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Terminology. The labelling of new concepts as precisely and as unambiguously as possible.

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The labelling of new concepts as precisely and as unambiguously as possible.

‘terminology is the study and field of activity concerned with the collection, description, processing and presentation of terms, i.e. lexical items belonging to specialised areas of usage of one or more languages.’

language for special purposes
Language for Special Purposes
  • LSP is prmarily a vehicle for the transfer of scientific and technological or other vatrieties of sectorial information.
  • LSP texts consist of appositely labelled terms bound together by appropriate lexis from the general vocabulary words stock.

Lexical items representing a term can exist in the general language, but they are regarded as distinct from general lexical items.

  • The same lexical item may appear in different fields , but with a distinct terminological function.
  • e.g. enlargement:
  • General language= ampliamento
  • Medical language= ingrossamento
  • Photography = ingrandimento
general lexis v terminology
General lexis v Terminology
  • Contextual and co-textual clues are often required to understand a textual message in general language.
  • Clues should be virtually superfluous in LSP texts.
  • While dictionaries provide synonyms for lexical items, glossaries and technical glossaries dispense with this aid to comprehension.
useful online dictionaries
Useful online dictionaries


(http://www. yourdictionary.com) offers thousands of dictionaries,encyclopaedias, and numerous other linguistic resources in many languages.

2 important portals for translators:

Translator’s home companion




online dictionaries cont
Online dictionaries cont.



This allows users to search definitions and translations simultaneously in over a thousand on-line dictionaries and glossaries.

useful italian reference sites
Useful Italian reference sites
  • La Sitoteca-Biblioteca delle opere di consultazione e degli strumenti per la ricerca terminologica e lessicale in Internet
  • (http//:www.edigeo.it/Sitoteca/sitoteca.php)
  • Dienneti-Risorse e materiali
  • (http://www.dienneti.it/risorse/dizionari.htm)
  • Alterego-Dizionari On Line
  • (http://www.alteregoitalia.com/italiano/dizionari_on_line.htm)
  • L’archivio delle risorse di Biblit, portale dedicato alla traduzione letteraria
  • (http://www.biblit.it)
useful sites for researching on line glossaries
Useful sites for researching on-line glossaries
  • Mutlilingual
  • (http://www.multilingual.ch)
  • Term-minator
  • (http://www.term-minator.it)
terms basic forms
Terms: basic forms
  • Translators tend to use, technical dictionaries, specialised dictionaries and multilingual subject field glossaries for terms
  • New terms in translation can take different forms:
  • A translation that enters the terminology stock;
  • The foreign term is preferred (loan)
  • A calque of the foreign term is preferred;
  • Translators need to know when the above solutions comprise the accepted term and when they are not acceptable.
  • On other occasions, the terminology is in a state of flux, with some term users preferring one form of a term to another.
what aspects of term formation are illustrated by following translations of gerd
What aspects of term formation are illustrated by following translations of ‘GERD’?
  • http://acidreflux.dunway.com/html/italian_translation.html
identifying term formation
Identifying Term formation
  • Common patterns used to form English terms are:
  • Affixation: (the addition of a prefix, suffix)
  • e.g. supermarket, hyperstore, megastore.

e.g. hardware, software, shareware, freeware

  • Compounding (noun strings):
  • e.g. battery charger, press blow process, glass mix feeder,
  • Adjective/participle/ noun compounds:
  • nerve endings; self-centring vice, single cell battery.
  • Abbreviation:
  • e.g. CAD, LED, VDU, VCR,
lexical density
Lexical Density
  • lexical Density is the ratio of lexical words (meaning-bearing words) to function words in a text.
  • As the information load is heavier in technical/ Sectorial texts they are held to demonstrate a high level of lexical density.
  • They are ‘term-dense’, that is, there is a high ratio of technical or sectorial terms to ordinary lexical words and functional language.
equivalent effect in term dense texts
Equivalent effect in ‘term dense’ texts
  • The translator should strive to create the same effect on the TL audience as the original writer created on the SL readership.
  • Measuring lexical density can provide a parameter in assessing whether the translator has achieved the right register and balance of technical expression.
  • Taylor p. 39
dictionary use
Dictionary Use

Specialised dictionaries, encylopaedias, glossaries and source material in book and online form are essential for translating terminology and term-dense text.

