Pavel’s Key Points

"Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action" - MAE WEST

“Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action” – MAE WEST

Didn’t have a chance to read Pavel’s tutorial before it was discontinued? Well, here are the key points they presented at the end of each section so that you can have an idea of what you will find there, as well as get immediate access to important ideas with a quick glance.

1. Terminology – Overview:

  • Terminology is the study of the concepts and terms belonging to specialized languages.
  • A term is associated with a specialized concept in a particular subject field.
  • A term may be composed of one word or two or more words.
  • Terminology work includes both systematic and ad hoc activities.
  • The results of term extraction and terminology research findings are collected by concept for analysis, then synthesized in the form of terminological entries such as terminology records in a database.
  • In some cases, terminology standardization committees review concept-based terminology case files and agree on preferred terms by consensus.
  • An appropriate means of managing and disseminating the results of terminology work must be adopted.
  • The results of terminology work may be distributed in a variety of types of publication, including glossaries and vocabularies, or through databases and terminology standards.
  • Decisions as to the appropriate dissemination method depend on your capabilities and your clients’ needs.

2. Terminology Research Principles

  • Knowledge is information about what we perceive as objects surrounding us.
  • We organize knowledge by means of abstractions called concepts.
  • Concepts group individual objects into classes by means of shared characteristics or features.
  • Knowledge classification systems help to structure knowledge and facilitate the understanding and communication of knowledge as well as access to knowledge. Such systems may differ in complexity, level of detail, perspective and focus according to the particular purpose for which they are designed.
  • Classification systems remain an indispensable tool in terminology research.
  • The acquisition of knowledge is a cumulative, dynamic and mostly unpredictable process. Its constituent elements (beliefs, facts, concepts, terms, and so on) are constantly changing, and their classification systems change also.
  • Different kinds of sources of information are required in order to meet different kinds of terminology needs.
  • Documents must be evaluated so that you can select, for purposes of terminology research and analysis, only those that contain the terminological information most likely to satisfy your clients’ expectations.
  • The sources of terminological information entered on a terminology record must be noted, whether they are written or oral.
  • Concepts are units of knowledge identifiable by their stable association with a set of semantic features and with one or more designations (terms).
  • Essential semantic features help position concepts in a conceptual system.
  • Essential and delimiting characteristics also help in the definition of concepts such that each concept is distinguished from all other concepts in the same system.
  • Knowledge in a given subject field is structured according to the hierarchical and associative relationships among concepts.
  • Semantic features play the same role in concept formation, recognition and evolution as lexical and morphological components play in term creation: new combinations give rise to new units of knowledge and create new designations.
  • Stable links between concepts, semantic features and terms help identify and define concepts based on textual matches present in the specialized documentation.
  • The concept-to-term approach of terminological research is illustrated in the single-concept requirement for the creation of terminological records. However, it may be useful to include purely linguistic information such as usage notes and phraseologisms on such records.
  • In order to organize both your terminology research project and your terminology data collection, get a clear idea of just which subject field (or subfield) you are going to limit your terminology work to.
  • Begin to structure your knowledge of the subject field by adopting an existing classification system, improving on an existing classification system, or creating your own classification system.
  • Once you have delimited the subject field or subfield in which you will work, identify and evaluate available sources and select those that meet certain criteria for credibility and reliability. You will use these sources to identify terms and gather information about concepts.

3. Methodology for Creating Terminology Records

  • You use the documentation you have selected to identify terms, to collect and analyze information about concepts and their relationships, and to note textual supports that may be used on terminology records. This information may be organized into single-concept terminology case files.
  • By performing sound conceptual analysis to identify the characteristics of concepts and the relationships among concepts in a concept field, you can be sure that your terminology products are logical, accurate and cohesive.
  • Term extraction, or scanning for terms, involves the careful reading of selected documentation to identify candidate terms that are pertinent to your field of research and noting textual supports that provide information about the related concepts.
  • The terminology record offers a way to organize and synthesize the information you have gathered about a concept and the term(s) that designate it.
  • The data that make up a record should be valid, concise, timely, and complementary.
  • Textual supports included on terminology records should reveal information about the concept and about term usage in a clear, concise and understandable manner.
  • Definitions should include the essential and delimiting semantic features of the concept being defined.
  • Guidelines for writing definitions must be respected. There are commonly accepted guidelines as well as those established by you or your organization for your terminological data collection.
  • Contexts, usage samples and phraseologisms may be included on terminology records to show how terms are actually used in a specialized language.
  • Observations or notes are a good way to clarify potentially confusing situations for your users, but they should be kept as brief as possible.
  • To assist your users in the correct application of the terminological data in your collection, it is advisable to include advice about any usage particularities associated with the terms entered on the terminology record. This information is generally conveyed by means of usage labels. (observations or notes could serve the same purpose.)
  • Terminology records generally include organizational (e.g. subject field) and other administrative-type information in addition to the terminological data, such as source references, originator and updater names, and creation and update dates.
  • Besides the storage and retrieval of terminology records, you may need to undertake a variety of database management tasks to ensure that the contents of your terminological data collection are error-free, up-to-date and shareable.
  • Be consistent.
  • Adapt to the needs of the users of your terminological data collection.

