9 giugno 2015

What vitamins can teach you about translation

Words are like vitamins, more effective in their natural context.

Vitamins naturally in food are not crystalline and never isolated. Vitamins found in any real food are chemically and structurally different from those commonly found in ‘natural vitamin’ formulas and are far superior to their synthetic counterparts.

As vitamins, words, taken within their natural context, are more effective and useful.
“Any time you touch a word, you use it in a new context, you give it a new connotation…You didn't break it. It's just in a new position, and that new position can be just as beautiful”

says Erin Mac Kean in an epic TEDTalk

In other words, context beyond the words immediately surrounding a term, is definitely relevant.

How can you get maximum benefit from using words in their natural context in a translation project? By using concordances. The added value of using concordances is that they are not as “static” the way dictionary definitions are: concordances analyse different use of a single word, word frequency and phrases or idioms in their natural context.

By using concordances, translators can identify terms in the most appropriate context and easily find the best equivalent terms in the target language.



7 maggio 2015

From Rags to Riches - A terminology blogger's true success story

Do you know that Patricia Brenes is here in Luxembourg with me? I mean, what's going on with this blogging and social media activity is simply amazing! Only last year we were sending each other messages on Twitter and now she took a flight from Washington to come to visit Termcoord (and me)! I can't stop to be surprised for how many wonderful opportunities I am getting since I started running this blog and using Twitter to share my passion for terminology! And this is actually what Patricia is going to say tomorrow in occasion of her presentation at the European Parliament: Building a blog on terminology: from rags to riches.

For those wordlovers based in Luxembourg, you can come tomorrow, Friday 08 May at 11:00 am at Schuman Building to meet Patricia and learn how to get the best from blogging and social networking in the area of terminology.

For those who still don't know her, Patricia is a full-time Translation Assistant in the quality control unit at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. She is an ECQA certified Terminology Manager and owns a blog on terminology: In my own terms, that provides information on terminology such as glossaries, resources, biographies, infographics, theory and practice, etc.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to improve your online visibility, to build your network, share your passion, find other people with your passion and eventually increase the chances to find a job in your sector!

Join us tomorrow at 11:00 am at Schuman SCH L2A200 and feel free to come to visit us to meet Patricia!


26 gennaio 2015

Trust the network - it probably knows more than you do

Social media and blogs enable us to easily focus on the latest news and trends on terminology, providing us with regular updates. 

This is the most important aspect emerged at the EAFT Terminology Summit, organised by TERMCAT, the Catalan Terminology Organisation in Barcelona, last November. The topic for 2014 was: How does social networking affect terminology work?

In recent years social networks have burst into life, and into terminology work, too. Terminological work and its dissemination are no exception. This is why the international terminology community opened a debate about the impact of social media on all spheres of terminology work, from research all the way through to dissemination.
According to Anita Nuopponen's presentation:
  • Social networks, if properly used, can be effectively used to find terminological resources.
  • Blogs are useful to provide own opinions, reflections and for being an optimal environment for discussing different points of view.
  • Twitter allows us to disseminate information, get visibility, link to useful information, follow interesting conferences we cannot attend through live-tweeting updates.
Related to Anita Nuoppen's presentation, there was a moment of great fun for me: she was listing the most reliable resources for terminology reseach and this list included, among the others, me!! I blushed and felt so honoured that she mentioned me as an excellent example of Twitter usage for terminology! 

Back to the conference, in brief, lessons learned:
  • Let's share knowledge! Disconnected experts are invisible to the network and irrelevant to the system (@ictlogist).
  • Let’s leverage the power of blogging! Blogs are usually more timely than newspapers in discussing new topics and concepts and crucial to raise awareness on the importance of terminology (@terminologia).
I provided a more detailed information about the Terminology Summit on the post: People have the power: the crowd-powered terminologist on the TermBloggers Lounge.

If you like this topic, you can find a lot of interesting suggestions in this post: Social media tips for translators and interpreters, by +Gala Gil Amat, where she explains her fresh and innovative approach to communication, that one that only ‘millenials’ have as natural talent.

For best practices on how to get the most from social networks as a translator, I invite you to read also:
Both post are on +Caroline Alberoni 's blog: Carol'sadventures in translation, a valuable resource providing tips and tricks for translators.


16 gennaio 2015

Terminology is the new black

Hi word lovers and happy New Year! it is never too late to wish you to have all the fun you can and a wonderful year ahead! After being inactive on this blog for almost two months due to much work - Christmas holidays - job change in progress (wish me luck!) and a hairdresser that messed up my hair (she made me blonde!!), I'm finally back (and black again)! :D 


First of all, thanks for making this blog great and for following me on Twitter: I almost reached 2200 followers!
Second, new Year's resolutions: I want to catch up with my blog, I have so many draft posts pending, new tools to add to the terminology tools page and maybe a new layout!

My last post was about the Terminology Summit in Barcelona: I was just announcing that I was going to attend it and then I just live-tweeted it. Since the conference was so great, it deserves more than tweets. I will provide you as much information as I can about what I learned, both on this blog and on the TermBloggers Lounge.

