From the Terminologist’s Toolbox: WIPO Pearl Terminology Database

I was honored to meet Cristina Valentini, Head of the Terminology Unit in the PCT Translation Division at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) during the EAFT meeting that took place last year in Luxembourg. If you missed it, last year they released the latest version of their termbase WIPO Pearl that includes scientific and technical terms extracted from patents in 10 languages, with more than 7,000 terms and 500 new concept relations added. It also adds a new functionality to their Concept Map Search, a Concept Path Search that allows to find your “way” between two concepts showing all the related concepts in between. Terms can be searched further in PATENTSCOPE, a database that collects 58 million patent documents, including three million published international patent applications filed via the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) system.”

WIPO Pearl also now includes Chinese and Portuguese in addition to the already-existing French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish interface languages. Also under construction are the Arabic, German, and Korean versions.

The termbase contains over 127,000 patent terms and 17,500 patent concepts, all entered and validated by WIPO-PCT language experts. All PCT legal terms in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish have been reviewed and validated by WIPO-PCT legal experts and awarded the highest term reliability score of “4”.

Last but not least, WIPO is collaborating with several universities to have students perform terminology work by providing bi- or trilingual terminology records in specific technical fields for inclusion in WIPO Pearl following their validation. They currently work with universities from Switzerland, France, Greece, and Illinois (USA), but they also ask other universities interested in participating in this collaborative initiative to contact them at their email address:

I was very happy to learn about this new release and about the collaborative work they are doing with universities, which is a great way to get students involved in formal terminology work. Congratulations to Cristina and her staff for the excellent work they are doing. I will keep you posted on future releases of this useful tool.





Apply for WIPO’s fellowship programme for terminologists and translators

Deadline is February 19, so you still have time to apply for this fellowship for terminologists, translators and technical specialists.

Terminology fellows will be responsible for inputting entries in the PCT termbase for later incorporation into WIPO Pearl. Translation fellows will translate patent abstracts and patent examination documents. Technical specialists fellows work with translators to share their knowledge and help them in their translation work.

Click here for more information: WIPO Fellowship Program

Also, to better understand the work they perform, you may want to read this interview to Cristina Valentini by TermCoord.

Terminology as an added value to your resume

What a great way to start the New Year. I just came back from vacation and Caroline Alberoni just published a guest post that I wrote for her blog “Carol’s Adventures in Translation”. I am sure most of you know Caroline. She is very active in social media and her blog is fantastic. I am honored to have been invited to write for her blog, which happens to be her first guest blog post for 2017!

Here is the link. Make sure to share in social media, with colleagues, and all language lovers: Terminology as an added value to your Resume.

And, of course, once you are in Caroline’s blog, make sure you check out her other blog posts.

Thank you, Carol, for this opportunity to share the Terminology love, and Happy New Year to all of you!


2016 Terminology final count: Top blog posts on IMOT

Pic IMOT de AdrianaIt is always exciting to look at blog statistics and see which were the most popular posts of the year. So, I cannot celebrate the end of 2016 without sharing my top blog posts, pages, and other links. Whether you missed them, are new to the blog, or just want to review, here they are:

Terminology – Blog posts:

My Smart Terms 5: The Semantic Triangle: Words don’t mean, people mean: This is an all-time favorite and points out to the importance of learning about one of the basic objects of study of Terminology.

Who is Who in Terminology: Ferdinand de Saussure. Needless to say, we have a lot of owe to Monsieur de Saussure!

My Smart Terms 4: The onomasiological and semasiological approaches: My blog’s goal is to explain Terminology in easy terms and topics like this which, at first look, might seem complicated, is not complicated at all.

Writing your terminology project goals: This series of posts on terminology project management is still pending completion. I hope to finish the series next year. The idea came after taking TermNet’s certification in which Gabriele Sauberer, its Director, pointed out the importance of learning about project management, especially if you plan to get involved in large Terminology projects.

The terminologist’s job description: I recently mentioned during my presentation at the EAFT conference that people are eager to learn what terminologists do and where they can get training. Well, this is a clear indication that we are on the right track to raising awareness about Terminology.

Terminology – Blog pages:

IMOT Basic Course on Terminology for Beginner’s and Beyond. Happy to see that the basic course is being used. It gathers all IMOT posts on the basic of terminology. Hope to see it grow next year.

