TermTerm: the freely accessible multilingual terminological database

October 28, 2013 10:54 am

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Germany not only has a long tradition of terminological activity in industry, training and business, but is also well-known for engagement with the fundamental principles of terminology. However, the terminological field itself has not done its homework so thoroughly when it comes to the terminology of terminology. Even in conferences and professional congresses on terminology, the nouns ‘concept’ and ‘term’ are sometimes used incorrectly or interchangeably.


1. The abbreviation TMS is understood differently by many people. TMS expresses three different concepts:
• Translation Management System
• Translation Memory System
• Terminology Management System

2. Thus, some terminology management systems vendors use different terms for identical options. E.g. the templates to create terminological entries are referred to as ‘input models’ by a certain vendor and as ‘input templates’ by another.
Most of the concepts in terminology science are standardised, but many are not known by all users or are not easily accessible. The experience of several projects and institutions has demonstrated the need to clarify the terminology of terminology, and to edit this data in a terminological database.
The TermTerm project provides one central database in several languages.
The TermTerm database provides free access to:
• the central concepts of terminology work
• terms in several languages
• definitions from relevant terminology standards

Languages and contents (as of May 2013):
• German: approx. 1350 terms
• English: approx. 1900 terms
• French: approx. 950 terms
• Greek: approx. 1100 terms
• Total: approx. 1600 concept entries

The initial data sets were created by students of the MA program ‘Terminology and Language Engineering’ at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, the terminology E-Learning tool elcat and the Greek Technical Committee 21 ‘Principles of Terminology’ (ELOT/TC 21).

The TermTerm database is a collaborative product of the TermTerm consortium which is composed of renowned terminologists and language engineers.
The TermTerm project will be presented by Prof. Dr. K.-D. Schmitz at the tekom Annual Meeting 2013 in Wiesbaden.

Access to the TermTerm database:
1. Read-only access through SDL MultiTerm online
(Please use Mozilla Firefox!)
2. Read-only access and term requests through Kaleidoscope quickTerm

For more information visit the project website.

Written by Matilda Soare

Research Assistent at Cologne University of Applied Sciences
Former trainee at TermCoord

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