IBM Terminology: “The Power of Consistent Terminology”

That is the headline of IBM’s page that provides information on terminology management. I think it’s a very powerful headline and I was happy to find the information while doing some research. It’s a very simple and concise overview of terminology management, just like we like it. Also, it’s a great example of how important terminology management is for any company, but particularly large companies such as IBM. Here are the topics covered. I have extracted some highlights for each topic to give you an idea of the contents.

  1. Terminology Management. Executive overview.

“Today, to effectively develop and deliver global software, we need to pay more attention to how we manage the terminology used in software and corporate collateral. Without controls, terminology can cause problems that will cost your company money and customer satisfaction”

  1. Introduction to Terminology Management. What is the problem?”

“Consistent terminology contributes to presenting an integrated look and feel across products, and it ensures that service, support, marketing, and development all speak the same language, a language users can learn to understand.” Read More

IMOT downloadable site map in Excel

I know sometimes you just want to see the site map of a blog or website. I have generated this simple Excel file with all my pages and posts. You can download it and play with the filters. Next to the title I have provided the direct link to each post so that you can access it immediately. I will be updating it regularly, so you can always come back to this page and download the latest one. I hope you find it helpful. I have also added it to my main menu and the tag cloud under “sitemap”.

Click here: In My Own Terms Site Map

The Classical Schools of Terminology

If you have been reading my blog for a while or already know about the history of terminology, you are probably aware of the fact that terminology didn’t start with linguists but rather with subject-matter experts who started compiling and standardizing terms with a view to improve communication among them and avoid duplication of efforts. So it was practical experience that gave rise to different schools of terminology in those times.

If you have been reading my “Who is Who” biographies, you remember experts-turned-terminologists such as Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish medical doctor and botanist (1707-1778), Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist (1746-1794), Heinrich Paasch, German-Belgian nautical expert (1853-1904), Alfred Schlomann, German engineer (1878-1952), Sergej Alekseevič Čaplygin, Russian aerodynamics expert, (1892-1942), Ernest K. Dresen, Latvian/Russian-Soviet linguist (1892-1937), Dmitrij Semënovič Lotte, Russian engineer (1898-1950), John Edwin Holmstrom, English engineer (1898-19-) Helmut Felber, Austrian civil engineer (1925-2005), and of course Eugen Wüster, Austrian engineer (1898-1977). They came from different schools and some were even performing terminology work simultaneously from their own countries without knowing that others were doing similar work.

The classical schools of Terminology are the Vienna (Austrian) School, the Soviet School, and the Czech (Prague) school, all of which emerged from the work done by these experts. According to Maria Teresa Cabré, there are three approaches that these schools took:

  • A first approach that considers terminology to be an interdisciplinary but autonomous subject at the service of scientific and technical disciplines.
  • A second approach focusing on philosophy, which is primarily interested in the logical classification of concept systems and the organization of knowledge
  • A third approach focusing on linguistics, which considers terminology a subcomponent of a language’s lexicon and special languages as subsystems of general language.

Read More

Terminology on Social Media (reblogged from TermCoord)

[The following post was recently published by TermCoord and I am reblogging with their authorization.] Read original post here:

In today’s life everyone is talking about Social Media, the importance of having a good strategy or, for example, to use social media channels effectively in order to reach more visits and followers. There are several specialised sectors where to find interesting information about translation, interpreting, localisation, language learning and terminology among other language fields. Let’s see what we find about terminology on social media.

We have been observing some of the main Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Blogs to find relevant terminological information. We have been already talking about Telegram, one of the latests social media platforms proposing you to check teletermino. Now we just want to introduce you to some of the most relevant terminology platforms. This is our short proposal: Read More

Who is Who in Terminology: John Edwin Holmstrom (1898-19-)

Technical terms are to language what the contents of a builder’s yard are to architecture”, said John Edwin Holmstrom in 1959. An English engineer and translator, he worked in close collaboration with Eugen Wüster. Actually, according to Wüster, he was one of the “four dynamic and forward-looking men” of Terminology. He worked for UNESCO from 1949 to 1958 and was, among others, Program Specialist for Scientific Terminology and worked at the Department of Natural Sciences.

This is confirmed by Dr. M. Shcherbakova in “Los orígenes de la ciencia terminológica” who indicated that, according to M.T. Cabré, when Infoterm was created in 1975, it was Wüster himself who said that the intellectual paternity of the theory of terminology belonged to four scientists, among them J.E. Holmstrom, who promoted the international dissemination of terminology and actually was the first to propose that an international organization be created to promote it. So, it was Holmstrom who insisted on the idea of an International Terminological Bureau with the main objective of avoiding duplication of efforts.

According to Angela Campo, Holmstrom oversaw UNESCO’s Universal System for Information in Science and Technology (UNISIST) for the dissemination of scientific information and worked on promoting and disseminating the methods, norms and standards used for handling information. He always insisted on the importance of improving terminology and, to him, terminology was essential for accomplishing his goal.

