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!!

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


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.

10 luglio 2014

When words become big data

The book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think, by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, provides an overview of big data, what big data is and how it is being applied. It is a topic I’m starting to be passionate about and this book really satisfied my curiosity.

Translation will be more and more a big data issue

There is an enormous amount of potential value in the examination of big data and one of the most interesting examples is how translation software has been developed.
As we know, rather than using a team of translators, an enormous amount of documents, already been translated from one language to another, was used to build the models used in translation. This has been so effective that there is a joke that the efficiency of the translation software is greater when the linguists are not involved.

I don’t know if there could be any copyright issues, but since I read the Kindle ebook, I wanted to share with you my highlights. I gathered them under sections which don't represent the chapters of the book but only the topic. I hope you will enjoy those small bites of food for mind.

26 giugno 2014

Cross-language search: 2lingual

The “multilinguality” of Web content provides opportunities for users to directly access and use previously incomprehensible sources of Web information. 

Monolingual search engines only allow users to enter a search query in one language. This restriction clearly limits the amount and type of information that an individual user can access. In a global community, users are looking for online information access systems or services that can help them find and use information presented in native or non–native languages.

Cross–language search service enables Web users to access information that could not be accessible before.

By performing a cross-language search, users just need to write the query in their native language, then just select the target language for the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and get the result.

Practical example of cross-language search? I will tell you my personal experience

Consider for example the instruction manuals: no company is writing them anymore. What do we do when we need a solution to a problem with our smartphone, for example? We search on Google in our language but maybe don't find anything interesting. By performing a cross-language search, we find that a blogger somewhere has already a solution to our problem but the post is written in a language we don’t know. Then, we just "machine-translate" it to understand the gist of the content. If we realise that it is exactly what we are looking for, then we find a way to get the whole content properly translated.

The best cross-language search tool I know so far, and use very often, is 2lingual.

2lingual is a useful dual-language search tool that makes it easy to search in 2 separate languages.

It performs both a Google Search and a Google Cross-language Search. It also provides a query translation option that can be activated or deactivated for Cross-language Google Searches. The top-ranking Google Search Results from 2 different languages are presented side-by-side in separate lists.

Currently, 37 Google Search Languages are supported.

Enjoy 2lingual for your terminology research! As you can see from the image below, not only I fixed my problem with the battery drain of my Iphone, but I could also check what are the (most popular) equivalent terms in the target language.


19 giugno 2014

Football or soccer, which came first?

With the World Cup underway in Brazil, a lot of people are questioning if we should refer to the "global round-ball game" as "soccer" or "football"? This is visible from the queries of the readers that access my blog. The most visited post ever is indeed “Differenza tra football e soccer” and since we are in the World Cup craze I think this topic is worth a post.

According to a paper published in May by the University of Michigan and written by the sport economist Stefan Szymanski, "soccer" is a not a semantically bizarre American invention but a British import.

Soccer comes from "association football" and the term was used in the UK to distinguish it from rugby football. In countries with other forms of football (USA, Australia) soccer became more generic, basically a synonym for 'football' in the international sense, to distinguish it from their domestic game.

If the word "soccer" originated in England, why did it fall into disuse there and become dominant in the States? "Soccer" was a recognized term in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century, but it wasn't widely used until after World War II, perhaps because of the influence of American troops stationed in Britain during the war and the allure of American culture in its aftermath. In the 1980s, however, Brits began rejecting the term, as soccer became a more popular sport in the United States: too much of an Americanism for British English to bear!

18 giugno 2014

The tech-savvy terminologist

After reading this very interesting article about the need for translators to become technologically savvy, I thought that the same is true for terminologists.

A terminologist today has to know how to use terminology software to effectively carry out terminology projects.  Extraction, selection, collection of terms, editing and management of data, updating, integration with CAT tools, mono and bilingual terminology extraction, interoperability (data exchange with other systems), those tasks can be properly performed only by using software. 

Terminology management software can be really time-saving and allow to process big amount of data.
Terminologists have to be technologically savvy, they have to be able to deal with the TMSs available today but they have to learn how to do it.

I think that a course or webinar providing an overview of the most useful and most effective Terminology Management Systems would be very useful to give terminologists the know-how to enable them to be able to find solutions to modern-day translation.

A course on terminology management systems could ideally include the TMSs listed in this page: Terminology Management Systems.

Linguatech by Bruno Ciola is the only training course I know so far on Terminology Management Systems. On Linguatech you can also find a page providing a list of tutorials terminology management. 

Only Italian readers can understand this picture.. ;)