Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

TermCoord and IATE's Roles in the Age of Computer-Assisted Translation Tools

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

TermCoord and IATE's Roles in the Age of Computer-Assisted Translation Tools

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The purpose of the paper is to raise the translators' awareness of the benefits of using computer-assisted translation tools in their daily work. The paper also invites the reader to set off on an electronic journey, out of genuine curiosity and have the experience of accessing on-line information to the benefit of improving the translation resources at hand, the documenting process prior to translation work as well as the speed of translation. Although the focus of the paper is strictly on TermCoord's roles in coordinating the European multilingual translations system and on the internal functioning mechanism of the official database of the European Parliament - IATE, the terminology data banks briefly presented in the paper cover a wide range of specialized translation areas, thus inviting users-translators from different ESP fields to make the best use of them.

Keywords: TermCoord, IATE, interactive database, terminology data banks, interlingual concordance

1. Introduction

At a time when the European Union legislation was drafted only in 10 official languages, it was more than vital to create a terminology division whose purpose was to deal with terminology managemet; its merger with the IT service was fruitful in the process of creating a common interinstitutional terminology databse. Nowadays, with the extended number of 23 official languages of the European Union, all considered to be sources of authentic texts and legislation, the European authorities have heightened their awareness regarding the importance of having a functional mechanism of coordinating the multilingual translations system and also an interactive database that the EU legal translators may access in their day to day tasks.

There is an unspoken principle of information dissemination that says that the more information and research results specialists of a certain field exchange and share, the more rapid the advancement of that particular field, to the benefit of all concerned. What I have in mind is the IT domain, where the flexibility, the open-mindedness and the willingness of IT specialists to circulate information and turn a personal achievement into a common asset that would contribute to the better good of the entire 'network.' It is due to this sharing and putting together attitude that the IT domain has made such a tremendous progress in such a short period of time, offering the other fields not only a faster means of communication, but also setting an inspirational example regarding information management.

The greatest merit of the European Parliament and European officials is that they have always been aware of the need to create central units of information dissemination, more precisely of terminology management that may speed up the process of achieving 'interlingual concordance' between the 23 parallel translations of various legal texts.

2. IATE and TermCoord

The major developments of the web-based tools related to electronic lexicography triggered the evolution from paper-based glossaries to extensive terminology databases. In the first years of this century, the two terminology databases of the European Parliamnet - EUTERPE (European Terminology for the European Parliament) and Eurodicautom (the database of the Commission) were reunited into a single database - IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe) which has been functioning since 2004. l

Practically all the legislative institutions of the EU (Commission, Council, Parliament) as well as the European Court of Justice, the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank support and fund the activity of the IATE. All new specialized terms are stored by translators, other terms are currently updated and once an entry from a certain language is validated, all missing language versions for the other 22 languages have to be inserted and then all versions need to be coordinated and validated. Since 2008, IATE has also become available to the general public; therefore, any EU citizen may access this database to search for terminology in any of the official languages. …

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