IATE term of the week: e-commerce


You sit behind your computer, laptop or even mobile phone and in a matter of minutes you’ve finished buying your nephew’s birthday present, a bouquet of flowers for your parents’ anniversary, the exact matching tie for your next big event, you’ve paid a utility bill, booked a cinema ticket, or simply did your grocery shopping because you didn’t have time to physically go down to the supermarket. Who hasn’t made use of this technological genius? Buying all you need with the click of a button in the comfort of your home or office…hassle free, simple and convenient.

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This is the beauty of online shopping, and many make use of this to make sure that they get their hands on a bargain.

These bargains are especially sought after on days like today and next Monday. Today, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States is known as Black Friday, when the holiday shopping really kicks in with massive deals and discounts on almost everything. The trend has moved to the other side of the Atlantic and is basically a worldwide phenomenon nowadays, with offers moving away from just in-store promotions but also to online deals. However, the main online shopping bonanza will come just three days after, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, called Cyber Monday. This day is usually remembered for the slashed prices and offers available online. You can read more about these two days here.

For this reason, this week we decided to focus on this online commerce phenomenon and make e-commerce the IATE Term of the Week.

The plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week also dealt with a similar topic, as it discussed and eventually agreed upon increased protection for online consumers. There was a need for this, since 37% of online shops and booking websites for travel, entertainment, clothing, electronic goods and consumer credit services were found to be in breach of EU consumer laws in 2014.

The European Parliament therefore agreed to EU-wide rules to better protect consumers against scams and detect and stop rogue traders more swiftly. National enforcement authorities will have more powers to detect and halt online breaches of consumer protection laws and be able to coordinate their actions better across the EU, under the revised Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) regulation.

The IATE database provides the terms for this concept in all of the 24 EU official languages and it is defined as the wide range of activities based on the electronic processing and transmission of data, including electronic trading of goods and services, on-line delivery of digital content, electronic funds transfers, electronic share trading, public procurement, and so on.

This is the complete entry for e-commerce on IATE:

IATE- ecommerce

Join us again next Friday, when we’ll focus on another term from the IATE database.

e-commerce IATE term of the week


  • Buying online: Parliament beefs up protection against fraudsters‘, European Parliament, available here [Accessed on 22/11/2017]
  • Plenary highlights: Lux Prize, Paradise papers, online shopping’, European Parliament, available here [Accessed on 20/11/2017]
  • ‘Black Friday & Cyber Monday: a terminological review’, Terminology Coordination, available here [Accessed on 20/11/2017]

Written by Veronica Lynn MizziTrainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). Graduate in the Maltese Language and Communication, and Master’s graduate in Translation and Terminology Studies from the University of Malta. Former journalist