Blogging our way into the future of terminology | EAFT VIII Summit Presentation
I 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.
SLIDE 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.
So it’s not a coincidence that I was at TermCoord last year talking about my blog and that I am here at at the European Parliament talking to you about blogging and social media, because, as we have been saying, we all share the terminology love, and again because we met thanks to social media.
The world is interconnected and bringing terminology champions together in social media is key to reaching out to potential terminology lovers who wouldn’t otherwise know about it.
But before I go on, let’s pause for a moment.
SLIDE 2 (An mage of a “fake” tweet by Wüster). Did you ever stop to think how terminology would have evolved if Eugen Wüster had access to our technology during his lifetime? Well, I have. And I think it would look something like this
It’s been almost 50 years since he published his Machine Tool. I think this is how his tweet would have looked like if he had a Twitter account in 1968. A lot has been achieved since then. But imagine what could be accomplished not in 50 or 20 years, but 10 or even 5 years thanks to technology.
Through social media, technology has opened new spaces for us to interact, share knowledge and most importantly learn from each other.
SLIDE 3 (An image of social media icons). And it is in these spaces where blogging and terminology meet. I think we are witnessing the start of the golden age of terminology, and blogging and social media, in my opinion, should take center stage.
Take Padlet for example. Padlet is a virtual collaborative bulletin board created in December 2012 used by teachers and students for assignments and projects. I started sharing some of my blog posts and other terminology-related information on Padlet, and when they learned about it they asked for an interview to publish on their blog. So thanks to Padlet we were able to reach out to a public that otherwise wouldn’t know about terminology.
Other recent examples of using the latest social media platforms are IULATerm and teleTermino that have taken us to Telegram, an instant messaging system also created in 2013. IULATerm keeps us updated on the work they do and teleTermino offers students access to free training through very comprehensive exercises and useful feedback to students. I was also happy to see that companies such as SDL Trados and Interverbum Technology have been making tremendous efforts to disseminate terminology by offering free webinars on terminology management with the participation of renowned terminologists such as Gabriele Sauberer, Barbara Inge Karsch, and Kara Warburton, among others, and then uploading the videos to YouTube.
SLIDE 4 (An image of a computer with the text “How do we blog into the future of terminology?”). So, in view of all of the above, how do we blog into the future of terminology? Let’s do first an inventory of active blogs. We have Termnet’s blog; Terminologia etc by Licia Corbolante; Wordlo by Maria Pia Montoro, and IMOT, all of which complement each other very well. More and more, translation blogs such as Olga Jeczmyk’s 20.000 Lenguas, take an active role in raising awareness. And all of these blogs have ranked in the last few years at the top 10 and even 5 in the different categories in bab.la’s contest. This is a strong indication that blogging is needed to raise awareness about Terminology.
SLIDE 5 (A list of the following three items). So we need to keep doing three things. First, to offer original content in order to maintain relevance; second, to keep that content easy to understand and accessible to the public; and third, to keep up to date with new technology.
SLIDE 6 (A list of seven messages received from readers). And thanks to that technology people are starting to really notice and language professionals and other stakeholders are not only becoming aware of it but asking where they can find more information on training.
Here is a sample of seven messages that are very inspiring and that I have collected from readers. Let me read three of them:
Claire: “I am a beginner in this field but it interests me very much even if I don’t know exactly where to begin and how to practice terminology management.”
Amelia: “The last few days I have started thinking about where I want to see myself and my career in the near future and the more I think about it, the more I feel it could be in the field of Terminology.”
Sara: “I have reoriented my professional life, but I’m deeply interested in the subject and I do wish to pursue further education in the field.”
So, a few lessons learned from reading this type of messages are: People outside the terminology world don’t know where to start, information is not easy to find or is outdated, books are expensive, and more and more people are looking at Terminology as a career path and, therefore, more affordable training opportunities should be a priority.
I can fully empathize with these feelings because, like many of them, I came from a position in which Terminology, as you know it, was an abstract idea.
SLIDE 7 (An image of a print screen of IMOT Google referrals). And people everywhere are looking for information. These are the statistics on IMOT Google referrals, from Saudi Arabia to Colombia, from The Netherlands to Austria. By the way, Asma from Saudi Arabia also says: “You have no idea how much your posts motivated me. I’m genuinely interested in terminology because of your blog”. But this is not about my blog. These messages are a clear indication that people are thirsty for knowledge. Just look at some of the blog’s top searches: training, terminologist, job description, job opportunities. I think it gives us a pretty good idea of the information people are looking for.
SLIDE 8 (IMOT heart logo and the text “Share the Terminology love”). And let me finish with this short story. When you visit your home land after a long time, what is the first thing you hear? You hear your people, speaking the same language, using your same words and unique accent. Well, that is exactly how I felt last year when I visited TermCoord. All of a sudden I stepped into the real terminology world. I heard people talking about terminology every day as part of their daily life, and I immediately felt that I was a member of their community. And this is important because we have to give people that same feeling, even if they can’t come to events like this one, let them feel that instead of being an outsider they are part of a strong and thriving community of terminology lovers. So let’s keep sharing the terminology love. See you in social media!