Interview with Donatella Pulitano

Donatella Pulitano Donatella Pulitano holds a Master’s degree in translation (1987) and a Certificate of specialisation in terminology (1987) from the University of Geneva. She has been director of the central terminology service of the State archive of Bern. In tandem with her professional work, Ms Pulitano is involved in training activities; she has taught terminology at the Translation department of the university of Geneva since 1995 and teaches training courses in Switzerland and abroad. Ms Pulitano is a member of several professional associations for terminology; notably Computerm (since 1989, founding member), l’Associazione Italiana per la Terminologia (since 1991), Rat für Deutschsprachige Terminologie (member since 1994 and president since 2004), the Deutscher Terminologie-Tag e.V. (member since 1997 and expert since 2010), the European Association for Terminology (since 2009), and the Deutsches Institut für Terminologie e.V. (member since 2010 and vice-president since 2012). Her main areas of interest are terminology, terminography, electronic translation tools multilingual data processing and digital lexicography.

Interview in English

  1. You have written the book “Il terminologo: cosa fa, cosa deve sapere, come si diventa”. According to your experience how one can become a terminologist?

It was not a book but the title of a presentation at the seminar Ass.I.Term some years ago with the occasion of the publication of « Terminologist profil » (http://www.radt.org/Dokumente/RaDT_Berufsprofil_franzoesisch.pdf) written by Rat für Deutschsprachige Terminologie (RaDT). In this profile, we have explained that we can study the terminology at several stages (university, training, workshops) but we can also learn from the job even if this latter variant is becoming less and less frequent given the number of trained people available.
In 2010, the Deutscher Terminologie-Tag (DTT) and the Deutsches Institut für Terminologie (DIT)have published « Best practices » for the Terminology (http://www.iim.fh-koeln.de/dtt/BP-Ordner-Inhalt.pdf) that contains a module for the profiles and the qualifications.

  1. Your main areas of interest are terminology, terminography, computer aids for translation, multilingual data processing and computerized lexicography. Do you think that they have changed in the EU context in the last years? In which way?

Computerization and especially the Web have significantly changed the way of writing and traslating. We have more information available which requires an even more critical spirit to sort the answers.

  1. As a teacher, you have worked in many domains related to translation. Which challenges or difficulties in terms of terminology do you think students have to face?

There are sometimes “prejudices” about Terminology and the teachers’ role is to show students that there are close ties but not exclusive between terminology and translation: terminology is essential to any professional communication and it is not limited to an ancillary role for the translation.

  1. You manage the Central Service of Terminology of the Bern Canton’s Chancellery. Could you explain in what consists your work there?

Our main task is feeding LINGUA-PC, the terminology bank of the canton of Berne. We conduct thematic and systematic terminology research but we also offer a SOS service (punctual terminology work) to collaborator of the cantonal administration. We are responsible for the library of the State Chancellery and the support tools for translation and writing. In addition, we participate in position procedures on draft legislation, we control terminology in legislation and important texts, we give terminology and linguistic advice and we support the secretariat of the Commission drafting, a committee that prioritizes legislation before its is processed and approved by Parliament.

  1. Did you use IATE in your daily work? In which of your domains do you consider it more useful?

We are calling for domains that are not exclusively cantonal or Swiss such as medicine, zoology or some technical fields. And of course, we use IATE with students from the Geneva University.

  1. I would like to know if you have ever been in contact with the Terminology Coordination Unit and in this case, what do you think about its original approach and enhanced external cooperation?

Yes, we are in contact. The idea of bringing together different information and resources is excellent and useful for a wide audience (professionals, students, interested people, etc).

Interview in French

  1. Vous êtes l’auteur de l’ouvrage “Il terminologo: cosa fa, cosa deve sapere, come si diventa”. D’après votre expérience, comment devient-on terminologue?

Ce n’était pas un livre, mais le titre d’un exposé présenté à un colloque Ass.I.Term il y a plusieurs années, à l’occasion de la parution du “Profil du terminologue” (http://www.radt.org/Dokumente/RaDT_Berufsprofil_franzoesisch.pdf) rédigé par le Rat für Deutschsprachige Terminologie (RaDT). Dans ce profil, nous avions expliqué qu’on peut étudier la terminologie à plusieurs niveaux (université, formation continue, ateliers), mais qu’on peut aussi se former sur le tas, même si cette dernière variante devient de moins en moins fréquente, vu le nombre de personnes formées disponibles.
En 2010, le Deutscher Terminologie-Tag (DTT) et le Deutsches Institut für Terminologie (DIT) ont publié des “Bonnes pratiques” pour la terminologie (http://www.iim.fh-koeln.de/dtt/BP-Ordner-Inhalt.pdf) qui contiennent un module sur les profils et les qualifications.

