viernes, 12 de julio de 2013

What does it take to be a terminologist?

Posted on July 11, 2013 - Termcoord Wordpress

Terminology work is an interdisciplinary activity involving tasks from different other fields such as informatics, linguistics, cognitive science, documentation, knowledge management, etc… In a multilingual specialised environment one cannot imagine providing high-quality linguistic services without terminology work undertaken by highly skilled terminologists. But what is a terminologist and what is their role in a company or institution? What are the tasks of a terminologist and what skills, competences and knowledge do they need to possess? Finally, what training and qualification possibilities should an aspiring terminologist have?
Today terminologists working in the private industry as well as in the public sector do not have a fixed role and could be found in different departments of the company or institution. They can be seen in the translation or foreign languages units, in the documentation or information department, in the technical writing section, in the research and development or in the public sector. Sometimes they work in the standardisation, patents or law departments. Some of the terminologists, and in particular in the language units, would also tend to hold the positions of the project manager or leader of terminology working groups.
Analysing all the mentioned possible working environments, we can conclude that the tasks of a terminologist vary a lot from compiling monolingual or multilingual terminological collections and making them available for the users to terminology planning activities and advisory and training activities.
To manage all these activities there are skills, competences and knowledge a terminologist is required to possess.
To reach the necessary level of expertise, one must acquire one of these main categories: qualifications obtained during terminological studies, preparation courses or seminars, qualifications obtained by conducting terminology work and general skills.
The most important requirements for a terminologist are the good knowledge of the principles of terminology science, mastery of terminology working methods and terminology management tools.
A high level of language competence of the mother tongue and of other foreign languages and a high degree of linguistic knowledge in all languages are also part of the most needed skills.
Preparing a corpus for the terminology work and the documentation of the terminology collections is one of the terminologist´s main tasks, implying thorough research and documentation competencies. Given the lack of awareness of terminology despite its importance for companies and institutions, they should also be able to give seminars or hands-on trainings on terminology and terminological resources. That also asks for high didactic abilities.
On top of all these specific requirements, terminologists should also present a lot of general skills from systematic working methods, to sociability and ability to work in intercultural teams, and project management. One must possess very good IT knowledge, planning, organisational and negotiation skills as well as a real power of persuasion.
Due to the changing world of technologies, the profile of the terminologist should always be adapting to new advancements especially in the technological field.
For example, with the development of the web 2.0 technologies it is very important that the terminologist has the ability to work with these new media and use them to provide a better and efficient terminological output.
The terminologist should be able to communicate through the new channels like blogs or forums and wikis, to get involved in different professional communities present on the web and virtually collaborate with them.
Due to the high amount of information available on the web, terminologists, in their field specialist position, should provide the terminology users with the most reliable information available, and as a result hold the competence of evaluating the source of the resources used for terminology work. Through critical thinking they need to be able to validate the quality of data they find on the web.
To acquire these competences and particularly the very specific ones related to terminology science, working methods and tools, good training and qualifications are required. Usually, in every course of studies in translation, computer linguistics, technical writing and interpreting, seminars on terminology are offered. In some countries there are specific curricula with a main focus on terminology and language technologies. Some organisations and institutes offer trainings and continuing education courses for terminologists.
In view of the quick developments in all technical fields, technologies and communication, the main requirements from terminologists are to acquire new knowledge in a process of life-long learning and to stay all the time up to-date.
You can find here the Professional Profile for terminologists issued by the Council for German-Language Terminology.
Article written by Matilda Soare, trainee at TermCoord

