“I say ‘avocado’, you say ‘aguacate’…or do you say ‘palta’?”
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Lori J. Finch Thesaurus Coordinator National Agricultural Library 10301 Baltimore Avenue Beltsville, MD 20705 USA Lori. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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“I say ‘avocado’, you say ‘aguacate’…or do you say ‘palta’?” The urgent need and opportunity for LAC countries to expand a vocabulary of agricultural terminology for the Americas” Tesauro Agrícola . Lori J. Finch Thesaurus Coordinator National Agricultural Library 10301 Baltimore Avenue

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“I say ‘avocado’, you say ‘aguacate’…or do you say ‘palta’?” The urgent need and opportunity for LAC countries to expand a vocabulary of agricultural terminology for the Americas”Tesauro Agrícola

Lori J. Finch

Thesaurus Coordinator

National Agricultural Library

10301 Baltimore Avenue

Beltsville, MD 20705 USA

[email protected]

SIDALC 10th Anniversary

Orton Memorial Library

Turrialba, Costa Rica

25 September 2009


Como llamar as a estas figuras what words describe these pictures l.jpg
¿Como llamarías a estas figuras? say ‘palta’?” What words describe these pictures?

¿Puerco? ¿Chancho? Pig?

¿Cerdo? ¿Porcino? Swine?

¿Sus scrofa domestica?

¿Palta? Avocado?

¿Aguacate?

¿Persea americana?

Problem: Searcher must think of ALL terms to find all pertinent information.


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Need for a Spanish language thesaurus… say ‘palta’?”

  • Where is the thesaurus that accommodates terminology used in the Americas?

  • Local Terminology applied by catalogers

  • Could we use the NAL Agricultural Thesaurus as basis for a Latin American thesaurus?


Tesauro agr cola l.jpg
Tesauro Agrícola say ‘palta’?”

  • 2006: Translation of NAL Thesaurus

  • 2007: Spanish edition is on Internet, with downloadable files, and CD

  • 2008 edition: Spanish language user interface and glossary of 2400 terms

  • Sept 2008: Visit to Orton to plan on how to work together

  • Thanks to Marta Abarca for Kathya and Matilde for collaboration


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2009 Tesauro Agrícola WIKI say ‘palta’?”

  • Wiki is a collaborative tool for sharing ideas and exchanging information over the web.

  • NAL and IICA developed a wiki for the ongoing maintenance of the thesaurus which serves as a “white board” for

    • supporting documentation

    • proposals for additions and changes to the thesaurus.



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2009 WIKI say ‘palta’?”

  • Kathya and Matilde contributing proposals

  • Some proposals from the Inaforesta WIKI project that identifies agroforestry terms

  • Videoconferences to discuss proposals


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Today: 2009 Tesauro Agrícola say ‘palta’?”

  • http://agclass.nal.usda.gov/agt_es.shtml

  • 2009 edition contains ~ 70,000 terms

  • Organized into 17 categories for browsing

  • Updated annually

  • Web site search

  • Downloadable in 2 eye-readable formats (PDF, TXT) and 3 machine-readable formats (XML, MARC, SKOS)

  • English and Spanish web interfaces


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Challenges of Tesauro Agrícola say ‘palta’?”

  • Original translation done in Chile and does not represent all dialects

  • Needs editing and correction

  • Dynamic – must be enriched to be useful

  • Communication over distance

  • Requires subject knowledge of agricultural concepts

  • How to grow it and maintain it so that it is useful to searchers of information?


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“It takes a village…” say ‘palta’?”

Goal of a QUALITY thesaurus cannot be accomplished by one or two groups, needs to be a collaboration across LAC countries.

  • Needs diversity of contributors so that a variety of dialects are represented

  • Needs subject experts in agriculture

  • Needs Librarians / Catalogers

    …Needs SIDALC partners


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Benefits to contribution say ‘palta’?”

  • Direct impact on content

    • Regional terms

    • Special interest terms

    • Guidance needed and welcomed

  • Acknowledgement of contribution

  • Tool for future applications

  • Benefits of controlled vocabulary over use of local terms


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Next Steps say ‘palta’?”

  • Evaluation of the proposal process

  • Evaluation of the WIKI

  • Ideas for improvement of communication over long distance

  • Development of training materials for those who wish to contribute

  • Process for identifying gaps and weaknesses in the thesaurus and experts who can aid in development


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Next Steps….more say ‘palta’?”

  • Ideas for other formats needed, including CD product

  • What future applications are planned that could benefit from terminology?

  • Brainstorm …which of these can we do?

  • Planning and prioritizing work to fit with human resources


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Gracias por su atención say ‘palta’?”

Thank you for your attention

Lori J. Finch

Thesaurus Coordinator

[email protected]

La Biblioteca Nacional de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos

avanzando el acceso a la información global para la agricultura.


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