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The best time of the year

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It is that time of the year again. No, I am not talking about Christmas or New Year.  Although I admit, we at TermNet tend to measure the year by TSS. Yes, exactly as I say! Our annual International Terminology Summer School (a.k.a. TSS) in July for us marks the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

It is felt by the growing excitement of everybody involved, the last adjustments and preparations, the frantic worries that despite all careful preparation something unforeseen might happen that threatens the smooth running. And then there is the anticipation of meeting all the lovely participants (we always feel like we know them already a bit from all the correspondence over the last months and weeks).

This year our TSS enters her 30th year. But admittedly, our annals are a bit patchy, especially when it comes to records of all the earliest Summer Schools some time in the 1980s. So it is give or take a year or two when there was no TSS inbetween. We don’t remember. We don’t really care either.

Let us assume it is indeed 30 years. Wow! Don’t you think? 30 years of training terminologists and related professions is a long time. Some of our recent participants were perhaps not even born then, although it is quite safe to assume that the majority were already :-).

TSS has changed a lot over these years. But, I also dare say it has become even prettier with growing age. She has certainly become more popular as the ever increasing numbers of registrations prove. Some of those who met her once seem not to get enough of her and come back for more. It is nice. Feels a bit like family most of the time. A growing happy diverse amazing family.

And such are the vibes during that special week in July. It is all learning and fun and the spirit of brotherhood across cultures, professions, backgrounds, languages and ages. Another reason why we call it “the time of the year”. It is a special time and hard to describe if you haven’t been there and part of it yet.

And so we look forward to the week from 15-19 July, and we wrap up the final preps and corrections, and we get ready to respond to all the inevitable smaller and (hopefully not!) bigger last minute catastrophes ahead of TSS 2013 in Cologne.

And when all that can be done is done and all last minute correspondence is sent all that is left to do is to hope for the weather to play along as well!

We look forward to meeting you there. This year or maybe the next. But do make sure you do not miss out!

Anja and Blanca on behalf of the entire team

P.S. Visit us on our Website for some photos, the programme and loads of other useful and interesting information

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Terminology Coordination at the European Parliament

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Logosubmitted by Rodolfo Maslias, Head of Unit, DG TRAD – Terminology Coordination Unit

What we do

The Terminology Coordination Unit, known as TermCoord, coordinates the production of terminology in 23 languages of the Translation Units of the European Parliament through a network of more than 100 translators having a special terminologist profile. With this we enable a swift and efficient storage of high quality terminology in order to increase the contribution of the European Parliament to the inter-institutional terminology database IATE, which is the main source for reliable EU terminology (it contains roughly 8.5 million terms and receives on average 3 500 queries per hour from all over the world). With various topic-specific projects involving linguists, terminologists and trainees the content in IATE is constantly improved and consolidated. TermCoord welcomes trainees with interests in the field of terminology who are trained and involved in the terminology projects and all other activities of the unit.

Training, seminars and workshops

We organise terminology-related seminars for translators, interpreters and terminologists from all EU institutions, under the comprehensive title ‘Terminology in the Changing World of Translation’. These seminars regularly attract a large audience to the historic setting of the original European Parliament Chamber in Luxembourg. Our recent seminars dealt with terminology in legislative procedures, computer-assisted translation, terminology management and with lexicography and e-lexicography. The next seminar planned for 8 November 2012 will focus on neologisms in the digital age.

TermCoord also regularly organises IATE trainings for translators as well as more customized IATE workshops for terminologists, the most recent of which focused on referencing principles as well as tips and tricks for day-to-day work in IATE.

Communication, External relations and Presentations

Terminology is a dynamically evolving discipline of our age that has gained more and more importance over the last few decades. TermCoord believes that it is very important to stay up-to-date with the evolution of terminology science and practice, and to connect with the actors of this discipline in order to exchange valuable expertise and terminology material, which can be shared with our translators. For this purpose we keep in contact with a large number of universities, terminology bodies and experts through our external website, numbering now about 90 000 visitors, as well as through our memberships in important associations, such as the European Association for Terminology (EAfT) and the International Network for Terminology (TermNet). Our FaceBook Page is another important means of communication.

We regularly publish posts on current issues related to terminology; we provide a wide range of useful information, material and resources related to terminology and translation; we publish material from seminars, workshops and training sessions, as well as links to important terminology databanks and other terminology-related sites. Furthermore, our website contains a number of other interesting items such as terminology and translation book reviews, information about international conferences on terminology and translation, information about traineeships and study visits within the Parliament and theses on terminology like the one written by our former trainee under the supervision of Professor Budin: ‘Role of TermCoord in the European Parliament’ (2012).

