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.”

The Language Technologies Research Centre in Quebec developed a software called “Barçah” to conduct terminometric studies on entire subject fields quickly and efficiently. It sorts the texts according to their language, indexes the corpuses, examines them, presents contexts in a user-friendly environment for manual disambiguation and assists in results management. It tracks the evolution of terminologies using a semiautomatic disambiguation system.

Termium also includes a specific entry for this software and defines it as the “measurement of terminology implantation”. The measurement of terminology implantation assesses the degree to which words suggested as being more correct than others in a given language effectively become used in society (e.g., avoiding anglicisms in French).

Read more SmarTerms here.

Sources and further reading

Terminotrics”. Termium [consulted on 19 March, 2017]

Temmerman, Rita; Van Campenhoudt, Marc. Dynamics and Terminology.

Quirion, Jean. School of Translation and Interpretation. University of Ottawa.

Bhreathnach, Úna  B.A., M.A. A best‐practice model for term planning. 2011

Quirion, Jean, Dynamique terminologique et terminométrie: Une complémentarité nécessaire pour le suivi de l’évolution de l’usage des termes et des connaissances

2 Comments on “My SmarTerms 11: Terminometrics

  1. Very interesting! Do you think this method can be used to make a business case for terminology management within an organization? I would think that there would be a benefit to knowing why one term or a phrase is preferred over another.

  2. I understand this is used for terminology planning in places such as Quebec and Catalonia, but if you could figure out how to use the idea to present your business case let me know! Thanks for your comment.

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