Read More

2017 Third Anniversary Book Raffle Is On!

Here it is again. Next April 8 is IMOT’s Third Anniversary! I can’t believe how time has gone by so fast! I am starting the raffle today, February 14, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the day to enjoy friendship and love (Terminology love, that is!), and also to give you enough time to send me a message in Contact Me to let me know that you are interested. Please indicate (1) full name, (2) book preference, (3) country of origin and residence.

Just like last year, I have two books, one on Terminology and one on Translation. The Terminology book, as every year, is “Corporate Terminology Management: An approach in theory and practice” by Ariane Großjean, a book that is great for beginners and non-beginners in terminology, and for the translation book this year I have chosen “Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything” by David Bellos, which a colleague recommended a while ago.

Want to read about previous winners? Check out the first-year winner, Asma AIOtaibi from Saudi Arabia, and the second year winners Danae Parmaki, from Greece (Translation book) and Olga Umaña from Colombia (Terminology book) . Send me a message now to have a chance to become one of the third-year winners.

This raffle is made to thank you, my dear readers, for your support during these three exciting years. I think my best compensation, being this a non-profit educational blog, is to hear from those of you who decided to study Terminology thanks to this blog, or who didn’t know anything about Terminology and are learning about it through In My Own Terms. So let’s keep sharing the terminology love!

Feel free to share this message with your colleagues. If you prefer to send me an email directly instead of using the Contact Me form, the email is I will probably do the raffle on Friday, April 7, here at my office with my colleagues as witnesses, so you have plenty of time to send me that email. Shipping costs are on me, of course, regardless of your location.

Happy reading!


A couple of years ago, I created this table based on a lesson on terminology users for the “Foundations of Terminology” course at the Pompeu Fabra University (see source at the end). I was reading through the materials and thought that this would be a very interesting piece of information to share here. I think this table proves that Terminology has a bright future as it covers many professional fields and it is very encouraging for those young language lovers who are looking to follow a path in Terminology. It is always important to keep your users in mind, because once you start your terminology work, it is key to identify your users and their needs to define what information should be included in your glossary or termbase. For example, a translator may need definitions, but subject experts might not require them. So, I hope this helps to have a better idea of who the users of Terminology are. Read More

The Benefits of Terminology: A guide for language lovers (downloadable PDF)

I had been planning to do this for a long time. A short guide for language lovers that know that terminology management is key to improving communication but that some times find it hard to justify it. The main problem that we encounter is trying to convince decision makers to invest in terminology management. There are a few studies that have been done but a lot more needs to be done. I might not have included everything that is available, but at least it’s a small effort to give you some information and the sources where I took it from so that you can research more.

In the guide I indicate that I have not mentioned every source for each piece of information to facilitate reading, but I have included all the sources on the last page so that you are able to read more and get more information if you need it.

The benefits of Terminology A guide for language lovers

Happy reading!

Should I sign up for TermNet’s certification for Terminology Managers?

Since I started this blog, I have received quite a few inquiries about whether to take the certification and, if yes, which of the two, basic or advanced, courses to take. Considering that the new editions of these courses start this February, I thought this post would be appropriate. Even if you can’t take the certification right now, I hope this will give you a better idea of what it is all about.

To answer the first question, I have to refer to my recent post in which I recommend translators to get certified to enhance their resumes. In my opinion, even if you don’t think you need it, I would encourage you to get at least more involved or informed. I know that you possibly don’t have the financial capacity to do it now, but keep it in your wish list. I know you won’t regret it.

To answer the second question, whether basic or advanced, I’d say that if you have experience in terminology, definitively you can take the Advanced. But in my case I knew about terminology but not enough, so I took the Basic course. Actually, this blog would not exist if it wasn’t for the certification that I took. My posts refer to most of the topics that the certification deals with.

Read More

Job opening for terminologist/ translator at Arthrex, Inc. (Florida)

I know many of you have taken the Terminology Manager certification or have studies and/or experience to apply for this. It was shared in social media by world-known terminologist Uwe Muegge, who is now working for this company in sunny Florida. Doesn’t say when the deadline is, so hurry up!

Requisites: “University degree in terminology or translation studies or equivalent work experience. Minimum of 3 years’ experience in a terminology management role.

So, without further ado, here is the link to apply: CLICK HERE.

I also copy here the information on the main objective of this job offer so that you can take a quick look first: “Responsible for developing and managing the terminology process for technical terms used by Arthrex, working closely with content authors and teams across the company. Define and lead the processes to review terms proposed by teams, obtaining necessary subject matter expert input, and ensure that the terms are properly managed within the term database for use across the company. Manage and oversee the work of Language Service Providers to ensure that the specified terms are translated properly and made available for use in other languages throughout the company.”

Good luck!

Top terminology databases for translation

You know that feeling. You have so many links to glossaries and dictionaries that you forget what you have actually saved. Your best bet is to first open the terminology bases that will save you a lot of research time.

One thing that you should remember is that there are a lot of experts and linguists behind each termbase. They have done extensive research and validation of terms, so you know that the term you are using is very reliable. And they always welcome your feedback in case you have comments or suggestions.

Termbases that are subject-specific also include other subject fields, so you can’t dismiss them. For example, if you search for “bargaining power” in FAOTerm, you will find the term, even if it’s not exactly referred to agriculture. Read More

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.