Visit to the Centre for Terminology in the Catalan language, TERMCAT

With Glòria Fontovas i Hugas at their library

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Centre for Terminology in the Catalan Language (TERMCAT), established in 1985 by the Government of Catalonia and the Institute of Catalan Studies.

“TERMCAT’s mission includes the task of standardising neologisms from the speciality lexicon. The Centre approaches this work in two ways: (i) By approving the Catalan forms of new terms that emerge in the fields of science, technology and the humanities, whether because no proposed form already exists or because forms are being circulated that are inappropriate from the linguistic or terminology point of view; (ii) By establishing linguistic and terminological criteria to facilitate terminology work and the development of specialist languages in Catalan.”

I had the pleasure to meet Glòria Fontova i Hugas, Head of the Networks and Cooperation Area, who thoroughly explained the history (they will turn 30 this May 13!), ongoing projects, products and advisory services, and the cooperation efforts with several terminology networks and universities, and guided me through their amazing website (http://www.termcat.cat) where I was able to see how powerful their free-of-charge Cercaterm is and introduced me to their excellent online dictionaries and library, explained how to download their open data, and, of course, we took a close look at their famous Neoloteca. (Read their page in English here). And, of course, they have a great blog that keeps their readers updated on the latest news on Terminology and current issues and share the Term of the Week.

Partial view of TERMCAT offices

It would be too long to go into detail about each one of these, but I invite you to explore their website and discover, literally, a world of possibilities. Cercaterm, for example, contains about 234.000 term entries, in which you can search not only in Catalan but in other languages too (each entry has equivalent language terms and definitions), and in a wide variety of subject fields from Agriculture and Economy to Energy and Tourism. Also, their Neoloteca could be the envy of any modern language, as it gathers all the terms they have standardized (which can also be consulted in Cercaterm).

Collection of publications on terminology work

Special mention deserves the publications in Catalan that gather all the knowledge on the terminological work that TERMCAT has done throughout the years. An English description can be read here. It includes publications on Ordering terms, the Terminological definition, the Terminological dictionary, and Neologisms, among others.

Watch this 8 min. video on the work they do (in Catalan with English subtitles).

I want to take this opportunity to thank Glòria for taking the time to explain how TERMCAT works. Again, I encourage you to visit the website and navigate its different pages to learn more. And if you are a terminologist take a close look at Cercaterm and the Neoloteca.

Coming soon, my visit to Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and interesting information on the work they do.

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