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.

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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: https://www.facebook.com/VisionsAndRevisions/ and follow in Twitter (ttps://twitter.com/_eaft). I will be taking notes and reporting after the event. Also check out TermCoord’s page with details (including the Program): http://termcoord.eu/events/eaft-summit-2016/. 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 / http://tradflow.com), 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, Proz.com, 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: http://literarydevices.net/tautology/.



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: http://eventum.upf.edu/event_detail/6375/detail.html

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


“Getting value out of your Excel glossaries” a webinar by Kara Warburton

webinarimageAs I mentioned in a previous post, terminologist Kara Warburton (Director of Business Development and Technical Support for Asia Pacific at Interverbum Technology – ‎Interverbum Technology) recently gave a presentation in the form of a webinar. Mats Granstroem, Product Development Manager, facilitated the webinar. If you missed it, the organizers have added the video in YouTube. Stephan Olsson, Marketing Manager, shared the link with us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrf4PWhHwYc

The presentation lasts about 35 minutes plus an additional 12 minutes of Q&A. Most importantly, Kara asked that people suggest new topics for future webinars on Terminology. I invite you to write to Kara or Mats and suggest new topics: kara.warburton@interverbumtech.com or mats.granstroem@interverbumtech.com

I also highly recommend that you watch this webinar. It is the best way to gain confidence and manage your terminology efficiently.

Happy learning!


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Book giveaway “Teaching and Learning Terminology”

Book-GiveawayThis book is in my collection of terminology books, but I thought that it would be in better hands of a translation/terminology professor.

I only have one copy so the person who will receive this will be a university professor involved in terminology training. “Teaching and Learning Terminology” (2011) is edited by Amparo Alcina of the Universitat Jaume-I, Castellón, Spain, and gathers seven articles from terminology professors in several universities. All articles are in English except two that are in French. So I’d say that if you also can read French this is for you. I will also give preference to that person who does not have access to terminology books in his/her country.

Each article describes programs and experiences that the authors have in teaching terminology at university level. Here is a list of the articles: Read More

Pricing for terminology work

financial-decision-makingI have seen in the past a few discussions on social media about how much we should charge for terminology work. This topic has been also previously discussed by Barbara Inge Karsch in her 2010 blog post What do we do with terms?

It is important to make a differentiation between terminology work done during the translation process and terminology work done by a terminologist. In this post I refer to general terminology work done in translation, since doing terminology work for a company or organization is dependent on many factors that are usually out of our control (mainly budget restrictions).

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Terminology goes to Telegram!

TTelegram_logo.svgelegram Messenger (https://telegram.org/faq_channels) is a cloud-based instant messaging service and I recently learned about two channels that will probably interest you.

The first one is the channel of IULATerm of the Institut Universitari de Lingüística Aplicada (IULA) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). The first telegram was sent on September 15 and, since then, telegrams have included profiles and quotes from distinguished terminologists and other terminology-related news.

You can connect with them here: https://telegram.me/IulaOnline. Their Twitter account is @iulaonline_UPF.

The second channel is a non-profit, freelance Research Gate project (Terminology Science Promotion). It is called teleTermino and it was created by terminologist Besharat Fathi on August 5th. (You can read her bio below.) Besharat is originally from Iran and she realized that linguists from her country had difficulties connecting to social media, so she came up with the idea of this channel as a way to give them easy access to information on terminology. Read More