jueves, 16 de mayo de 2013

Los vademécums, los currículum vítae

El Diccionario de la lengua española (DRAE) admite el plural con –s de ambas palabras: vademécums y récords,  y en el Diccionario panhispánico de dudas ofrece la siguiente explicación sobre la formación del plural de los sustantivos
Sustantivos y adjetivos terminados en grupo consonántico. Procedentes todos ellos de otras lenguas, forman el plural con -s (salvo aquellos que terminan ya en -s, que siguen la regla general: gong, pl. gongs; iceberg, pl. icebergs; récord, pl. récords. Se exceptúan de esta norma las voces compost, karst, test, trust y kibutz, que permanecen invariables en plural, pues la adición de una -s en estos casos daría lugar a una secuencia de difícil articulación en español. También son excepción los anglicismos lord y milord, cuyo plural asentado en español es lores y milores, respectivamente.
Plural de los latinismos. Aunque tradicionalmente se venía recomendando mantener invariables en plural ciertos latinismos terminados en consonante, muchos de ellos se han acomodado ya, en el uso mayoritario, a las reglas de formación del plural que rigen para el resto de las palabras y que han sido expuestas en los párrafos anteriores. Así pues, y como norma general, los latinismos hacen el plural en -s, en -es o quedan invariables dependiendo de sus características formales, al igual que ocurre con el resto de los préstamos de otras lenguas: ratio, pl. ratios; plus, pl. pluses; lapsus, pl. lapsus; nomenclátor, pl. nomenclátores; déficit, pl. déficits; hábitat, pl. hábitats; vademécum, pl. vademécums; ítem, pl. ítems. Únicamente se apartan hoy de esta tendencia mayoritaria los latinismos terminados en -r procedentes de formas verbales, como cónfer, confíteor, exequátur e imprimátur, cuyo plural sigue siendo invariable. También constituye una excepción la palabra álbum. En general, se aconseja usar con preferencia, cuando existan, las variantes hispanizadas de los latinismos y, consecuentemente, también su plural; así se usará armonio (pl. armonios) mejor que armónium; currículo (pl. currículos) mejor que currículum; podio (pl. podios) mejor que pódium. No deben usarse en español los plurales latinos en -a propios de los sustantivos neutros, tales como córpora, currícula, etc., que sí son normales en otras lenguas como el inglés. Las locuciones latinas, a diferencia de los latinismos simples, permanecen siempre invariables en plural: los statu quo, los currículum vítae (, los mea culpa