Translators also rely heavily on conventional monolingual and bilingual dictionaries for decoding lexical density of general language .

frequent areas of ambiguity in general lexical words
Frequent areas of ambiguity in general lexical words
  • Aspects of general language that have to be handled with particular care in translation are:
  • Morphology: including information on irregular forms, prepositional constructions, spelling and pronunciation;
  • Hynonymy: identical words referring to different referents.

e.g. porto, sentence (Taylor p.41)

Polysemy: words having multiple but related meanings;

e. g. politica, economia

homography: words with the same spelling but different pronunciation and meaning and often belonging to different word class)

e.g. review, record.

sample sentences and markers
Sample sentences and markers.
  • The latest generation of dictionaries have shown increasing concern to use markers that help translators understand whether a lexical item is being used technically, familiarly, ironically etc.
  • An example from Taylor
  • Cook the books
  • By looking under the head word cook, the translator would find that it means falsificare i registri, but would also find that it is familiar ( and would hence look for similarly familiar solution.)
dictionary use taylor
Dictionary use – Taylor

to cook A vti V(+D+D); V+D+for+IN cuocere, cuocersi, cucinare• to cook a meal cucinare un pasto; to cook sb’s goose (slang) sistemare qn per le feste, mettere i bastoni fra le ruote a qn, rompere le uova nel paniere a qn; she cooks for the whole family cucina per tutta la famiglia; how long does this fish take to cook in quanto tempo si cuoce questo pesce?

B vt V+D (= to doctor) falsificare, truccare• to cook the books falsificare o truccare i libri contabili, (fig) cambiare le carte in tavola; to cook the evidence falsare o inquinare le prove; the results have been cooked! i risultati sono stati truccati!

C vi V(+IN) in forma progressiva (= to brew, slang, fig) bollire in pentola• to be cooking with gas (a) avere grande successo; agire o pensare correttamente; (b) suonare musica con grande ispirazione; what’s cooking? cosa bolle in pentola?, cosa succede?

dictionary markers continued
Dictionary markers continued

to cook st up pv

1 (coll) architettare/inventare qs• he cooked up an incredible story inventò una storia incredibile.

2 cucinare qs rapidamente.

dictionary use markers
Dictionary use: markers

Sospètto1 a 1 (che desta diffidenza) suspicious, dubious, fishy; (di origine sospetta) suspect, questionable, dubious, doubtful• circostanze sospette suspicious circumstances; funghi sospetti dubious mushrooms; un funzionario sospetto di corruzione an official suspected of corruption; merci di provenienza sospetta goods of dubious origin; un rumore sospetto a suspicious noise; una storia sospetta a fishy story; essere tra le persone sospette to *be under suspicion; questa tosse è sospetta this cough is suspicious; non ho visto niente di sospetto I haven’t seen anything suspicious

2 (= losco) shady, shifty, equivocal, questionable, dubious, murky• comportamento sospetto equivocal behaviour; un luogo sospetto e malfamato a shady, disreputable place

dictionary use markers20
Dictionary use - markers
  • Sospètto2 nm 1 (= diffidenza/dubbio) suspicion, distrust, mistrust, misgiving• destare i sospetti di qn to arouse sb’s suspicions; essere al di sopra di ogni sospetto to *be above/beyond suspicion; considerare qs con sospetto to regard/to view st with suspicion; guardare qn con sospetto to look askance at sb; c’è il sospetto che l’incendio sia doloso there is a suspicion of arson; il suo gesto mise in sospetto la polizia his action aroused the suspicions of the police
dictionary markers
Dictionary markers
  • 2 (= sentore) suspicion, misgiving, hunch, idea, intuition• avevo il sospetto che cercasse di ingannarmi I had a hunch he was trying to trick me; ho il sospetto che non stia bene I fear he is not well.
  • Sospètto 3 nm (= quantità minima) suspicion, touch, hint• tè con un sospetto di latte tea with just a touch of milk.
dictionary use markers general english language dictionary
Dictionary use: markers General English language dictionary
  • damage |ˈdamij|noun1 physical harm caused to something in such a way as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.• unwelcome and detrimental effects : the damage to his reputation was considerable.2 ( damages) a sum of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or an injury : she was awarded $284,000 in damages.
dictionary use markers in general english dictionary
Dictionary use: markers in general English dictionary
  • verb [ trans. ]inflict physical harm on (something) so as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function : the car was badly damaged in the accident | [as adj. ] ( damaged) damaged ligaments | [as adj. ] ( damaging) extreme heat can be very damaging to color film.• have a detrimental effect on : the scandal could seriously damage his career.
  • PHRASES what's the damage? informal humorous used to ask the cost of something. DERIVATIVES damagingly |ˈdømədʒɪŋli| adverbORIGIN Middle English : from Old French, from dam, damne ‘loss or damage,’ from Latin damnum ‘loss or hurt’ ; compare with damn .
dictionary markers advanced learner dictionary
Dictionary markers: advanced learner dictionary
  • damage   verb [T] to harm or spoil something: Many buildings were badly damaged during the war .It was a political scandal which damaged a lot of reputations.   
  • damage noun [U] harm or injury: Strong winds had caused serious damage to the roof. Recent discoveries about corruption have done serious damage to the company's reputation. The doctors were worried that he might have suffered brain damage.
  • damaged   adjective harmed or spoilt: They're selling off damaged goods at reduced prices. Both the cars involved in the accident looked badly damaged.
  • damaging   adjective causing harm: Many chemicals have a damaging effect on the environment. These are very damaging allegations.
  • www.dictionary.cambridge.org