The Ibero-American Network of Terminology (RITERM)
RITERM was created in 1988 on the occasion of the First Latin American Symposium on Terminology, (later changed to Ibero-American to include all the languages spoken in the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking region of the American continent). That first meeting took place at the Simón Bolivar University (Venezuela) to exchange experiences, present ongoing projects, and discuss practical issues such as building databases and thesaurus, developing training courses, and writing technical standards. It was endorsed by international organizations (Unión Latina, UNESCO and Infoterm) and national organizations (Simón Bolivar Bicentenary Foundation in Caracas and the National Commission of the Five-Hundredth Anniversary of Madrid).
In addition to international organizations, experts came from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, and Venezuela, then Cuba and Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay… Today, members also come from Belgium, France, Peru, Portugal, and Romania; and organizations include institutions from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, the United States of America, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, and Venezuela.
RITERM’s objective is to establish a cooperation channel among members to consolidate terminologies from Spanish-, Catalan-, and Portuguese-speaking countries. Members meet every two years and publish the magazine Debate Terminológico as a way to gather and exchange information to ensure that terminology systems, formats and methodologies are compatible.
Joint cooperation also includes planning and developing terminology or knowledge engineering projects, as well as terminology, lexicography and textual data banks, computational linguistics, terminology planning, etc. Terminology training programs are also developed by RITERM members to promote the development and dissemination of terminology as discipline in the form of study programs, internships, meetings, newsletters, etc.
The latest meeting was held in Santiago, Chile and the next XV Symposium (RITerm 2016) will be held at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), 18-21 October, with the theme: Terminologia e vida cotidiana: desafios para a construção de uma sociedade mais cidadã (Terminology and daily life: Challenges to building a more citizen-centered society [my translation]).
RITERM is currently accepting articles to be published in Debate Terminológico. The submission deadline is April 5, 2016.
Sources and further reading:
Fachsprachen. Language for Special Purposes. An International Handbook of Special-Language and Terminology Research. Herausgegeben von. Edited by Lothar Hoffmann, Hartwig Kalverskämper, and Herbert Ernst Wiegand. 1999.