Terminology extraction tools: Everybody wants to know about extraction tools. So here they are.

Terminology 101. A section that complements the Basic Course. Not to be missed!

Readings in Terminology. Hope to update this page next year, a place to find some good readings, whether you are a beginner or not.

Blogs on Terminology. Woot hoot! Terminology rocks! There is a reason why TermCoord’s blog, Maria Pia’s Wordlo, and Licia Corbolante’s Terminologia etc, and IMOT remained this year in the top lists of babla’s language lovers contest: We all share the Terminology love!

Terminology – Other:

IMOT’s Delicious links on terminology: If you haven’t done it yet, take a look at the links on Terminology I share in the Delicious page.

IMOT goes to Padlet. Padlet is a great platform to share articles and other resources on Terminology. If you haven’t done so, take a look and share your favorite Terminology links!

Terminology goes to Telegram. I was so happy when I learned that Besharat was teaching students about the building blocks of Terminology via Telegram. I fully recommend that you download this app and subscribe to her channel.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Blue and silver Christmas balls hanging against blue light spots backgroundThis year is almost over and I am sure many of you are now busy trying to get work done and attending parties with colleagues, family, and friends. It was a busy year, filled with great and unforgettable moments. It was another great year for Terminology. And it was all thanks to you.

Thank you for your support and I hope that next year will be as productive as this one. In My Own Terms reached a total of 73,656 views and an average of five posts were published monthly. Without your support and interest, this blog would probably not exist.

I look forward to all the celebrations but I am also looking forward to see what’s coming next for the blog and can´t wait to start writing the first posts for 2017.

So, stay tuned, enjoy the holidays, and don’t forget to share the Terminology love!



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A recount of my EAFT 8th Summit experience

eaftFrom November 14 to 15 I had the honor to participate during EAFT’s 18th Summit that took place in Luxembourg.  Was it worth the trip from Washington, D.C. and cross the pond all the way to Luxembourg? You bet!

As is always the case, the best part is meeting in person the terminologists that I had known for the past two years via social media. Every person I met was an amazing human being, truly committed to Terminology.

On Sunday, the day before the Summit, we had social events that gave me the chance to meet some of them. When we were doing the introductions around the dining table, I was happily surprised to find out that the person sitting next to me was also coming from D.C. and also worked for an international organization, the IMF. So from day one the trip was worth taking.

Read More

Blogging our way into the future of terminology | EAFT VIII Summit Presentation

eaftI am happy to share with you my recent presentation on the importance of blogging on Terminology and how both Terminology and social media allow us to disseminate and raise awareness. I want to give a special thanks to Rodolfo Maslias, Head of TermCoord, for inviting me to give this presentation, as well as his staff for all the support during my stay here. Since my PowerPoint presentation was mostly images, I decided to share the text in case you were curious.


slide1SLIDE 1 (A collage of images of IMOT and the Summit). Can you believe that I am here today, a latina, born and raised in Costa Rica, living and working in Washington DC, and talking about blogging on terminology to all of you here at the Hemicycle of the European Parliament?

Let me tell you how it all started. Two years ago, I was contemplating the possibility of a career path change and wanted to follow the Terminology route. I came up with the idea of the blog while taking the ECQA certification, and it turned into a reality thanks to Gabriele Sauberer and Blanca Nájera from TermNet who accepted it as my final project.

Also, I couldn’t have done it without the support of Rodolfo Maslias, Licia Corbolante and Maria Pia Montoro who supported me from day one and introduced me to many of you via social media. That’s the power of blogging about terminology. Read More

Visions and revisions: VIII 2016 EAFT Terminology Summit

eaftIt´s almost here! One more week to the 8th EAFT Terminology Summit that will take place in Luxembourg on November 14-15. I can’t wait to be there not only meet my terminology gurus personally but also to learn from them. I will be making a brief presentation on blogging on terminology and social media. You can follow this event virtually. Check out their new page on Facebook: and follow in Twitter (ttps:// I will be taking notes and reporting after the event. Also check out TermCoord’s page with details (including the Program): So let´s keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter and, of course, you can also email me by clicking my Contact Me page, if you have any questions.

Share the terminology love!