What is the TermBloggers Lounge?
It is an informal platform hosted by Termcoord for anyone who is passionate about terminology, likes to share their insights and expertise, and wants to raise awareness of terminology work, terminology quality or just getting familiar with terminology.



Why is terminology the new black?
Terminology has a key role for successful communication. Check for example this abstract from this post: Looking back on 2014 by Massimo Ghislandi (SDL): 
One surprise for me in 2014 is the popularity of terminology. For all the innovations, one of the oldest topics which is guaranteed to attract interest is terminology. Is it because there is increased quality focus? Or is terminology seen as way to improve the speed of the overall translation process (cutting down on those review cycles!)? I am not sure. All I know is that for all the content and activities we have generated in 2014, terminology has been at the top of the chart. From the webinars with Kara Warburton to the terminology eBooks, infographics and OpenExchange apps, terminology seems to continue to attract an incredibly high amount of interest.
Read also this abstract from the presentation of the conference: Quo vadis, Terminologia?

“Terminology work seems to us to be very close to translation, in that both are, like Flaubert’s author “everywhere to be found, nowhere to be seen”. Like translation, the history of terminology is similar to the history of the nation: language survival and language construction both depend on the capacity of language to name all of the objects of its reality (Michel Serres). Everybody does terminology, and everyone uses terms, even if this is often done unknowingly in an act of carefree naivety or perhaps even careless denial”

I also invite you to read this post: Terminology matters everywhere by Termcoord.

Another reason for that success is to be found, in my opinion, in terminology as being part of web content management and SEO. Bad quality terminology in web content and UI means no visibility on search engines, no visitors accessing websites, and user frustration.

Another trend is that LSP providers are putting more effort in terminology management and terminology research. They are starting to embed terminology tools directly in their translation workbenches, thus preventing translators from leaving their workbench for searching online.

TermCoord (TermCoord), Patricia Brennes (InMyOwnTerms) and Licia Corbolante (Terminologia etc.have carried out many initiatives - blogs, publications, presentations, workshops, linking and showcasing authors and resources, interviews to terminologists and much more - to raise awareness on the importance of terminology.

Now it’s your turn! Tell us what you think about terminology!

Drop us an email, a post, and article, a tweet, a comment blog, or write about terminology in your own space (Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ etc.), then let us know about it (including anything you might have already published on the topic in the past), by linking to it in the comments below the post on TermBloggers Lounge or emailing: dgtrad.termcoord@europarl.europa.eu .

The editing committee (Me, Licia Corbolante, Patricia Brenes and Termcoord) will publish a round-up of all relevant contributions and any other useful links.

25 novembre 2014

Terminology Summit 2014

I'm going to enjoy the best Terminology Conference ever!! I'm so happy I can't write anything! Check the Twitter stream below to be updated on this event! Hasta luego!!

Terminology Summit 2014




5 novembre 2014

Comunicare in Europa


L’Università di Salerno ha organizzato il workshop: Comunicare in Europa: il linguaggio della crescita, dai documenti UE alle opportunità.




Si tratta  di un ciclo di incontri di studio ideati da Daniela Vellutino per avviare un confronto scientifico su come far conoscere e divulgare la terminologia dei documenti istituzionali dell’Unione Europea per accrescere le possibilità di accesso alle opportunità nell’ambito di Europa 2020.

Parteciperanno esponenti delle istituzioni europee, del governo italiano e dell’università e giornalisti, esperti di marketing e di contenuti digitali. Si discuterà di nascita e gestione dei termini nelle istituzioni europee e dell’importanza della conoscenza terminologica nella comunicazione pubblica.

Nel mio intervento parlerò in veste di web content manager del sito Together against Trafficking in Human Beings. Spiegherò come vengono effettuate le scelte terminologiche di questo e di altri siti dell’Ue.

25/11/2014 updateI showed a backstage view of terminology management in the framework of the UE websites I manage. I highlighted the importance of identifying target readers and understanding how they are affected by terminology choices, and to prove this point I introduced two criteria: 


  1. “organisation-led” terminology: a prescriptive approach that selects the terms that can be easily and quickly identified by citizens and reinforce the institution identity, and 
  2. “market-driven” terminology: a descriptive approach that ensures terminology and style meet readers’ expectations.


Ulteriori infomazioni:
Hashtag: #UECE14

LiveTweet: 

29 ottobre 2014

Designed to make translators smile

If you are a professional translator sick of your TM program rebooting again and ended up thinking that a CAT tool is only a piece of string used to play with your feline, well, get rid of it and smile: you can finally enjoy translating! 

Translators are being held back by lack of innovation, forced to pay big bucks for a CAT tool license that are hard to use, slow, plenty of advanced functions and sometimes unable do the simple stuff.

Jost Zetzsche, in one of his conferences, said that the language industry is stuck at 15 year ago. Progress stopped when big providers started focusing more on selling their products than listening to the real needs of translators.

Translators need more than a CAT tool, they need a real mate, and this new CAT tool, MateCatworks for us - not against us.

