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Language industry standards

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From XML via language codes and ontologies to terminology exchange formats – standards play a fundamental (if sometimes little-noted) role in the language industry. Yet, some knowledge about standards is essential for every translator, localization expert, project manager or other expert in the language industry.

But where to start with? The sheer number of different standards-developing organizations and the confusing variety of existing standards scares off many and makes it hard to get an overview.

The Language Technologies Research Center in Canada has published a report on language standards and guidelines as well as the organizations which develop them. Although written in 2007 its information is still valid and a helpful reading for everybody who wants to learn more about existing standards.

http://www.crtl.ca/en/publications.htm

Author Kara Warburton is a terminology expert and herself active in standardization for many years.

http://www.crtl.ca/en/publications.htm

How the state of the world economy impacts our professions

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Something we discussed last week with a few experts in “language-related professions” was about what the future will bring for us terminologists, translators, localizers, technical writers, etc. There is some indication that our field has not been hit as hard as others. Participation at our TSS 2009 training was nearly unaffected, for example. We also learned from Frieda Steurs during her presentations that the industry is growing.

But is this all that is to say? I mean, have we really weathered the economic crisis unharmed? Is it because what an expert said because in times of crisis companies concentrate particularly on the strategic improvement of quality and internal processes? More importantly, would they invest in this in times when cost-cutting is the word of the day?

Or may it be that recession is yet to hit us as – it is predicted to do with so many other industries – with a certain time lag?

I would be curious what you think about it. Your comments please!

It’s over – but not over yet!

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TSS 2009 has closed doors for this year today. We think that it was just great! We wish all the participants a good trip back home. Nevertheless, we will all keep in touch. Here’s again our invitation to you all to join in the various discussions in this blog. Post your questions, feedback, suggestions for new topics etc.
Remember: you are TSS!

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.

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