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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

Glossaries focus group posting has been updated!

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Some online terminology resources

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If you are looking for reliable terms and definitions for subject fileds as varied as musical styles, weird hobbies, legal issues or rare diseases or in other than the “usual” languages covered in the Web (like English, Spanish, French) …here you might find the right link below.

Webterm. Terminology collection in large number of subject fields by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences: http://www.termportal.de

Eurotermbank. Although EuroTermBank is addressed directly towards Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, the project is open to other new EU member states and interested countries and organizations outside EU. It will also enable exchange of terminology data with existing national and EU terminology databases by establishing cooperative relationships, aligning methodologies and standards, designing and implementing data exchange mechanisms and procedures. http://www.eurotermbank.com

IATE: The European Union’s multilingual term bank. Particularly rich in technical and specialized terminology related to European Union policies

http://iate.europa.eu

You know of more valuable sites? We are collecting!

Collaborative terminology management in language planning and for corporate purposes

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We are discussing this morning the problem a South African participant brought up. South Africa has 11 official languages and terminology projects for language planning are undertaken by a variety of organizations, governmental, private or academic. What can one do to make sure that terminology data stored in databases of various sorts and degree of sophistication can be coordinated, maybe linked, etc. There are costly and efficient tools on the market that have their advantages and disadvantages. They are mostly easy-to use by a large number of terminologists who may be working from different locations thanks to web accessibility. They also “guide” the person who makes the entry how to proceed. On the downside of it they are often very costly. But there are also solutions that do not require a lot of money – just some knowhow of data modelling and strict consistency of how data are entered and managed. Excel is such and example and data managed this way can be quite easily imported into existing other systems.
wikis are strong in the field of collaborative work, dissemination and discussion of terminology. However, they are weak when it comes to structuring data entries. Some companies in Germany, for instance are already using a combination of Excel and wikis for their terminology work.

What to do when you have to create a glossary

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UPDATE!

The “glossaries” focus group reports what they did:

Essentially, we introduced ourselves to each other and as we did this, established the various frameworks in which different members of the group create different kinds of glossaries and other terminological resources.

Environments, glossary types, target groups

  • Resources designed to respond to distributed development in large enterprises; problem of communication among distributed sites;  getting clear definitions in English
  • Resources designed for the purpose of translating EU legislation based on multilingual glossaries with master en equivalents (languages: Croatian & Turkish)
  • Regulatory affairs in order to support translation activities by outsourced translators
  • Language planning in the context of the Welsh language boards; Welsh/English; issues of acceptance and term creation
  • Fachsprache= special language in business; (English and Slovenian) for use by freelance translators
  • Bilingual lexicology for special languages
  • WIPO terminology database
  • Transportation industry; dictionaries and glossaries for Latvian, Russian, English; how to make the terminologies parallel
  • Translation department glossaries for EU agencies in a wide range of domains; how to foresee problems and solutions for translators, auditors, interpreters, etc.
  • Freelance technical writer: glossaries; technical solutions
  • Technology companies where people are creating terms in industry and business
  • Technical terms, medical terms, processes to establish preferred terminological usage
  • South African experience: language planning and term introduction in languages for which many terms must be created
  • Translation unit of the eu: exercise in the combination of various different glossaries into Euroterm; problem of legacy data; problem of unification of entries
  • Communications support – total communications management for translation and document production
  • Technical translation and terminology management for enterprises, multiple languages
  • Modernization of legacy systems and importation of legacy data
  • Secretary to a commission in a minority language region; translation of legal terms & laws into a minority language that is a majority language in a neighboring country (i.e., German in Belgium, parallel)
  • WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization; patent translation and terminology management

Problems

  • How does one transfer terminological and lexicographical information from tabular Excel glossaries into a structured terminology management system, such as MultiTerm? (Answer: xml output, manipulation and importation into the master system; more of a tools question, but nevertheless related to “glossaries”. Similar issues exist for glossaries found on the web, which may also need to edited for stylistic presentation.
  • How does one deal with copyright issues? (To be discussed on Thursday)
  • How do we come with new terms in different environments:
  • Terms used in well established languages (e.g., German terms for Italian or Belgian law)?
  • Terms or even general language words for use in languages where some areas of science, law, etc. have not been as rigorously developed in the past
  • How do we introduce and educate the general public so that terms created in such environments will be accepted for general usage?
  • Community action procedures and introduction in the school system in order to familiar children, families and interest groups in focused areas of terminology (e.g., family health, water management, childhood education, etc.), with the result that the introduction and acceptance of terminology can actually take a generation!
  • How do we deal with the fact that terms are coined in English and tend to be both very compact and short, in addition to being ambiguous with regard to noun/verb/adjective relationships, when some languages require more explicit, longer phrasal terms?
  • How do we keep people from just giving up and using the English terms?

No clear solutions here, but we commiserated with each other!

Critical insight: “Nothing is so easy as I thought it would be.”

To be continued tomorrow…

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