I tested it and it is really easy to use:
    • It is web based: available anytime and anywhere, I didn't need to setup any servers or to install any software.
    • Easy UI: Easy interface, I didn't need any training or watching tutorials. I just logged in and started translating.
    • It's open source and most important free! 
The average translator spends 20% of his/her time looking up terminology when he /she possesses key competences in the subject matter, and up to 60% of the time if not*, basically half of the day! It goes alone then, that productivity can be really spiced up if terminology issues can be fixed by specific terminology features provided but the CAT tool itself. 

MateCat performs a context-aware translation and its suggestions by MT are consistent with the already edited segments and the whole document. As a result, terminology will be consistent with the style of the whole text, and once the translator corrects an error this should not occur again in the following text segments.

Massive translation memories. MateCat provides more matches than any other translation tool by leveraging My Memory, the world’s largest Translation Memory built collaboratively via Machine Translation and human contributions. Of course any other Translation Memory can be added. With such a huge resource available, the translation will be a lot more efficient, with less time spent on translating and more time to focus more on the essential, that is, a more accurate terminology.

Concordances at your fingertips. MateCat is equipped with concordances. By checking them directly on your Translation Editor, you are no more forced to leave your workbench to look up online. What you have to do is just typing the text segment in the related search box and check all the related combinations. You’ll never get 0 matches, results are always provided.

Glossary on the fly: While translating and checking concordances, you can add source term and equivalent target term on the glossary. Every time the added term appears on your text, it will be underlined, meaning that it is in your glossary. Result? Same terminology, style and register throughout the project.


You can try it. It's Free: http://www.matecat.com/


*Source: Economic Value of terminology

Best Retweets :) 


26 settembre 2014

4 ideas for a fool-proof terminology management system

I went into a very interesting discussion on LinkedIn started by Kara Warburton which deals with my specific caseTerminology for writing vs terminology for translation
I am a web content manager and my background is translation and terminology. I manage terminology for website content and for website user interface (UI). I dont' translate, hence I don't create termbases throught CAT tools. I collect my terms while writing content, carrying out researches on the web or media monitoring. I admit I (still) use Excel. I used some free tools available online but had to give up.

The question made me think: What would I need for improving my terminology management for writing? An independent solution! How should it be?
  1. Web-based: so that my terms can be available anytime and anywhere; 
  2. Shareable: so that other people can check and edit my terms (of course by permission only); 
  3. On-the-fly: adding new terms while I'm doing something else, in just one-click. I mean, we are basically carrying out our terminology researches online, so why not having an online tool that grabs our terms and automatically stores them? The data can be further edited later.This tool could ideally be a browser plug-in that just copies the term I highlight and automatically extracts the metadata, such as: date, webpage (from URL), images, source, and any other possible info that can be automatically extracted. It could be from webpages, but equally from word documents or any other file. 
  4. Good UI: Most TMSs still look so 90's! Easier interfaces would absolutely help dedicated people. If I'm forced to do trainings or watching tutorials to learn how to use them, well, they can be as much good as you want but I dont' use them! LSPs are just starting to take into account usability issues: It is not my fault if I dont' use a software, it is the tool that has not developed around my real needs: Usability is the new black!
The TMSs as an indipendent solution are listed on my page Terminology Management Systems. Terminology Management from Acrolinx seems to be really perfect for my specific needs but no free trial provided.
Jost Zetzsche, in TermCoord’s workshop, listed TaaS as one of the best tools for managing terminology, I will follow his advice!

22 agosto 2014

What about a world-ready website UI terminology?

Once I was asked, “Can you recommend a reliable source for website user interface (UI) terminology in different languages? I mean, how do you decide which one is better to use among "log in", "login" and "sign in"? And how can I find the equivalent terms in other languages?"
I suggested to just check the most popular websites such as Facebook (but very oftent they provide different terms). I suggested also Microsoft Language Portal (even if here the risk is to find Microsoft Corporate terminology) and also TAUS Data, where I personally found a lot of solutions.

I was therefore thinking, what about extracting the website user interface terminology from the huge TMs available online?  "Save, next, search, about us, contact us” and other frequent text strings, are on every website (and app).

Would it be useful and time-saving to just download the website UI terminology in the language we need? What about a multilingual UI termbase? Of course UI terminology needs to be standardised first...

28 August 2014 update: I just found out that Linguee is also very useful for checking UI Terminology.

...and of course My Memory by Translated, as suggested by Isabella Massardo on Google+





04 September 2014 update: Terminology Services just announced on Twitter that TaaS has been enriched with new links to external resources such as search engines, Wikipedia, and Linguee.


18 agosto 2014

Learning agility

Ability to be agile in letting go of old rules and learning new ones.

This neologism really mirrors our times: "learning to unlearn" when everything is changing and at the fastest pace.

Leading companies, governmental entities, institutions and non-profits are adopting change management as an organizational competency. Successful people are nowadays those who are ready to unlearn outdated methods and to adopt and adapt to the new ones.


I tweeted half of it to share with you what I enjoyed the most. If you don't have time to read the long article, just take a look at the tweets below.