The European Association for Terminology (EAFT)


It was 18 years ago that a consortium of 40 major stakeholders in the European terminology field carried out the work that lead to the creation of the EAFT. Their goal was “to create a set of concrete recommendations for activities leading to a co-ordinated but flexible terminology infrastructure for Europe”. It was called the POINTER project, which stands for “Proposals for an Operational Infrastructure for Terminology in Europe”. One year later, in 1996, one of those recommendations called for the creation of the EAFT “as a non-profit professional association for terminologists in Europe. […] At first, the grouping should be loose and relatively unstructured, but it should aim in the long term to become a true professional association…”1

And, indeed, it has become a true professional association. Nineteen years later, the accomplishments of the EAFT in the promotion of the terminology profession have been outstanding not only in Europe but also outside its multicultural borders (It has established co-operation agreements with institutions such as Realiter, the Pan-Latin terminology network). It has developed activities in the form of workshops, symposiums, summits, seminars and conferences. Their first terminological summit took place in Brussels in June 2002 when they presented the “Brussels Declaration for International Cooperation on Terminology”,2 which includes 13 different actions to promote special language communication. Currently the Declaration is available in 20 languages. You can read the English version here.

Another initiative by the EAFT was the publication of “Entities involved in terminology activities”, produced during their second summit in Barcelona, in November 2004. It includes a list of 73 entities and 102 relevant bodies, along with a summary of their objectives, a description and main activities.3

In association with TermNet, EAFT grants annual awards to candidates from all over the world that have published theses and/or dissertations. The “International Terminology Awards” are presented in two categories: “The International Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theoretical/Fundamental Research in the Field of Terminology” and “The International Award for Applied Terminology Research and Development”.

Lastly, EAFT has been publishing monthly newsletters since January 2010 to promote active communication among members who may submit contributions not only in English or French but also in their own language. Read their latest newsletter here.

For a quick overview on the EAFT you can download their 2-page leaflet which provides the basic information on the Association.

Sources and further reading:

  1. The POINTER project and the POINTER project Executive Summary.
  2. Brussels Declaration for International Cooperation on Terminology
  3. Entities involved in terminology activities
  4. EAFT website in 12 languages

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