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One more week until TSS 2010

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International Terminology Summer School 2010

Phones ringing, e-mails coming in and going out in an endless stream, last questions answered, last documents prepared and last problems solved – it is just about a week to go before the kick-off of this year’s International Terminology Summer School and the final preparation phase is in full swing. But all is going smoothly and so at the same time we are looking forward to a great event which is a little bit different from those of the last years.

First of all, our Summer School is a Spring School, really. Both the time of the year and the weather in Europe can’t suggest anything else. But it did not keep many the terminologists from attending. Unfortunately we even had to close our doors early in order to keep the number of attendants managable. Still, we will be a large and merry group.

Secondly, TermNet and other project managers responsible for the EQCA Certified Terminology Manager worked like crazy to launch this new and exciting certification during TSS 2010. And TSS 2010 in turn has offered a special deal for all its participants who want to spice up their attendance with a water proof and Europe-wide acknoledged certificate. A small admin fee for the certification body aside the exam will be free of charge.

But “the CTM”, as we affectionately call it by now, is open – and affordable for everybody! Test it and do the Self-Assessment (completely free of charge, of course):

ECQA Certified Terminology Manager Self-Assessment: http://www.ecqa.org/index.php?id=23 (simply sign up and the chose Certified Terminology Manager from the list)

Right after TSS 2010 there will be a series of free workshops organized at the United Nations in Vienna called Diversity and Global Understanding and there was an announcement in this Blog before (check entry). Registration is still possible during next week – go ahead and sign up, it is a great programme. But again, participation is limited. And after that we will all be at the ACUNS Annual Meeting. ACUNS is the Academic Council on the United Nations System and this year’s meeting will be in Vienna – and as new ACUNS members we will not only be there, but also organize a roundtable on Diversity Management, Terminology and the UN. We’ve heard that close to a thousand participants will attend in total and the events will take place at the UN in Vienna, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Vienna. The programme and keynote speakers are first-class at any rate and I, personally, look very much forward to it.

Of course we will (well, nearly :-)) liveblog from TSS to keep you up to date and create a platform for discussion of topics!

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Skills for terminology managers discussed

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The “skills” focus group at the International Terminology Summer School identified essential skills each and every terminology manager should possess. This is what they say:

* The skills we need and might need as a terminologist and/or translator depend on many things we have to analyze and define before adding many different skills to a job profile of a terminologist or translator.

Thus, we have to:
a) check if there are standards available, where the state of the art is defined already (such as EN 15038 for translators or ISO/TC 37 standards for terminologists),

b) analyze the specific context where specific skills are needed (e.g.: terminology skills can be split from management skills within a bigger organization where managers are available to discuss and perform terminology projects with terminologists)

c) make sure that the basic theoretical and methodological skills are learned and remembered, e.g. within day 1 of the International Terminology Summer School or the 1st skill unit “Understanding Terminology Management” of the future EU-Cert Terminology Manager (http://www.ecqa.org/index.php?id=52)

* Standards are important for terminology and translation work

* Golden project management triangle is a prerequisite for management skills:
time, resources (financial and human) and quality are crucial for all kind of projects – included terminology and translation projects

* students can get confused easily (when listening to Gabriele Sauberer 😉

* brains of managers might – and often do – work differently from brains of “language people”, such as translators, terminologists, etc.

* we need also skills for managing, “selling” and teaching terminology, i.e. management and marketing skills, along with pedagogical skills

What interests the international terminology manager this year?

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Hmm, interesting. We have just analysed what issues will be on top of the list of priorities for our TSS participants this year. Seems as if tools & co and web resources are quite popular. They will be considered accordingly – promise! Other topics found to be quite relevant (although in a more balanced way than the first two) are project management, copyright, training and skills discussion, standards and quality and ontologies (pretty much in this order). Thanks everybody, who sent us their rankings. This helps us and the trainers to refine and customize the programme.