Translators' Organizations

AATI (Asociación Argentina de Traductores e Intérpretes)
The site of the Argentine Association of Translators and Interpreters provides useful information, in Spanish and English, about the organization, its officers, and activities. A searchable database contains the names and telephone numbers, e-mail addresses.and (when available) website URLs of accredited members. A limited number of links and translation-related articles. AATIA (Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association)
Members’s database, news, SIGs, news, links, etc., in a very attractive site.
ADÜ Nord (Assoziierte Dolmetscher und Übersetzer in Norddeutschland e.V.)
The North German Interpreters' and Translators' Association is a professional association of interpreters and translators based in Northern Germany. The site features a members' database, Introduction and Objectives in six languages, list of publications, events, and more.
AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters)
Site of the world’s largest organization of interpreters with membership information, worldwide contacts, Code of Ethics, and members’ on-line database. In English with French and other languages planned or under construction. (Asociación Internacional de Traducción e Interpretación)
IAPTI (International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters)
Based in Argentina, AIPTI/IAPTI is a civil association, established in September 2009, that aims to promote ethical practices and address issues of concern in the translation and interpretation industry.
Its bilingual (English, Spanish) web site includes articles, T&I news, resources, a searchable database of the association's members, and a private forum for members.
AITC (Association internationale des traducteurs de conférence)
International Association of Conference Translators, headquartered in Switzerland. The public section contains membership information, membership list by language and domicile, as well as alphabetically, bylaws, etc. The “members only&148; section contains a list of glossaries, links, the latest issue of the AITC bulletin, as well as access to the restricted site of the United Nations Joint Inter-Agency Meeting on Computer-Assisted Terminology and Translation (JIAMCATT) and its terminology database In three languages: French, English and Spanish.
AITI (Italian Translators and Interpreters Association)
Home page of AITI by Luigi Muzii. A highly informative site with a members’ database, rates schedule, extensive list of links, in addition to AITI-specific information. In Italian.
ALTA (American Literary Translators Association)
Mission statement, officers, membership information, link to other organizations and publications for literary translators.
ATA (American Translators Association)
Home page of the American Translators Association. Membership information, Accreditation, Chapters, Divisions, Cooperating Groups, Conference, publications and useful links.
ATAJ (Moroccan Sworn Translators' Association)
Association of Moroccan certified court interpreters (Association des Traducteurs Agréés près les Jurisdictions). Website in French and Arabic with members' list searchable by city or name. E-mail:
ATIA (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta)
Mission Statement (in English and French), Membership information, members' list. Nicely designed site. ATICOM (Association of Professional Freelance Translators and Interpreters, Germany)
Members' database, news, links, events. In German.
ATIDA (Arabic Translation and Intercultural Dialog Association)
The association is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The website, currently in Arabic with a welcoming page in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Turkish, and Portuguese, is being translated into those languages by volunteers.
ATINS (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia)
A fun bilingual site of ATINS (Canada) by Robert Cormier. Code of Ethics, Membership List, Events, and much-much more.
ATIO (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario)
An attractive bilingual (English-French) site with general info on the organization, information on the ATIO Foundation, and the CTIC Certification exams.
ATLF (French Literary Translators' Association)
General info on ATLF and topics related to literary translation. Code of Ethics, Glossary, New site, with some parts still under construction (December 2001).
ATN - APTS (Arab Translators Network-Arab Professional Translators Society)
a virtual society operating through the Internet to facilitate interaction between Arab freelance translators, translation agencies and their clients. The attractive and sophisticated website (in English) displays information on member translators and agencies, and allows clients and agencies to post translation jobs. Members also have access to translation courses, certification tests, a terminology knowledge base, forums, a news service, and many other services, all free.
The organizations's Yahoo Group is at
ATPP (Asociación de Traductores Profesionales del Perú)
Site of the Peruvian Association of Professional Translators. Searchable members directory, links & glossary of acronyms. Site (in Spanish and English) under construction at the time of this writing (February 2003).
ATR Romanian Translators Association
Mission, Vision, Values, Registration, How to Become a Regular Member. (In Romanian)
AUSIT Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators
Searchable member directory (translators and interpreters), Consumer Guide, Accreditation info, Code of Ethics, and Membership Benefits.
BDÜ (German Translators and Interpreters Association)
Members’ database, regional organizations in Germany, BDÜ info, useful links. In German. CATI (Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters)
Membership information, Guide to Selecting and Working with Professional Translators, FAQ, links. An extremely well-designed, attractive and informative site.
CBTIP-BKVTF (Belgian Chamber of Translators, Interpreters and Philologists)
Home page of the Belgian Chamber of Translators, Interpreters and Philologists with description of the Chamber’s activities, bylaws, and code of business practices. In Dutch and French with summary in English.
CTA (Colorado Translators Association)
Membership information, ATA Code of Ethics, How to Select a Translator, CTA membership directory, links.
FIT (Fédération internationale des traducteurs)
Home page of the Fédération internationale de traducteurs (International Federation of Translators), the umbrella organization of national translators’ organizations. Membership in FIT is available to organizations only, not to individual translators. (Global Internet Translators Association)
An organization based in Hamburg, Germany. Membership is free for freelance translators and costs €450 per year for translation companies. The site is bilingual English/German.
IMIA (International Medical Interpreters Association)
Formerly known as MMIA. The web site contains information about the organization, member benefits, ethics code, annual Conference, and more. Interpreter database (available only to members).
ITA (Irish Translators’ Association)
Constitution (in English and Irish) and Membership List. E-mail:
Interpreters' Division of ATA
Articles for Medical, Legal, Conference, and Community interpreters, as well as for users of their services.
IoL (Institute of Linguists)
The largest professional translating/interpreting/language body in the UK. It has a searchable database of members around the world (by language combination/speciality/location etc) with links to personal websites etc.
ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpretation, United Kingdom)
A very attractive and well-designed site under heavy construction. Membership information, organization data. Membership list and links in preparation (as of end of March, 1998).
LTAC/ATTLC (Literary Translators’ Association of Canada/Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada)
Membership information, Model Contract, links. Bilingual (French/English).
NCATA (National Capital Area Chapter of the American Translators Association)
Searchable members’ database, downloadable newsletter.
NCTA (Northern California Translators Association)
Searchable database of members and the electronic edition of the excellent newsletter Translorial.
NETA (New England Translators Association)
A double-edged site with separate "entrances" for clients and translators. The first one includes a brief introduction, a NETA membership list, list of translators into English and list of translators from English. The translators' area includes information about NETA, a membership form, business practices, conflict resolution, and a model contract.
NMTIA (New Mexico Translators and Interpreters Association)
On-line membership directory.
NOTA (Northeast Ohio Translators Association)
Searchable translators' database, How to Use Translators, Translators' Resources, Membership Information.
NOTIS (Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society)
Downloadable membership database, news, and resources.
NYCT (New York Circle of Translators)
Membership information, links, events, members' database searchable by language combination and specialization. Selected full-text articles from The Gotham Translator.
Österreichischer Übersetzer- und Dolmetscherverband
New home page of the Austrian Association of Translators and Interpreters "Universitas." Membership information, searchable database, News, Newsletter. In German; the English version to be published soon.
OTTIAC (Ordre des traducteurs et interprètes agréés du Québec)
“Portrait,” news, and membership information in downloadable pdf format. Links. Bilingual French/English.
SCATIA (Southern California Area Translators Association)
Membership list and searchable database of members, in addition to membership information, newsletter summary, and a bulletin board for discussions and terminology queries.
SFT (Société française des traducteurs)
The new website (launched in the fall of 2007) of SFT, the French national translators' association, with news, training opportunities, and information on working in France.
SINTRA (Brazilian Translators’ Association)
Home page of the Brazilian Translators’ Association. Bimmonthly newsletter, events, debates, market rates for translations (in Brazil). In Portuguese.
STIBC (Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia)
Code of Ethics, Certification information, links. The e-mail address is
WATA (World Arabic Translators' Association)
Association of Arabic Translators, registered in Switzerland with operational headquarters in Qatar. Web site currently only in Arabic, but will be translated in the future into English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Swedish. For more information, contact