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Copyright for the terminologist

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Most translators and terminologists are at onepoint or another in their career concerned with the problem of copyright. It is therefore useful to know some basics on intellectual property. The International Information Centre for Terminology (INFOTERM) has published a small booklet on this issue which is available in English and German via TermNet Publisher: Guidelines for Terminology Agreements

Here are a few tipps Sue Ellen Wright presented during TSS 2009. They should give you some idea. However, if you plan some bigger project it is advisable to consult a legal adviser in your country.

  • Fair use and your termbase
    • Purpose and character: For educational or scholarly purposes
    • Nature of the copyrighted work: Creative work or informational?
    • Amount and substantiality: Minimal excerpts with citations
    • Effect on potential market for protected work: Basically non-commercial
    • Problems arise if you want to market or share your resources
  • Copyrightabilty of Terminology According to Data Category
  • Not covered:
    • Terms and symbols never covered
    • Definitions and descriptive texts
    • US: usable under fair use   practice
    • But “fair use” disappears under the European law
  • Possibly covered:
    • Compilation component & linkages
    • Database component under sui generis provisions
    • Content not covered
  • Data type concerns:
    • Photos and drawings or parts thereof definitely are covered
    • Some types of formulas are covered

View the full PRESENTATION on the TermNet Website

Glossaries Breakfast Group – Day: Definitions and Contexts

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On day 2, the request came in to discuss how to write good definitions. Slides were presented on good definition form and context form, and we discussed critical issues. Sample definition:

account

A login directory (1) restricted for the use of a particular person, (2) usually password- protected, (3) that provides access to a system.

Where:

the term is:  “account”

the superordinate concept is: “A login directory”

the critical (essential, distinguishing) characteristics are:

(1) restricted for the use of a particular person

(2) usually password- protected

(3) that provides access to a system.

The slides are available at TermNet Website.

Organizing terminological data with the help of data categories

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image4501Terminological data are organized according to standardized data categories, which have been defined in various standards. They will in the future be available at http://www.isocat.org, which complies with the future ISO standard, ISO 12620:2009. Anyone can view data categories in this environment or register as an expert and actually create, select and save data categories or Data Category Selections. The current collection of terminological data categories is also available at: http://www.ttt.org/clsframe/.

From Terminologies to Ontologies

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A very comprehensive reader on knowledge organization, terminologies, ontologies by Gerhard Budin of Vienna University as it was held yesterday at TSS 2009 has been uploaded on the TermNet Website for information and discussion.

Economic issues for terminology

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Knowledge is the wealth of any company. This why it is so important to manage the representations of all the concepts that consitue this knowledge. Terminology management, therefore, is an important economic factor. Terminologists are aware of this, of course. But they have to argue again and again with their managers, superiors or other decision makers, who may not (yet) understand why an investment in terminology management is an investment on quality, cost saving and improved overall performance.

We are discussing economic aspects of terminology at TSS 2009 in a presentation by Frieda Steurs, which is spiked with many real-life examples from business and industry.

This is essential knowledge for every good terminology managers. It will help to defend their position and improve their visibility within organizations.

Go to PRESENTATION for the arguments. Have more arguments? Your colleagues all over the world will be grateful for you sharing them here!

Technical writing and terminology

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Technical documentation is an important issue for terminologists and translators alike. For the latter it matters because if the source text they receive for translation is bad it makes their work problematic. In the best case it will mean that the translator has to get on the phone or e-mail to confirm with the writer.  For the customer or company this means both higher translation costs and risk! Especially when there are many translators working on the same project. This is one reason why the market for technical documentation and other language services, has been growing steeply in recent years:

−      20-30% growth each year

−      30 billion Euro turn around world wide

−      EU : 1,1 billion Euro/year on translation costs

−      Loss of markets because of monolingualism

Frieda Steurs of Lessius University College, Antwerp, is our expert on technical documentation and terminology. In her presentation this morning at TSS 2009 she gave much practical advise on content optimization measures such as:

  • Controlled language
  • Terminology standardization

Optimal procedures in technical document creation and translation include

  • Source text control
  • Terminology management (both source text and translation oriented)
  • Translation management
  • Content management
  • Critical analysis of the needs of the user
  • Workflow management

Access Presentation

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