Visit to TermCoord in Luxembourg

Last day of work, with Rodolfo Maslias and Maria Pia Montoro

Hello everybody. I’m finally back in DC after my week-long  study visit to the Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord) of the European Parliament, and I have now the time and energy to report on my visit after recovering from jetlag and dealing with personal and professional matters.

First of all, I want to thank Rodolfo Maslias, Head of the Unit, and his staff for giving me a great welcome and also making me feel like part of their team from day one. They gave me an office and an email account so I could be informed of everything they discussed and see the external emails that staff receives from the organization. They allowed me to attend their meetings and took me out for lunch, dinner, and even took me for a nice walk in the city. I cannot mention each one of them here, but my appreciation goes out to each one of you.

It meant a lot to me to finally meet Rodolfo and Maria Pia Montoro in person, after exchanging information with them for over a year when I started my blog. Maria Pia gave me the first advice on how to manage a blog, based on her own experience with her terminology blog WordLo, and Rodolfo, who also was the first person I interviewed for my blog.

Maria Pia and I also had the chance to skype with Licia Corbolante, who has a successful blog on terminology in Italian, terminologia etc. It was the first time that I had the opportunity to talk to her and to “personally” thank her for all her support during all this time. It was nice to be able to talk to my two favorite Italian ladies at the same time!

The first day, Rodolfo and Maja Pušpan gave me a thorough presentation on the information contained in their intranet page which has a lot of useful information for their staff. I felt like a kid in a candy store. So many things to learn! I spent most of the week clicking away and discovering excellent little jewels. By the way, I recommend you to take some time and browse their webpage thoroughly, since they make available to the public valuable information, such as the workflow diagrams on how they manage terminology that you can see here.

I was invited to their weekly meeting and I was impressed on how well organized they were, following up of previous issues and giving each other feedback on different events and even taking a few minutes to look at funny findings in the form of pictures and cartoons. I think it’s a great way to create a comfortable work environment. You can see from their exchanges that the reason why IATE is so successful it’s because of the team that keeps it going, from the staff to the trainees who are extremely committed to their work.

I was invited to meet with Pilar Martínez and Carmen Torregrosa, Spanish translators, who provided great information on how they handle terminology and work with IATE and QUEST (metasearch) and EURAMIS (translation memory), which are the tools they use to find bilingual concordances.  Terminologists also use these and other tools. I found two presentations online that can give you a better idea of the tools they use. One is called “Terminology” by terminologist Tim Cooper (2011) and “Translation tools Computer assisted translation and workflow” by Andreas Taes, (2011).  I also met with María Mesías, Quality-control coordinator, who explained the translation quality control process.

Terminologist Manos Peclaris explained the use of Synchroterm, the term extractor they are currently using and Clara Machado showed me the “insides” of IATE and how it works. Simona Tigris, one of the outstanding trainees of TermCoord, interviewed me. It was an interesting process and I was once again impressed with the preparation and professionalism of the trainees. I had even the honor to attend a piano concert by staff member Violina Stamtcheva during lunch time as part of an artistic show by EP employees. What a treat!

The last day was my D-day, when I had the presentation on my blog which was an opportunity to explain how the blog grew from rags to riches, as the presentation was called.  I want to thank all attendees for making this an unforgettable experience.

All in all, the week went too fast. It was very productive and an outstanding learning experience, but what was most rewarding was meeting the people behind TermCoord and IATE, and feeling at home, being able to speak our common terminology language, and seeing firsthand how committed they are to making it work and disseminate and increase terminology awareness. My congratulations to such a great team, and to each one of you my biggest Merci!

Interview on my blogging adventures, by TermCoord

Interview-imageIt is an honor for me to have been interviewed by TermCoord during my recent visit to Luxembourg. Special thanks to Simona Tigris for preparing it. I was very impressed with her personally and professionally, and I really enjoyed the time we spent together doing the interview.

It is hard to express with words my gratitude to every member of the TermCoord team. I will be posting shortly a recount of my visit and the great experience I had.

