26 giugno 2014

What is a Cross-Language Search Engine and why should we care

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.

A Cross–Language Search Engine 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.

I needed a solution for a problem with my smartphone concerning a terrible battery draining. I searched on Google in my language but didn't find anything helpful. By using a Cross-Language Search Engine, I found that a blogger somewhere in Poland had already a solution to my problem but his post was written in a language I didn’t know. So, I just "machine-translated" his post to understand the gist of the content. I  realised then that it was exactly what I was looking for, and I asked a polish coleague to translate for me the whole content.

If you want to try a Cross-Language Search Engine, try 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.

If you like this topic and want to learn more, I suggest you to read  the Multilingual Knowledge Blog.


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

(Multilingual) terminology management is no more a mere creation of lists of terms and their management and updating. A terminologist today has to know how to use terminology software tools to effectively carry out terminology management.  

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 actions can be properly performed only by using specific software which prove to be really time-saving and allow to process big amount of data. 

A "tech-savvy" terminologist has to be able to deal with the different software available today: software to be installed, web based, stored on a server, or on a cloud. 

Here some of the terminology tools that every "tech-savvy" terminologist should know": TerminologyManagement Systems.

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:

5 giugno 2014

WordLo at LocWorld in Dublin

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! :)

At Localization World Dublin 2014, I spoke on “Latest trends in terminology”.
The presentation was entitled: “If Content is King, Terminology is Queen” and took place on the 4 th of June at The Convention Centre, Dublin.

Speakers at the conference included representatives from Adobe Systems, eBay, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and other notable companies. The conference is held by MultiLingual
Computing, Inc. and The Localization Institute.
Attendees could choose from nine tracks during the main conference: Global Business,
Web/Mobile, Content Strategy, Translation Automation (TAUS), Localization Core
Competencies, Advanced Localization Management, Localization Service Provider
(LSP), Unconference and The Inside Track.

The preconference day, on the 4th of June, included round tables for consultants and
topics that include sales and marketing, life science business and game localization.
There was also a professional development initiative, an introduction to localization, a
quality evaluation summit and a track on interoperability standards.

I gave my presentation at TAUS-TaaS Workshop :Terminology in Localization.

TAUS-TaaS workshop was a free half-day meeting aimed to bring together terminology
practitioners, business stakeholders and researches to discuss the latest advances and
challenges in the terminology field.
TaaS workshop was a highly interactive event were researchers, software and service
companies, as well as users actively shared their experiences with the practical
application of terminology in the technical documentation life cycle and other areas of
the content value chain, including translation and localization workflows. Crisp use cases
from companies and practitioners on terminology in localization and current trends were
There was an official presentation of the new terminology platform:
Terminology as a Service.

In my presentation, I tackled the terminology trends and shared some examples
from my professional experience.
The main points of the presentations were:

  1. Communicating about terminology by using social networks;
  2. Social networks as available data for carrying out terminology research, in particular for monitoring language changes such as neologisms.
  3. Websites are made of content and terminology is the critical part of the user experience.
  4. Managing and sharing terminological data: cloud based, collaborative and social platforms.
  5. The subject field of terminology is overwhelming, so some websites provide
  6. terminological resources in few clicks.

In details:

  • Communicating about terminology by using social networks:
  • Social media is an appropriate consultation and response mechanism for terminological queries. 
  • Social media offers easy access to expert opinions by researching and asking questions to followers, and establishing their expertise by answering questions.
  • Who is following terminology related conferences can live-tweet updates.
  • Companies such as translation agencies usually do not merely promote their business and services, but provide helpful tips and links.
  • Social networks are a source in terminological research. By providing latest news in terminology, or issues facing translators/terminologists and how they are dealing with them.
  • In a collaborative effort, everyone contributes what they have, what they know, what they have read or seen, to the mix.

