IMOT’s update

blog_updateHello my IMOT followers. As you have probably seen, my blog has been quite slow after some vacation time in Barcelona, where I visited Termcat and Pompeu Fabra, and also took the opportunity to study for my courses. Then after returning to Washington I have been trying to get back to normal.

Last week I finished Pompeu Fabra’s Course on Foundations of Terminology, which I really enjoyed. I recommend it if you want to know more about theory and practice of terminology. Their second module starts soon, the Diploma on Terminology and Professional Needs and you still have time to register here. Unfortunately, I am too busy to sign up this time, but I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed at all. The materials and the professors are of the highest quality. I hope to be able to continue the program later in the year, which will be a workshop on terminology. I’d like to know if you sign up for any of these. I was really happy to see a couple of my followers signing up for these courses and feel like we are even more connected. In the meantime, I still have to finish the Advanced certification with TermNet which is also an excellent course.

As for my 9 to 5 job, we are getting ready for our annual meeting coming up next week, so publishing new material will still be slow. The good news is that Terminology is an endless source of interesting material, and I come across new information every day. I just need more time to read and write, that’s all. It is also nice to see in my stats that the blog is being visited regularly, even if I haven´t been publishing much, a sign that I have been doing things right and a motivation to keep it alive.

What motivates me even more is being contacted by terminologists saying that they like my page and who share information with me. I’m really thankful for that.

So, even if you don’t receive updates as often as before, please remember that I do remember you every day, and that I’m thankful for your support. As always, many great things to come! (And don’t be shy and contact me with comments and suggestions).


Who is Who in Terminology: Helmut Felber (1925-2005)

felber bookEugen Wüster’s long-time colleague, Helmut Felber was an Austrian terminologist who studied Civil Engineering and Philosophy, spoke English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian, and worked as librarian, teacher, translator, and interpreter. From 1964 to 1970 he was research associate of Eugene Wüster at his private research institute.

Felber contributed with more than 100 publications to the development of terminology research. In 1970, he took over the management of the international secretariat of ISO/TC 37 at the Austrian Standards Institute in Vienna. From 1971 to 1985 he headed the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm).

With his work at the Austrian Standards Institute and Infoterm, he contributed to the development of international terminological principles and the creation of multiple dictionaries. He also contributed significantly to the establishment and development of terminology teaching, and in 1974, he took over Wüster’s introductory lecture on the General Theory of Terminology at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Vienna. Read More

Visit to IULATERM/Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)


Main entrance to UPF-Poble Nou campus

After a productive visit to TERMCAT, as recounted in a previous post, a couple of miles away awaited another productive visit to Universitat Pompeu Fabra in one of their Barcelona locations in Poble Nou. In this post I will try to summarize everything I saw and learned, but I urge you to click on the links to learn more, since all the work they do cannot be covered in a short post.

I was greeted by Mercè Lorente, associate professor in the Department of Translation and Language Sciences, full-time researcher of IULA, and main researcher of IULATERM (among others); and Rosa Estopà, also associate professor and full-time researcher of IULA, coordinator of the Master in Terminology and of teaching activities of IULATERM research group (among others). Needless to say, I could clearly see that the work done by M. Teresa Cabré Castellví, (who I couldn’t meet personally this time) as Founder of IULA, IULATERM, and the Neology Department, and her many accomplishments by all known, is reflected in IULA and IULATERM actions. Read More

ATA’s blog “The Savvy Newcomer” reblogs an IMOT post!

thanks2A lot of great things have happened since I started this blog less than a year ago, and I can tell you that this is one of the highlights of its short but productive blog life. ATA’s blog called “The Savvy Newcomer” had asked permission to reblog my post “The Ins and Outs of Term Validation” and today they have published it.

You can read it in their blog by clicking here.

Now, that’s what I call real VALIDATION!

Thank you ATA and thank you followers for being here. Sending all my terminology love from Barcelona.



Visit to the Centre for Terminology in the Catalan language, TERMCAT

With Glòria Fontovas i Hugas at their library

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Centre for Terminology in the Catalan Language (TERMCAT), established in 1985 by the Government of Catalonia and the Institute of Catalan Studies.

“TERMCAT’s mission includes the task of standardising neologisms from the speciality lexicon. The Centre approaches this work in two ways: (i) By approving the Catalan forms of new terms that emerge in the fields of science, technology and the humanities, whether because no proposed form already exists or because forms are being circulated that are inappropriate from the linguistic or terminology point of view; (ii) By establishing linguistic and terminological criteria to facilitate terminology work and the development of specialist languages in Catalan.”

I had the pleasure to meet Glòria Fontova i Hugas, Head of the Networks and Cooperation Area, who thoroughly explained the history (they will turn 30 this May 13!), ongoing projects, products and advisory services, and the cooperation efforts with several terminology networks and universities, and guided me through their amazing website ( where I was able to see how powerful their free-of-charge Cercaterm is and introduced me to their excellent online dictionaries and library, explained how to download their open data, and, of course, we took a close look at their famous Neoloteca. (Read their page in English here). And, of course, they have a great blog that keeps their readers updated on the latest news on Terminology and current issues and share the Term of the Week. Read More

Featuring Terminology IMOToolBox: Termium Plus


Update: Please note a few of these links are no longer available, but I have left them for historical purposes.

You probably have heard about and used TermiumPlus from the Government of Canada, a terminology and linguistic data bank, which includes close to four million English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese terms. It contains abbreviations, acronyms, synonyms, geographical names, official titles of organizations, titles of legislation and programs, phraseological units and examples of usage.