4. Tools

  • The collection of documentation to examine in the course of terminology research can be done through traditional library methods, computerized catalogues, and online search services.
  • Participation in discussion groups can lead to excellent documentation as well as expert evaluations of available documents.
  • Terminological research findings are recorded on paper or in computerized tools that may or may not also offer data management capabilities.
  • The recording method selected must fit into the larger scheme of your workflow and other terminology- or writing-related tools.
  • Existing terminology data banks are an excellent source of terminological information that has already been analyzed and compiled for you.
  • The various means of searching the Internet are useful to the extent that the information retrieved is reliable.
  • Consultation of subject experts through Internet-based discussion groups can be extremely helpful.
  • Terminology management tools vary in scope and purpose.
  • The selection of an appropriate terminology management tool must be based on a careful analysis of your needs.
  • Term extraction can be done manually, but the results eventually need to be transcribed for the terminology management system.
  • Term extraction may be performed with the assistance of the computer, in which case you identify the candidate terms for extraction.
  • Term extraction may be performed with an automated tool that prepares a list of all candidate terms based on a statistical or statistical/syntactic/morphological analysis, in which case you review the results afterwards and retain only those candidates that you feel are useful.
  • A corpus of texts can be mined for terminological information.
  • A corpus of texts can be mined for information about term usage in one or more languages.
  • The texts must be in computer-readable form.
  • A terminological publishing tool must be able to respect the layout adopted by your organization.
  • A terminological publishing tool must be able to respect the ordering guidelines adopted by your organization.
  • Effective communication is a prerequisite to information exchange across boundaries, languages and cultures.
  • Terminology is an essential component of effective communication.
  • Translation, terminology and interpretation play a key role in: the management of multilingual knowledge; the production of documentary and language products facilitating information interchange; and the integration of language resources for a knowledge-based society.

5. Standardization

  • All standardizing organizations have similar missions, that is, to arrive at a solution for making a product, service, process or system interconnected and interoperable.
  • International de jure standards are developed largely by consensus of the participating members while de facto standards are market-driven.
  • Standards are generally voluntary and become mandatory only when incorporated into national regulations or legislation.
  • In the field of terminology, both technical and terminology standards are important.
  • International standards, especially terminology standards, are generally published in more than one language, while national standards tend to be monolingual.
  • Project management of a terminological standardization project involves a series of stages and documents: defining the project and producing a specifications document, organizing a project team and producing a work plan, managing the workflow and producing a draft terminology, reviewing the data and producing a final terminology, and reviewing the project and producing a final report.
  • Terminology standards are standard specific since they specify which terms should be used in a standard and how these terms are to be understood.
  • Terminology standards support standard development.
  • Work is carried out collaboratively by committees, subcommittees or working groups composed of members with a broad representation.
  • Agreements on the terms and definitions are arrived at in meetings and by consensus of the participating members.
  • Terminology standard development should follow established production rules and comply with existing terminology technical standards.
  • Terminology in standards may appear in lists or glossaries.
  • Terminology in standards are increasingly stored in and accessed through databases.
  • In recent years, a greater range of standards and standard-like documents has become available in increasingly diverse electronic publication formats.
  • Although the implementation of a standard is the responsibility of the user, there are a number of conformity assessment schemes to ensure that the product or service meets the criteria and requirements set out in a standard.
  • Standardization is costly both financially and in terms of effort.
  • Once a standard is developed, it must be reviewed regularly to keep it relevant.
  • International standards adopted nationally must be rendered into national languages. The question arises as to whether they should be translated or localized.
  • Localization raises some important issues for terminology and leads us to re-examine the question what a terminology standard is.

7 Comments on “Pavel’s Key Points

  1. Pingback: Content Quality Management starts from requirements - ContentQuo

  2. Thank you. I am an absolute beginner, although I have been a translator and interpreter for many years (nearly 20) I have never before approached the topic under such a scientific angle.
    I would love to take Pavel’s training but I think it is no longer online, so thank you again for making these points available to us. I find the wording quite scientific but will not allow this to intimidate myself.

  3. Hi, David. Thanks for letting me know. I have been checking the links in other languages and they are all down, so it seems that their page is currently down. I will follow this up and see what’s going on. It is not the first time that they change the location, but I haven´t been able to find a new link, if available.
    Thanks for the heads-up!

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