Social networks as available data for carrying out terminology research, in particular for monitoring language changes such as neologisms.
The explosion of social media has accelerated the creation of new words as different
cultures and languages interact. The curiosity for neologisms is becoming stronger and
stronger. Twitter is the most suitable social media to track language changes. Its data is
public and immediately available. More and more researchers are beginning to work on
projects consisting in analysing tweets to catch the next most popular word. A huge data
consisting of around 340 million tweets sent every day, according to Twitter. Twitter
offers records of language mutating in real time and space. Many tweets provide location
data and the time they were sent allowing thus to map out the way in which new words
become popular and spread. Because tweets tend to be rather informal, there are a lot
of types of creative usages of words. Tweets appear similar to spontaneous speech,
making them particularly valuable to the study of the spread of new words and
expressions. The users of online social media produce a tremendous amount of text
each day, much of which is readily available for lexicographical analysis. Easy access to
such very large corpora is quite new, and has opened new possibilities for
lexicographical inquiry. In particular, corpus patterns that are very rare in conventional-
size corpora turn to have many occurrences in the very large corpora of social media.
Twitter is many things to many people, but lately it has been a gold mine for scholars in
fields like linguistics, sociology and psychology who are looking for real-time language
data to analyze.

If content is King, Terminology is Queen

Websites are made of content. User interacts with content. When users encounter
problems with content, then those problems often culminate in terminological issues.
Content is part of the user experience mix and terminology is the critical part of the user
Terminology can be seen as a resource that can improve the performance and
effectiveness of a broad range of language-related applications of websites, beyond
translation, including:

  • Web lookup;
  • Publication of website glossaries (where users can find the meaning of corporate terminology at a glance. Those glossaries not only cover an explicative function, but also improve the SEO of the websites, in being descriptive keywords for search engines to index);
  • Improvement of productivity, searchability, findibility of content (keywords, query expansion, query correction, faceted search);
  • Text analysis, text mining;
  • Term extraction and other forms of knowledge discovery;
  • Online Terminology Extraction tools can be successfully used to raise a website visibility and SEO by using extracted terms as keywords, tags and meta-tags and indexing;
  • Developing user-friendly navigation.

Managing and sharing terminology: cloud based, collaborative and social

Sharing terminology can only bring benefits. It helps improving consistency, uniformity
and reliability of data. The sharing of existing terminological data helps lexicographers,
translators, and terminologists to use right terms even without being experts and
prevents them from spending too much time looking for resources, extracting terms and
checking their reliability.

One-stop shop websites for terminology resources

The subject field of terminology is overwhelming, there is so much information scattered
here and there on the Internet that is easy to get lost with so much information. In order
not to spend hours surfing the internet, universities or simply passionates, are taking the
initiative to develop websites and blogs applying, in the words of Google, the “I’m feeling
lucky” approach: to find the information that you are looking for just by a few clicks.

2 giugno 2014

WordLo at LocWorld: Among Terminology VIPs

I’m so thrilled I will be speaking at TAUS-TaaS Workshop at Localization World on the 4th of Jun in Dublin! I will be among the VIPs of terminology, all those I follow on social media and reading every single post end essay they write!

Well, what will I talk about? Simply about terminology from my point of view: as a blogger, as a passionate, as someone who simply enjoys this subject. 
“Calling it a hobby isn’t sufficient, but calling it professional makes it seem like it is work”.
I will show the terminology trends and share some examples from my experience as a blogger:
  1. Communicating about terminology by using social networks;
  2. Social networks as available data for carrying out terminology research, in particular for monitoring language changes such as neologisms;
  3. Websites are made of content and terminology is the critical part of the user experience ( I already wrote about this topic here);
  4. Managing and sharing terminological data: cloud based, collaborative and social platforms;
  5. The subject field of terminology is overwhelming, so some websites provide terminological resources in few clicks.

I will (try) to keep you updated from Dublin on Twitter: @WordLo

Inclusive GIT branch naming

“main” branch is used to avoid naming like “master” and  “slaves” branches “feature branch” for new feature or bug fix   The shift fr...