Most used online terminology resources

resourcesDuring the Translating Europe Forum that took place this week in Brussels, there was a lot of live tweeting with the hashtag #TranslatingEurope, and a tweet by Maria Pia Montoro (@Wordlo) caught my attention. It referred to the presentation by Iuliana van der Lek (@lek_vd /, an independent computer-assisted translation tools trainer and part-time researcher at the KU Leuven University, Faculty of Arts, Campus Antwerp. It referred to the most used online terminology resources, according to a survey by the SCATE* research project, for which Iuliana is a Research Associate.

What a great topic for a blog post! So here they are. I have added the relevant links for you to explore.

Search Engines: Google and Bing

Online dictionaries: Oxford,, Van Dale (Dutch), TermWiki search, TermCoord glossary links

Term banks: IATE, TermiumPlus, EuroTermBank, FAOTerm, WTOTerm

Monolingual corpora: Eur-lex, Global web-based English, British National Corpus, Corpus of Contemporary American English

Parallel corpora: Linguee, Europarl, Glosbe, TAUS Search.

Happy searching!

* SCATE: smart computer-assisted translation environment.

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Repeat it again: Tautology

tautologyWriting definitions is a challenge, I know. But the truth is definitions are key to understanding the intricacies of a concept. The reason why this type of error is so persistent in our definitions probably signals towards lack of knowledge. I remember when I was in school as a young girl, a grammar teacher told us it was OK to write definitions like this: “To procure: the action and effect of procuring”.

I still remember it today when I write definitions or translate text that seems to be playing trick games with me. So I wanted to talk briefly today about Tautology: The repetition of information that has already been provided in the term. The Webster Dictionary defines it as “a statement in which you repeat a word, idea, etc., in a way that is not necessary”.

Simple examples of tautological definitions are:

  1. A unicorn is a beast with one horn.
  2. Metal is something made of metal.
  3. Customer ID is defined as “The identifier of the Customer.
  4. Repeat it again (See post title above!)

Mind you, these are easy examples, and when we have to write more complex definitions, sometimes we might be overlooking this issue. Tautologies can be common in some languages with a large number of words borrowed from other languages. But tautology is not only present in definitions. Acronyms also might also contribute to tautological issues (think DVD disk, HIV virus, ATM machine, etc.). Advertising is also tricky. Phrases such as “The store is giving away free tickets” are tautological.

However, not everything is negative about tautology. It is used in poetry, prose, and songs. For the curious minds, you may consult this page on examples of tautology as a literary device:



The Pavel Terminology Tutorial. Tautology

The Beye Network. Business Metadata: How to Write Definitions.

Literary Devices: Tautology

Your dictionary. Examples of Tautology


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IULA/UPF Terminology Master – Registration open for online English and Spanish programs

pompeuRegistration is open for the Spanish and English online programs of the Terminology Master offered by the Institut de Linguística Aplicada of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). The details in both languages are provided here:

Needless to say, I highly recommend it, whether you take it in English or Spanish.




Turning the spotlight back to the POS (Part of Speech)

POSAlthough POS is not a mandatory category when working with termbases, (ISO mandatory categories are term, source, and date) it has been recognized as a highly suggested category, as pointed out recently by Kara Warburton during her webinar “Getting value of your Excel glossaries”. In her own words, “as soon as there are different parts of speech there are different concepts”.

According to Terminorgs, “the most important non-mandatory data category is the part of speech” and it is required for the following purposes:

  1. “To differentiate homonyms. For instance, port is actually two terms in English: a noun, and a verb, each of which should be recorded in its own entry. Without a part of speech value in the entry, it can be difficult to determine which term the entry represents, and therefore, how to translate it.
  2. To permit automated processing. The part of speech is required for automated tasks such as importing a set of entries into an existing termbase, applying grammatical filters to facilitate search and export of data, and providing the terminology as a resource to other applications such as spell checking applications.
  3. To enable interchange. When there is no part of speech value, it becomes necessary to discuss many of the entries with the originator in order to disambiguate their content.”

As you can see, having a clear understand of how the POS works is key to having a coherent and efficient database. Make sure that you use it appropriately to increase the quality of your termbase, for example, to avoid writing a definition for a noun and setting the POS as a verb.

Terminogs TBX-basic
Terminogs Starting Guide