Read the interview by clicking here.

Terminology book raffle. And the winner is…

I’m so excited. Maria Pia Montoro of TermCoord with trainee Simona Tigris as witness and photographer has drawn the lucky name. And the winner is:

Asma AIOtaibi (PNU), from Saudi Arabia

Congratulations, Asma. I hope you enjoy this great book!

Thank you to all of you who participated. Here are four pictures of the drawing process in which you can see that we were really excited about it!

Pic1Pic2Pic3Asma Terminology Winner

My presentation at TermCoord tomorrow

When happiness can´t be expressed with words, a picture is worth a thousand words. I will publish a post on how it went. And later today, the raffle, with the participation of TermCoord’s staff! Stay tuned.

My blog ad pres Slide1My blog ad pres

TermCoord’s Terminology Toolbox

Terminology ToolboxTermCoord put together an excellent collection of resources for the terminologist, the translator, and anyone who deals with terminology. A resource that you just MUST have among your favorites. Terminology Toolbox contains the following tools:

  1. Add-ons: Term Wiki Toolbar, Intelli Web Search, DictionaryBoss Toolbar, Term-minator, Proz Toolbar, Taus Search Widget, EuroTermBank Add-on for Microsoft Word, Terminotix Toolbar, TermWiki Widget, WordWeb.
  2. Look-up tools:, OneLook Dictionary, Wordnik, Memidex, Global Glossary, BabelNet, Dante, Glosbe, ProfessorWord, OneLook, QwickUp, YourDictionary, WordNet,, IntelliWebSearch, Examine32.
  3. Concordancers (to download): AntConc, TextSTAT, TransSearch, WordSmtih Tools, KwickFinder.
  4. Corpora-based concordancers: TAUS Data, MyMemory, Le Migou, Linguee, Corpus of Web-Based Global English: GloWbE), OPUS, TradooIT, WebCorp, WeBiText.
  5. Websites: TermNet,, TERMCAT, Terminology Forum, Glossarissimo, Terminologia etc., BIK Terminology, WorldLo, GeneSis, InmyOwnTerms, German and Slovak Law, The Interpreter Diaries,
  6. Terminology Databases: IATE, EuroTermBank, EuroVoc, UNTerm, FAOTERM, UNOGwTerm, UNESCOTerm, UNHCR, WTOTerm, ECSWA Glossary, VINTARS, UN interpreter’s glossaries, UN Resolutions, OECD Terminology, MultiTes (World Bank Thesauri), Humanterm, ITU terms and definitions, ILOterm, IMF Terminology, Lexicool (NATO terminology), TERMIUMPlus, Le gran dictionnaire terminologique, AxoneFinance, TermSciences, Webopedia, Microsoft Language Portal, Electropedia, MeteoTerm, WebTerm, MediLexicon, TermWiki, TERMCAT, ISO Concept Database, FranceTerme, TERMPOST, The Global Fund Terminology, TouristTerm, term search, Multilingual REACH and CLP terminology database ECHA-term, Minéfiterm, OnTerm, SICE, TERMISTI, TERMDAT, TassS, SAPTERM, WIPO Pearl.
  7. Glossary links: TermCoord’s search page for their multilingual glossary collections.
  8. DOCHOUND: EU Interinstitutional Document Search: Basic documents, legislative, Overview of Procedures, Press and library.
  9. Link to download IATE.TBX.
  10. Link to the Public IATE page.

For more information on each tool, go to their Terminology Toolbox page, read the descriptions and access each resource by clicking on the respective link.

Happy searching!



Forthcoming visit to EP’s TermCoord in Luxembourg

travel to luxIMOT is packing bags and leaving tomorrow for Luxembourg! I will be spending a week learning from the experts, participating in events, and giving a presentation on my blog at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. How exciting is that!!!

I have tried to post more this week but it’s been pretty hectic, so probably my next post will be an update on my visit. 

Ah, yes. And I will be doing the book raffle from Luxembourg, so stay tuned!

Talk to you soon!

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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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