Views on Terminology or Snippets Gleaned from Terminologists

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Management Systems – Snippet One

Most of the terminology management systems on the market are highly developed and offer almost every feature a user will need. They are also very flexible so that they can be adjusted to specific organizational environments and needs. What could be improved is support of the terminology workflow and the different statuses an entry, a concept or a term will have during the process of elaboration and verification. We also see the trend to correlate terminology management much more with the Web, i.e., web-based terminology management tools, using the web as a resource for terminological retrieval and involving the crowd in terminological activities. Consequently, terminological data have to be more interoperable with other language and content resources, such as ontologies or other Linked Open Data resources.

Also, many terminological resources have grown during the last decades and, together with a lot of reliable data, a lot of inconsistent and impure data is stored. Quality assurance and cleaning feature are urgently needed, as a functionality of terminology management systems or as additional tools.

Snippet Two

Technology has already changed translation and terminology management considerably, and it can only get better. Just to mention one example, further developments in corpus linguistics and related tools will have a great impact also on the work of individual terminologists and translators. Needless to say, getting the best out of tools will always rely on an adequate understanding of terminology management and of any related workflow, a further reason for promoting better terminology awareness.

International Standards – Snippet Three

There is no doubt, that interchanging terminological data between different users, system and application requires standards. If there are no standards available, individual conversion routines have to be implemented in every single case, and the owner of the source data has to be consulted to explain the meaning of each single type of information. That’s the reason why standards bodies such as ISO already started to develop an exchange standard for terminological data at the beginning of the 1980s.

Terminology and Localization – Snippet Four

Terminology is very crucial for many products and documents, but especially for software products. There are several reasons for this. Software very often introduces new concepts for new features of the program, and no established terms for these new concepts in the target language; terminologists have to coin new terms for these new concepts. Software tools consist of many parts: the software itself with menus, dialog boxes, error messages, etc., but also printed documentation, online-help, installation guides, tutorials, sample files and so on.

Many people, under extreme time pressure to release all localized versions at the same time to, at least, the important markets (simship), are involved in the localization of one program. This requires the use of consistent terminology through all parts of the software. And last but not least, terminology is the means of communication between the program and the user. If the terminology is not transparent, not appropriate and not consistent, the user will be frustrated and will not be able to use the software properly.

Terminology Trends – Snippet Five

In the 1980s and 1990s a computational turn revolutionized terminology studies and closely linked it to corpus linguistics and computational linguistics, as well as to knowledge engineering and ontology management. At the same time, a sociological turn broadened the field of terminology studies and combined it with socio-linguistics, in particular in the contexts of language planning and language policies. Since then a cognitive turn that had revolutionized linguistics has also extended the scope of terminology studies by focusing on the cognitive dimension of the formation and use of terms in domain communication and their underlying concepts, which are constantly re-constructed by each member of a discourse community in individual cognition processes as well as in collective meaning attributions. An economic turn made the economic potential of efficient terminology management in language industries and in international business and trade visible. The future of terminology studies lies, now as always, in a cross-disciplinary approach, carrying out empirical research driven by questions coming from industries, public institutions and from scientific institutions at large.

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