The social role of Terminology

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Last Friday, September 5th, Ana Rita Remígio, PhD in linguistics and currently trainee at TermCoord, gave a one-hour presentation on the social role of terminology, at the European Parliament’s premises in Luxembourg, also transmitted via video-conference in Brussels. The speaker, a researcher at the Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa – CLUNL – and at the Centro de Línguas, Literaturas e Culturas da Universidade de Aveiro – CLLC, presented the main points and arguments of her PhD thesis to a curious audience of some 55 colleagues from the Parliament and the Council.
The presentation dealt with the challenges of building a termbase on functional food to non-specialists and, consequently, of making specialised knowledge available to a public which may well not master it, neither conceptually, nor as a discourse. The lack of – or reduced – understanding of the consumer, particularly regarding food items with health claims available on the market, has undeniably raised questions about the function and effectiveness of the food label per se.

* Can termbases act as popularising science resources?
* What is the mediating role of terminology?
* Does it have an impact on the validity and accuracy of the information made available?
* How to build a corpus for such purposes?
* And then, how to explore that corpus, in order to identify and extract term candidates and potential definitions?
* Will the needs of the consumer be met?
The questions raised gain particular relevance when both the text producers and the target public in the field of food items with health claims are heterogeneous.
At the final stage, there was room for an insightful debate, when comparing entries from IATE and the abovementioned termbase on functional food.

In case you missed the presentation or feel like having a second look at it, just click here.

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