validation
  6. Featuring IMOToolBox: IATE Database
  7. Writing your Terminology Project Goals
  8. An Infographic: The birth of Terminology (The first steps)
  9. Who is Who in Terminology: Eugene Wüster
  10. The “Triple Constraint” of Terminology Projects

Read More

Common Terminology Abbreviations and Acronyms

acronyms terminologyThe Terminology field is not free of the common practice of abbreviated forms, so I share below a list of abbreviations and acronyms that you might come across during your Terminology readings. I have provided some links, if applicable. Feel free to contact me to suggest more, as I will be updating the list regularly.


Read More

L’Académie française: Terminology and Neology

Academie TerminologyThe French Academy was created in 1634 to allow French grammarians to unify their language by creating the corresponding language rules that would make it pure, eloquent and capable of dealing with the arts and sciences. The first dictionary took more than 50 years to publish from the moment the grammarian Vaugelas was asked to start composing it and the year 1694 when the final version was presented to the king for publication.

The Académie started taking note of the “mots de création nouvelle” (recently created words) from the 7th edition of its Dictionnaire, especially the technical terms. However, it was in 1994 when the French government enacted the law known as “loi Toubon” and a decree in 1996 on the enhancement of the French language, to avoid the use of foreign terms, especially English terms, in the scientific and technical fields. Read More

Terminology work and crowdsourcing


crowdsourcing and terminology

“Terminology work and crowdsourcing. Coming to Terms with the Crowd” is an article by Barbara Inge Karsch that I found in the recently published Handbook of Terminology edited by Hendrik J. Kockaert and Frieda Steurs, and now gives me the opportunity to introduce this hot topic that has been the talk of the town of Terminology in recent times. Also, a future (unscheduled) interview, which I’m really looking forward to publish but is still in the oven, is related to a business case on crowdsourcing terminology (Sorry, no details since I don’t want to jinx it!).

There have been some people against crowdsourcing mainly because of confidentiality reasons, but the truth is, or at least I personally see it that way, that crowdsourcing is here to stay for a long while. After all, as Barbara mentions in her article, terminology work has never been a “solidary undertaking”. It has always been accompanied and influenced by others fields (Terminology has always been known as an interdisciplinary field). Read More

Celebrating IMOT’s first year anniversary with Terminology book raffle!

1st AnniversaryApril is the anniversary month for In My Own Terms, and to celebrate I will raffle the book entitled “Corporate Terminology Management: An approach in theory and practice” by Ariane Großjean.

It´s an excellent guide for those who want to know about the basics on terminology management in simple words (just how we like it!) and a practical case in a German context (You really don´t need to speak German to understand it.)

It clearly explains the basics of terminology science from concept, concept systems, definitions, terms, etc., to terminology management (methodology approaches, the nine stages of corporate terminology management, etc.) and provides a practical case illustrating the nine stages, plus termbase and process implementation. book cover

If you are interested in Terminology you really don´t want to miss the opportunity to have this book. This is not a business deal with the author, who I don´t know personally. I just thought it is a great book, easy to read, an excellent reference guide, and a great way to celebrate IMOT’s first anniversary!

So, what do you need to do? Well, if you are a subscriber you just need to send me a note in Contact me and tell me that you would like to participate. If you are not a subscriber, sign up to the blog and send me a note. I will draw a name from the list of current and new subscribers in May.

So, send to colleagues and friends interested in Terminology and share the Terminology love!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Belgium’s Terminology Research Center TERMISTI

termistiFounded in 1990 by professors Daniel Blampain and Marc Van Campenhoudt, the TERMISTI research centre is attached to the Higher Institute for Translators and Interpreters (ISTI) in Brussels. Its work focuses on two areas: modelling multilingual terminology and terminotics.

The interests and skills of the TERMISTI team relate chiefly to developing terminological glossaries for highly specialised fields, exchanging terminological data, particularly in XML, prepublishing text corpora and determining terminological units, devising terminological data base management systems handling conceptual networks, modelling multilingual terminology management system,; research training in terminology and terminotics.

Read More

Who is Who in Terminology: Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) – A guest post by Bart Bulens

This post has been written by Bart Bulens (, who also took Pompeu Fabra’s Course on Foundations of Terminology. He wrote this excellent biography and summarized Linnaeus contribution to Terminology and I just had to ask him to allow me to publish it. I thank him and Pompeu Fabra for letting me share this interesting information which is part of the valuable material that the University shared with us during their classes. I hope you enjoy this great story as much as I did!

Carl_von_LinnéCarolus Linnaeus / Carl Linnaeus / Carl von Linné (1707-1778)

Terminologist, avant la lettre


Towards the dawn of the 17th century, the science of scientific naming commenced. Plants and animals were still categorized using long polynomial Latin names, which consisted of known and morally acceptable characteristics of the organisms in question, all this in an ancient-old tradition where the local focus was a dominant factor.

When people working with plants and animals started trying to formally name things and to consistently use those names in the 18th century, they were confronted with increased diversity.
The local focus was gradually expanding to recently discovered lands, such as the New World.

The 18th century was also the age of Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish medical doctor and therefore also a botanist, for doctors had to study botany given the fact that all medicine had been based on herbalism until the mid-1700s. As a result, botanical taxonomy had been brought to life by the need of doctors, like himself, to correctly identify plants. Read More