  1. Vos principaux centres d’intérêt sont la terminologie, la terminographie, la traduction assistée par ordinateur, le traitement de données multilingues et la lexicographie informatisée. Pensez-vous que ces disciplines ont vu une évolution ces dernières années dans le contexte européen? De quelle façon?

L’informatisation et surtout le Web ont sensiblement changé la façon de rédiger et de traduire. On a plus d’informations à disposition, ce qui nécessite un esprit encore plus critique pour trier les réponses.

  1. En votre qualité d’enseignante, vous avez travaillé dans de nombreux domaines liés à la traduction. À votre avis, quels sont les défis ou les difficultés sur le plan de la terminologie auxquels les étudiants sont confrontés?

Il y a parfois des “préjugés” au sujet de la terminologie, et le rôle des enseignants est de montrer aux étudiants qu’il existe des liens privilégiés, mais non exclusifs, entre la terminologie et la traduction: la terminologie est indispensable à toute communication professionnelle et ne se limite pas à un rôle ancillaire par rapport à la traduction.

  1. Vous êtes responsable du service central de la terminologie de la chancellerie d’État du canton de Berne. Pouvez-vous expliquer en quoi consiste votre travail?

Notre tâche principale est l’alimentation de LINGUA-PC, la banque de terminologie du canton de Berne. Nous effectuons des recherches terminologiques thématiques et systématiques, mais nous offrons aussi un service SOS (travail terminologique ponctuel) aux collaborateurs de l’administration cantonale. Nous sommes responsables de la bibliothèque de la Chancellerie d’Etat et des outils d’aide à la traduction et à la rédaction. De plus, nous participons aux procédures de prise de position sur les projets de texte législatif, nous contrôlons la terminologie dans la législation et dans les textes importants, nous donnons de avis terminologiques et linguistiques et nous assurons le secrétariat de la Commission de rédaction, une commission qui préavise les textes législatifs avant qu’ils ne soient traités puis adoptés par le parlement.

  1. Utilisiez-vous IATE au quotidien? Pour lesquels de vos domaines de compétence trouvez-vous cet outil le plus utile?

Nous y faisons appel pour les domaines qui ne sont pas exclusivement cantonaux ou suisses, tels que la médecine, la zoologie ou certains domaines techniques. Et bien sûr, nous utilisons IATE avec les étudiants de l’Université de Genève.

  1. Avez-vous en tête de nouvelles initiatives que les services terminologiques des institutions européennes pourraient mettre en place au profit des terminologues ainsi que des nouvelles générations de terminologues et traducteurs? J’aimerais en outre savoir si vous avez déjà été en contact avec l’unité de coordination de la terminologie et, si oui, ce que vous pensez de son approche novatrice de la terminologie et de sa coopération extérieure renforcée.

Oui, nous sommes en contact. L’idée de réunir les différentes informations et ressources est excellente, et utile pour un vaste public (professionnels, étudiants, personnes intéressées, etc.).


Interview by María García Salazar

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Born the same year when Spain became a Member of the European Union (1986), María García Salazar, a Spanish-French journalist thought that maybe the fact that she did her Erasmus semester at the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg was not just by chance. María got her Master Degree in Marketing and Communication from the European Business School ESCP Europe in December 2010 and wrote her Master thesis about Social Media. She started to work early at the age of 18 in the Media (especially in a local newspaper of Madrid) and in Spanish national radios in which she was announcer and editor of articles. María has also gained experience in Communication Departments and Advertising Agencies as a trainee at McCann-Erickson and Burson-Marsteller. Then María worked in a Communication Department of a well-known Spanish bank in Brussels and in the Communication and Advertising agency DDB in Paris. She was a trainee in the Terminology Coordination Unit in 2012 and for more than one year she works as Account and Content Manager in an online marketing agency in Milan.
These experiences gave her profound understanding how to work in international environments and she has learnt to develop online and offline communication campaigns with different supports such as newsletters, web pages (with SEO and SEM tools included), banners, e-mailings, flash animations, social media platforms, press releases, mailings, catalogues, etc.
She speaks Spanish, French, English, Italian and German. Her hobbies are swimming, travelling, going to the theatre and to any exhibition of art or photography.

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