As part of our external networking and cooperation activity, we participate in several conferences and we welcome visiting groups from universities, presenting DGTRAD and its terminology work. Some examples:

•    presentation at JIAMCATT in Turin and Luxembourg,
•    presentation at the 8th International Conference on Terminology in Athens,
•    presentation at the terminology department of FAO in Rome,
•    presentation at the Terminology and Knowledge Engineering conference (TKE 2012) in Madrid,
•    visits from the universities of Magdeburg, Saarbrücken, Heidelberg, Zadar, the TERMISTI research centre and the UN Department    for Translation and Terminology.

Translation (and terminology) in the African languages

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by Anja Drame

New study highlights the state of the art for translation and language industry in the African languages

Common Sense Advisory has published its study about the need for translation in Africa. The study was conducted in 2011 in cooperation with Translators without Borders, and received quite an impressive feedback of more than 300 translators in the African languages. Almost 77% of the responses came from people living in Africa, the rest from the various regions in which Africans form a large Diaspora. However, as Common Sense Advisory stresses, the regional distribution is somewhat heavy on South Africa, followed by Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The results are interesting. One of the major findings is the high level of training and education received. More than half of the respondents are university graduates and one Third have a Bachelor degree. But with the large Diaspora and the various possibilities of language related studies one can conduct in South Africa this is perhaps less surprising. What I find most surprising is the fact that 46.3% claim that African language translation is their prime source of income. On the other hand, the lack of organization and trade union representation is felt as severe as payment morale appears to be low and political repression an issue.

Most translators work also as interpreters which makes a lot of sense if one considers the high place of oral communication and the relatively low literacy rates in the continent.

There was also a result that is interesting, although hardly a surprise for terminologists. A majority claims the lack of equivalents for terms in the major languages is an immense problem. Common Sense Advisory uses the terms cancer and clinical depression as examples from the heath sector, where translation and interpreting has such a strong and directly influencing place.

Of course we are aware of many projects addressing exactly this lack, both from governmental and public side and private initiatives. This is the case especially in South Africa with its elaborate language policy, but not only there. However, it still seems that the lack of access to and information about available sources is a major problem, especially for those translators with limited access to the Internet (although the study suggests that more than 80% are online while translating). And these are just responses from professional and educated translators and do not count the numerous translators who do the job while actually being employed as administrators, logisticians, nurses, etc. These people will hardly know where to find and how to access online resources. I can tell because I have worked with them in the field with an International NGO. And they do an impressive and tremendous job!

As for their future, African translators expect an upward trend with South Africa joining the economic bloc of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), making it BRICS. The expectation is an economic rise and the new trade partners creating additional demand. Generally, research shows that the translation market in Africa has been growing steadily. But it comes along with the fear that this demand will create a blooming of unqualified service providers which ultimately damage the reputation and industry. There are experiences all over the world with this problem and surely some action needs to be taken. Be it through organization and representation, quality assurance measures and partnerships. Any other ideas?

Africa is home to 2000 – 3000 languages (depending on who has counted them), belonging to only a few large language families. The major European languages of the former colonizing powers, such as English, French, Portuguese and to lesser extends German, Afrikaans and others, as well as Arabic dominate education, business and politics today. New languages such as Chinese were introduced with this country’s growing influence on Africa. Regional linguas francas such as Swahili or Hausa fight a battle against these languages. Sometimes with more success, sometimes with less.

I am curious to hear about your experiences!

Cheers, Anja

*********************

Common Sense Advisory, Inc. is an independent research firm committed to objective research and analysis of the business practices, services, and technology for translation, localization, and interpreting. With its research for both Global Leaders and Industry Providers, Common Sense Advisory endeavors to improve the quality and practice of international business, and the efficiency of the online and offline operations that support it.

www.commonsenseadvisory.com

Download the full study:  http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/AbstractView.aspx?ArticleID=2869

ECQA Certified Terminology Manager explanier in Webinar hosted by SDL

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Join us in a SDL webinar about the ECQA Certified Terminology Manager training program!

30.04.2012

TermNet member SDL is hosting a webinar about the training and certification program “ECQA Certified Terminology Manager”.

Join us for this webinar and learn more about this innovative and successful program!

