Turning the spotlight back to the POS (Part of Speech)
Although 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:
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.