Take the survey: What are the three biggest challenges in terminology management?

TermNet is asking us to complete this survey on terminology management to get a feeling about the challenges that terminology managers are facing in their respective organizations. It only takes one minute to complete.

Take the survey here: http://r.news-termnet.com/2vhmazqlbqdond.html

Thank you.

Guidelines for termbase design – SDL webinar by Prof. Klaus-Dirk Schmitz

Once again, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to give an overview of Prof. Schmitz’s webinar organized by SDL. As in past summaries (read  here) I think the initiative by SDL Trados is worth praising, not only because it’s something that we need to see more often, but also because the instructors are top-class terminologists who are sharing with us their knowledge and passion for terminology.

Watch the 50 min. webinar by clicking on this link: http://www.sdl.com/video/guidelines-for-termbase-design/116603/. For some of the terms used in this post, I have added a link to related posts in this blog.

Prof. Schmitz started by explaining the importance of terminology for technical writers, linguists, companies, and organizations in terms of improving communication and consistency and reducing costs. Also, a termbase has to be carefully designed as correcting it later is a very arduous process and the objective of having a well-design termbase is to allow for data exchange and interoperability. He made an analogy with a messy closet. If you have a well-organized closet you can find things more easily, whereas a disorganized closet makes you waste a lot of time searching for them.

Before designing a termbase you need to (1) analyze the needs and objectives, (2) specify the user groups, tasks, and workflow, (3) define the terminological data categories, (4) take into account the basic modeling principles, (5) model the terminology entry, and (6) select, adapt, or develop the software.

His presentation focused on 12 aspects for termbase design, as follows: Read More

My SmarTerms 11: Terminometrics

Terminometrics is the measurement of terminology use within a subject field or, as defined by Bhreathnach, the study of term implantation.

Termium defines it as the “analysis of the usage of concurrent terms designating a given concept” and “the measurement of the use of a term or a terminology within a population”. It is comparative and diachronic. For example, the French term “dessin intelligent” (intelligent design) is of recent creation and not frequently used. So terminometrics measures the preference of the population for the term “dessin intelligent”, “dessein intelligent” or the English term “intelligent design” and the tendency of their usage throughout time.

Jean Quirion is the Director of the School of Translation and Interpretation and Associate Professor and member of Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Ottawa and was the first to propose a scientific protocol to conduct terminometric studies. In his publication on the dynamics of terminology, Quirion explains how the “dynamics of terms deals with the evolution of terminology, and terminometric analyses measure this evolution. Based on an analysis of term usage in specialized communication in the domain of nanotechnology over a period of two consecutive years, his study demonstrated that terminometrics can produce a precise description of the dynamics of terms in multicultural, bilingual or multilingual settings.” Read More

What is a Term-Setter?

The term, that I hereby official coin, refers to young people who are thriving in the terminology world. It is the name of my new section that will feature interviews to terminology lovers who have a growing presence in social media and who are shaping the future of terminology. Who is going to be the first term-setter? Stay tuned!

Terminology essentials SDL webinars – Sign up!

Once again, we have this great opportunity to learn from the PROs in terminology. Check out these free webinars by SDL webinars:


  1. Guidelines for termbase design, by Prof. Klaus Dirk-Schmitz
  2. Making the business case for terminology management by Silvia Cerella Bauer
  3. Understanding terminology tools by Tom Imhof
  4. Terminology management in practice – real world examples by Barbara Inge Karsch
  5. Take terminology to the next level with SDL MultiTerm workflow by Klaus Kleischmann

Even if you don’t use SDL Trados, the information provided is very useful. I have attended the previous series and I signed up again because I learn something new every time.

Sign up here: Terminology Essentials SDL webinars

Identifying your terms – A word from the experts

One of the major issues that we face is trying to figure out what terms to include in our glossary or termbase. So I thought it might be helpful to gather some expert advice.

First off is terminologist Kara Warburton who says that we should “include terms that translators actually need and basically just about anything that can drive quality, consistency, and productivity in the translation process.” In her view, the terms that you need to include for the use of translators are not strictly terms from a scientific or technical point of view, it can be words from the general lexicon. “Any piece of text that:

  • Can embed in longer TM segments
  • Should not be translated
  • Has more than one possible translation
  • Has more than one possible meaning (homographs)
  • Has a company-specific meaning, usage, importance, or desired translation
  • Has a risk-associated significance (marketing, legal, safety, etc.)”

Read More

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: http://termcoord.eu/2017/02/terminology-on-social-media/

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 inmyownterms@yahoo.com. 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!