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.. ;)

12 giugno 2014

Blushing at the amazing result!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in @babla 's Top 25 Language Twitterers competition.

Top 25 Language Twitterers 2014

It is so exciting to be in this list with such great colleagues!

It is actually on Twitter that I am more active. I use this blog as a secondary platform to store content and ideas. Twitter actually takes less time, just a sentence or a retweet and it is done. And what I like the most it’s that it enables more engagement with other Tweeps. The blog is my online home but I’m always serendipitously wandering around on Twitter finding yummy terminology cherries.

What this competition reveals, at last from my point of view, is that actually terminology is becoming more and more popular. Look at the results: @TermCoord no.4 and @Terminologia n.6 in blog section and @WordLo in top 25 Twitterers!

Once known as a boring subject confined by the walls of academia, terminology is now starting to be considered more interesting and sometimes even funny.

Three years ago Termcoord found out that a great amount of people would have appreciated to have a contact with the EU institution and in that moment Termcoord went social and started sharing its resources online. The love that the online community has for Termcoord today is clearly visible from Termcoord being 4th on the list! The online community likes the great work made by the permanent staff and the trainees of the Terminology Coordination Unit and the never-ending enthusiasms for terminology that the blog shows.

Terminologia etc. is my source of inspiration; it was actually by being a fervid reader of Licia's blog that I decided in 2010 to create mine (with funny results at the beginning because I was basically stealing her content, see this post on scraped content). Since then, I never skipped reading any of her posts. The blog is a must-have resource for terminologists and translators but also an interesting reading for common people that can realise that terminology can be spotted in everyday life.

While I’m writing this post, I’m distracted (what a pleasure), by Tweeps tweeting congratulations and nice words to each other for the good result. This makes me think about this quote which expresses what makes this Community of Language Lovers so lively and joyful:

Patricia Brenes just published a post mentioning me, Termcoord and Terminologia etc.: What a great week for terminology! 

26/06/2014 - LexioPhiles just mentioned this post on: TOP 100 LANGUAGE LOVERS COMPETITION 2014 – THE FINAL BRIEF. Thank you guys! This competition really pleases a Word Lover's heart!

10 giugno 2014

6 funny things I learnt at the TAUS-TaaS workshop at Localization World 2014

Tweets and cherries from the TAUS-TaaS workshop at Localization World 2014.

I promise I will stop speaking about this amazing conference saying how much happy I was for having been invited as a speaker etc etc. But.. before doing that I just want to share with you what I learnt from the TAUS-TaaS Workshop at Localization World Dublin:

1. If you try to search on Google “What does a terminologist do”, THIS is what you get:

05 giugno 2014

WordLo at LocWorld: the day after..

..and now here I am..back to Luxembourg while my mind is still there in Dublin. I’m just passively joining the conference by reading the Twitter stream #Locworld and thinking: “Oh, now I would have gone to this workshop or at this presentation….”.

I enjoyed so much the TAUS-TaaS Workshop: the presentations were so interesting as well as the debate animated by the brilliant questions by Tex Texin. I met the Tilde team: Indra Samite and Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Uwe Muegge, Luigi Muzii, Jaap Van Der Meer and the lovely Anne-Maj.

I'm just grieving over one thing: I didn’t meet Catherine Christaki! We were both there and we both didn’t know! Arrrgh! :)

Here a Storify of the TAUS-TaaS Workshop (Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow me to display the full stream):