Aktuelles & Veranstaltungen

First Interagency Terminology Workshop

20 Dezember 2011
On 9 December 2011, the Centre organised an interagency terminology workshop which attracted 19 clients and allowed them to discuss how they tackle terminology in their organisations. Meeting representatives from so many stakeholders was a clear sign that terminology matters very much and is one of the core elements of the communication strategy in our multilingual environment.


The workshop allowed the Centre to reflect upon the role of terminology as a communication tool and to present its own activities in the field. The initial presentations focused on the Centre’s management of and participation in the interinstitutional terminology database IATE, as well as on the language services it offers its clients, ranging from the compilation of subject-related glossaries and terminology collections to the development of tailor-made solutions which respond to specific requirements formulated by clients.

The round of client presentations started with the EEA which outlined its work on environmental terminology in the framework of the GEMET (General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus) project. The initial purpose of this project was to manually index all sources of environmental data and information in Europe. GEMET is now widely distributed, frequently downloaded and regularly praised by users. A terminologist from the European Central Bank described the terminological activities carried out at the ECB, focusing on its collaboration with the Translation Centre, for instance in the field of Irish terminology. The EFSA representative showed how their activities in the field of language revision and terminology enable the agency to provide easily understandable information and to improve the style, clarity and readability of translations, while ensuring a consistent use of terminology.  ECHA presented the ECHA-Term database. Both the linguistic content of the database and the IT system were developed by the Centre in cooperation with ECHA. The two-fold purpose of ECHA-Term is to improve both the quality of translations and communication along the supply chain. With its 900 CLP and REACH terms in 22 languages, its multilingual pictograms and its list of 53 substances of very high concern and an interface in 22 languages, ECHA-Term is a shining example of successful collaboration which capitalises on the Centre’s linguistic and technical expertise and ECHA’s scientific know-how to tackle the challenge of the dissemination and use of complex terminology.

The EMCDDA showed how their work towards the creation of a multilingual glossary in all EU languages, but also in Norwegian and Turkish, was worth the investment and how their linguistic data has found its way into the IATE database. The ERA representative explained the benefits of terminological resources for the Agency. The need for commonly agreed definitions was highlighted, the aim being to support the National Safety Authorities in harmonising decision-making criteria using appropriate terms and relevant translations. She discussed the creation of a glossary which was intended to be prepared in a format that can be updated and possibly shared with other parties outside the Agency. Finally, the OHIM representative  illustrated the value of managing terminology in the field of goods and services. He listed the various applications of a whole range of natural language processing techniques for the management of millions of terms, phrases, and multi-word units, including compound analysis, spell checking and the building of lexical resources (term lists, translation memories and ontologies) for indexing purposes and translation technology.

The workshop was a great opportunity to reflect upon ideas and brainstorm about how clients and the Centre can most effectively collaborate and exchange best practices in this fast-moving field. Identifying new terms in a given domain is one thing; providing their equivalents in all EU official and even non-EU languages is another. Making sure that the resulting terminology can be disseminated and used appropriately by document authors as well as by freelance and in-house translators is yet another challenge. What is at stake is the quality of the documents produced for the different target audiences, wherever they are, whoever they are (scientists, lawyers, civil servants, students, politicians, decision makers, journalists or the general public) and whatever language they speak.

Link to the different stakeholders' presentations and to the programme: