A day in the life of a Termcoord trainee


TermCoord trainees are either doing a normal DG TRAD traineeship or a Schuman traineeship. In reality, these groups do not dictate the tasks you will perform as much as the trainee’s individual preferences or specialisms, which they divulge on arrival. This could be previous terminology management experience, journalism, IT, communications (blogging, social networking), terminology research, linguistics etc. There is a common confusion as to the tasks of a TermCoord trainee, especially among those who actually work in the European Parliament. So here is a taster of a typical day of a TermCoord trainee.


08.30 – Arrive in office. Make a cup of coffee/ tea. Check emails and calendar for meetings and commitments.

09.00 – (Jiayi) I’m continuing the research on the list of terminology on drugs and drug addiction. I’m on my fifth table, so by the time I finish I would have done 200 terms in this domain since I arrived 3 months ago. (Diana) I’m finishing an article about the LISE guidelines for collaborative legal/administrative terminology work, which will be published in TermCoord’s internal and external website. Then I will send this to TermCoord personnels for feedback before publishing. (Nigel) We’re updating our external website at the moment. So this means I have to transfer all the existing content from the old external website over to the new one. (Matilda) We need a term extraction tool for our terminology projects so I test the extraction tool Synchroterm and prepare some guidelines on how to work with the software.

09.30 – Sometimes we go for breakfast in the Schuman canteen at this time, but we don’t have time for this every day!

10.00-12.00 – As this is a Tuesday, we have an internal meeting where we discuss everything connected to TermCoord: feedback on workshops, presentations, website & communication, communications with the other units etc. The tasks of the trainees (apart from contributing to the meeting at relevant points) will be to chair and take minutes at these meetings. Meetings generally last 1.5-2 hours.

12.45 – Lunch at KAD/ Schuman, or Mudam if it’s sunny. Sometimes (but rarely) we stay in the office. We decide on lunch location around 10 min beforehand by sending group emails as TermCoord trainees are spread over two offices.

13.30 – We’re back in the office. Slow ease back to the afternoon’s work by sending each other funny findings and videos since there are many funny things we come across in our research work and communications tasks (Scoop it, Facebook, Twitter). We take any opportunities to have a laugh in TermCoord.

14.00 – (Jiayi) I was going to start compiling a list of medical glossaries for the Glossary Links section of the Internal Website in English and French, but then got send a blog post to proofread (as the English native-speaker in the unit, this happens a lot). (Diana) I’m sending out emails to remind the translation trainees on the deadline of their terminology project (which TermCoord trainees coordinate). Then I answer enquiries on IATE from those trainees. Afterwards, I will research new terms (extraction) for the thematic projects for the next batch of translation trainees (who come every 3 months). (Nigel) I’m updating the Interinstitutional Terminology Portal (EurTerm) according to the requests and enquiries by the language units or even from other institutions. (Matilda) I do some terminological research on the terms selected by the terminologists in the language units from the terminology macro tables. I dedicate at least half an hour to check some new conferences or recommended books to add to the EurTerm portal and our external website. I prepare the interview with a renowned terminologist for our section “Why is terminology your passion?”

16.30 – We are meeting with our head of unit and one of our IT coordinators to check the updates done by Nigel in the EurTerm portal. We discuss and brainstorm new ideas on terminology-related content and assign tasks that need to be done.

17.30 – Time to leave the office. (Jiayi) I teach Chinese on Tuesday evenings after work, so I make my way to another building. (Diana & Nigel) We go home. (Matilda) After a long day in front of the computer I enjoy the step class in the Centre de Santé.

trainees As you can see our days at TermCoord are anything but boring. We are involved in most of the tasks, which helps us improve different skills, and our suggestions and opinions are always welcome.

Article written by Jiayi Huang, trainee at TermCoord