Language: German

Date: 10. May 2012
10:00 – 11:00 CETS (Central European Summer Time – Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna)

You can register for this webinar at: http://www.translationzone.com/de/events/translation-agency/may2012/2012-05-10-terminologiemanager-zertifizierung.asp

About ECQA Certified Terminology Manager – Basic

In the globalised knowledge and information societies, specialised language has become a prerequisite of any kind of efficient and effective communication, management and interoperability of technical systems and methodologies. Terminology and terminology management build an integral, high quality and quality-assuring part of the end products, services and tools in the fields of

  • INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION,
  • CLASSIFICATION & CATEGORISATION,
  • TRANSLATION & LOCALISATION.

The new job profile Certified Terminology Manager – Basic combines and bundles the various competences of professionals active in these areas.
ECQA Certified Terminology Manager – Basic is especially suited for professionals who work as

  • INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS:
    ICT experts, information and knowledge managers, etc.
  • EXPERTS IN CLASSIFICATION & CATEGORIZATION:
    e-Business, Semantic Web, libraries and archives, etc.
  • LANGUAGE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:
    Translators, interpreters, localisers, technical writers, etc.

This certification can be regarded as specialized professional qualification.

For more information about the ECQA Certified Terminology Manager please visit:
http://www.termnet.org/english/products_service/ecqa_ctm-basic/index.php
or contact us termnet@termnet.org

Diversity and Global Understanding in Vienna

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Working in the context of the United Nations means experiencing cultural diversity and multilingualism. The workshops seek to promote greater awareness of the importance of efficient communication tools and “a common language” spoken when people from diverse backgrounds work together.
We will look into the realities of diversity in the UN system, as they manifest in the field. We will seek to explore the full range of what diversity means for the UN’s working procedure and explore the modes of diversity in real-life situations of working together on
the ground.

Register here

Hence, since deficits in effective internal and external communication, intercultural competence and diversity management have been identified as problematic the question must be asked as to how specially targeted initiatives, tools and policies in this field have
the potential to improve such communication and therefore the performance of the United Nations System and civil society in its support.

Our objective is to deepen the international debate on questions relating to cultural diversity, particularly (but not exclusively) its effects to the working environment of the UN organizations and its peace operations.
Existing infrastructure, ongoing activities and common practise are discussed by the workshop participants and new research proposed in a series of presentations by scholars and practitioners. Thematically the focus is on the benefits of diversity
management, terminology, education and shared communication tools.

An update:

The programme for the Diversity and Global Understanding workshops (31 May – 2 June, in Vienna) has been all but finalized. Have a look below and come join us at the UN Vienna! Participation is free of charge but registration is an absolute must. Places are limited, so it’s strictly first come first serve!

Register here!

Monday, May 31, 2010
4 pm – 6 pm Registration
6 pm – 8 pm Reception by the go4diversity Project

Tuesday, 1 June 2010
9 am – 9.45 am Keynote speech:  Gerhard Budin, UNESCO Chair for “Multilingual, Transcultural Communication in the
Digital Age”; University of Vienna
10 am -12.30 p.m. WORKSHOP I: Diversity and Diversity Management
(Moderator: Gabriele Sauberer)
Gabriele Sauberer: “Diversity, social responsibility and diversity management in the context of peace”

Esra Killaf (MA17)

René Hudribusch (Ministry of Defense and Sport): „The effects of masculine & power cultures on worksplace bullying in the Austrian Armed Forces (and their relation to UN Resol. 1325)“

Lakshmi Kumar (The Orchid School): „Connecting worlds: raising intercultural insights for global-centric leaderships“

1.30 – 3 pm WORKSHOP II:   Go4Diversity: Global Education, Migration, Inclusion and Science
3.30-5.45 pm WORKSHOP III: Terminology – its role in UN peace policy
(Moderators: Anja Drame, Julia Harfensteller)
Anja Drame: Introduction – terminology policies and communication

Klaus Mak (LVAG, Austria): „ProTerm“ and process-oriented knowledge management

Valens Bimenyimana (PIH, Senior Translator/Interpreter) „Rwanda’s terminology and language policy needs“

Mekki El Badri (UNOV, translator for Arabic) „Translators and terminologists at the UN Vienna“

Julia Hafensteller: „Potential and Role of Concepts in Organizational Policy“

Wednesday, 2 June 2010
9 am – 9.30 am Keynote Speech: tentatively: Gabriele Eschig, Austrian Commission for Austria (about UNESCO and Diversity)

9.30 am – 12.30 WORKSHOP IV: Global Education
(Moderators: Reinhard Mitschke)
Reinhard Mitschke: Report about the COMSIC project (Collaboration Competencies for Media Supported Intercultural Groups)

1.30 pm – 3 pm WORKSHOP V, continued:

Kent Kille (College of Wooster): “Interactive Global Education: Active Learning and the Center of Diversity and Global Engagement.”