But did you also know that you can:

  1. Customize your Termium searches to suit your needs and make your searches faster. Do it HERE!
  2. Download TermiumPlus Mobile App to consult the data bank anytime and anywhere (EN/FR) by clicking on the logo below!termium plus
  3. Send e-cards of the language portal to your Facebook friends.
  4. Find quick answers to your language questions searching in “Gateway to English / Le Français sans secrets”.
  5. Take language quizzes.
  6. Subscribe to the language portal and receive email notifications.
  7. Consult glossaries and vocabularies: Most provided at no charge, to consult them or to download them. The majority are bilingual (English-French, French-English). Some also include equivalent terms in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and some are in Aboriginal languages.
  8. Read Language update: A freely available quarterly journal that contains solutions to commonly occurring language problems, tools of the trade and language industry news.
  9. Learn about terminology with their Pavel Terminology Tutorial, a great place to go for anyone exploring terminology for the first time and as a reference tool. It is offered in seven languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and Dutch.
  10. Consult their excellent writing tools available in English, French, and Spanish. See all the links HERE. Below is a table with the tools by language.

Read More

TermTerm: Multilingual database containing terminology’s terminology

termtermTermTerm is a freely accessible multilingual terminology database containing about 1.600 terms: central concepts of terminology work and definitions taken from relevant terminology standards, in German (1350 terms), English (1.900 terms), French (950 terms), and Greek (1.100 terms). It is available in SDL MultiTerm Online and quickTerm.

The original data is the result of a collaboration between students of the MA program “Terminology and Language Engineering” of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany, the Hellenic Society for Terminology (ELETO), and elcat (an innovative e-learning system for terminology launched by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, in collaboration with selected industry partners and the International Network for Terminology -TermNet).

Over the course of several projects, these institutions found it necessary to clarify the terminology of terminology and to prepare this data in a terminological database.

Also added to my page “Terminology Terms“.

Who is Who in Terminology? Alfred Schlomann (1878-1952)

schlomanSchlomann was a renowned German engineer and industrialist who became a terminologist after he started a project of preparing a series of technical dictionaries. Eugene Wüster’s research was partially based on theories established by Schlomann and his systematic ordering of specialized terminologies in specialized vocabularies. In the eyes of Wüster, he was one of the “four dynamic and forward-looking men” who fostered the development of terminology during the first half of the century (alongside de Saussure, Dresen and Homstrom).

The vision inspiring Schlomann’s dictionaries (21 volumes) was that productivity was closely linked to accurate terminology management. By 1905 he had been invited by the Verein Beratender Ingenieure (VBI) to start a multilingual dictionary project, “Illustrated technical dictionaries”, in English, Russian, French, Italian, and Spanish, with illustrations and alphabetical indexes in each language, covering most technological fields and their industrial applications (e.g. machinery and machine tools, steel, oil, plastics, textiles, paper and wood, gas and gas engines, agricultural machinery). He gathered financial support for his dictionary which included a team of 1.000 people (including subject experts to ensure reliability and comprehensiveness of definitions) distributed throughout seven countries and taking over 35 years to complete (1906-1940).

Read More

Diploma of Postgraduate Studies: Terminology and Professional Needs

pompeuThe Pompeu Fabra University is offering this excellent Diploma that will take place from April 8 to July 24. Click on the logo to read the program and other important details!
The Diploma of Postgraduate Studies: Terminology and Professional Needs, the only one of its kind, explores the contribution and relevance of terminology in many areas of knowledge. The course looks at the fundamental role that terminology plays in documentation, lexicography, linguistic normalization, language teaching and linguistic engineering. Knowledge, skills and resources for each of these areas is explored.
The objectives of the programme are to give participants a broad view of terminology, including the following:
• To go deeper into the interdisciplinary basics of terminology.
• To examine in detail the relationship between terminology and documentation, translation, lexicography, linguistic standardisation, language teaching and linguistic engineering.
Potential candidates
Translators and interpreters, documentalists, technical writers, journalists involved in scientific dissemination, lexicographers and dictionary editors, editors of scientific magazines, philologists and linguists interested in lexicon, text book editors, teachers of languages for specific purposes, teachers and specialists in various subjects interested in building subject-specific glossaries.

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Featuring Terminology IMOToolBox: EcoLexicon

ecolexicon sampleAlthough this terminological knowledge base is dedicated exclusively to the environment, I believe it is worth a special mention here for several reasons: It is a free-access database, it has a user-friendly visual interface with different modules for conceptual, linguistic, and graphical data, it covers 6 languages – Spanish, English, German, Modern Greek, Russian and Dutch, and so far it has 3,547 concepts and 18,875 terms!

The knowledge base is the work of the LexiCon Research Group at the University of Granada, using the approach known as frame-based terminology (a cognitive approach developed by Faber et. al. –see my post on terminology theories).

Read More

The “Triple Constraint” of Terminology Projects

Iron-TriangleA common topic discussed in terminology training courses deals with project constraints known as the “Triple Constraint”: scope, time (schedule), and cost (budget/resources). They are an important part of project management processes because they limit the smooth running of a project by creating  bottlenecks or restrictions. Your Project Charter usually includes accounts for project constraints, also known as The Iron Triangle because you can rarely change one constraint without also impacting the others. An additional element that is affected by this interaction is quality (“Tetrad”). (In some manuals scope is also regarded as quality). This is why they are represented in a triangle, in which each part affects the other, with quality in the middle of the figure:

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Writing your first Project Charter

project-charter terminologyThe Charter is a key document that brings together all the separate pieces of information about the project with a view to ensure the buy-in from all the stakeholders. Proper construction of a project charter can help ensure the success of any project.

If it is your first attempt at writing a Charter find a mentor who can advise and direct you. The best way to approach it is to think that it’s just a form (download this template) that you need to fill in, and there are many versions of such a form available online that can guide you, in case you need to use it (or you can write your own version).

Read More