Jamie Arbuckle (former Canadian UN Peacekeeper): „Intercultural communication among agencies: intra-agency relationships, agencies as cultures“

3.30 pm – 5.45 pm WORKSHOP VI and Practical Training: Fostering global understanding through new ICT tools and ways of communication
(Moderators: Henrike Paepcke)
this one is all about wikis, social networks, blogs, Twitter, etc.

The future of (terminology) standards is here

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The ISO Concept Database (ISO CDB) is now publicly available: http://cdb.iso.org, click “log in as guest” (for the time being). In the CDB you can search for terms and definitions in a large number of (most?) ISO Standards. Under “Codes” you can also search for language identifiers from ISO 639, parts 1, 2, 3, and 5.

It took ISO (and a handful of external database experts) years to conceptualize, plan and implement a database that will include not only terms from all its standards, but also graphic representations, codes, etc.

 

All the careful planning was done for a good reason: The ISO Concept Database (or short CDB for the initiated :-)) is a major step towards a revolution in the standardization business. Despite the deveopments in the information and communication sector, standards continue to be produced en mass – and more or less in the same old-fashioned analogous way as they have been ever since the foundation of ISO. With an ever increasing number of Technical Committees and domains that require standardization and the diversification of experts who work on these standards this means primarily one thing: reduplication and overlapping of efforts, and what’s worst – contradicting standards due to a lack of harmonization, collaboration and information about what already exists and may even have been standardized by some other committee years ago.

 

This is an in-efficiency that nobody can afford – and that ISO is going to tackle by introducing  “Standards as databases”. Unlike the traditional, paper- (or at least file-)based standards, the future will coordinate the complex universe of international standards development by introducing a work method and environment that is more up-to-date with the possibilities that are offered by the technical development. However, to develop this for an organization like ISO, that has such a huge number of standards, documents and others to handle, a workforce of largely volunteering experts from companies, institutes and organizations worldwide who do the actual standard development PLUS all the legal implications that brings along means that it is no easy task. But once completed it will be a revolution that will affect us all, because it will make standards easier to be implemented and more streamlined. Another quantum leap towards a globalized world in which really all small components can work together. Or maybe I am a bit over-enthusiastic here. However, I hope you follow me about the immense potential this brings along.

But coming back to ISO CDB: This database is just one piece in the larger picture, but a very important one. Somebody once wrote somewhere: “you can not standardize if you do not all talk about the same and have the same understanding about the issue at hand”, if not first of all the meaning is agreed upon by all stakeholders. And this narrows it down again to terminology – our favourite subject.

ISO/CDB is now public and online. Everybody can log-in as a guest and test it on its Website http://cdb.iso.org, search for terms and definitions of nearly all ISO standards published. Of course, as with all innovations, there will be things that need improvement. But the most important step has been done. It is finally there.

Language Portal of Canada launched

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Canada has been regarded by most of us as the linguistist’s and terminologist’s paradise for many years. And derservedly so. Hardly any other country puts so much real effort into preservation and promotion of linguistic diversity. And above all, these efforts are crowned with professionalism, efficiency and success!

Canada now finally has her one-stop-shop for anything related to her linguistic heritage. The country’s rich linguistic resources are now accessible at the newly launched Language Portal of Canada.

“Through this portal, anybody can finally obtain access free of charge to TERMIUM®, the Government of Canada’s linguistic and terminology data bank. With TERMIUM® finding the right words has just become easier with more than 3,900,000 terms of which some 200 000 are in Spanish” says Gabriel Huard, Director of the Translation Bureau.

He further notes that “the portal also contains a vast array of language tools, a magazine, exercises dealing with problem words in French and English, and a directory of useful links to resources and organizations active in the language field.”

In June 2008, the Government of Canada published the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-­2013: Acting for the Future. Within the framework of this initiative, Public Works and Government Services Canada mandated the Translation Bureau of the Government of Canada to design and put online the language portal.

Go to www.ourlanguages.gc.ca

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