Terminology, a core element in our multilingual context



The multilingualism day is one of the days where all forces, who contribute to making the multilingual reality come true, gather and welcome citizens with the purpose of talking about our daily work.

The event took place 29 Sep 2018 in the visitors’ centre in Brussels and the program was divided into two sections: speeches, and then language games and booths together with the radio recording mini studio and the info stand at the welcome area. You can find the program of the day here.

The audience was overall young, international, and very interested in the work that we are doing in the name of multilingualism. Terminology contributes to this multilingual context and delivers to all mediating services. 

If the interpreters are on the scene and the translators are behind it we, terminologists, are in the prompter’s box, but terminology is without doubt a core element of multilingualism and thus even less visible to citizens than the translators.

And contrary to what you might think, this is actually a good thing, because if we are not noticed, it means that we did our job well. There was not a specific talk about terminology this year but this year’s slogan was ‘Let’s talk’, and talk is what I did!

Talked about terminology in theory, talked about terminology in practice, talked about the field of terminology, talked about the work, talked about the importance, talked about the challenges, talked about our database IATE and resources offered at our public website termcoord.eu

The slogan of the event was translated into 24 languages and available to the visitors as postcards, posters, instant tattoos and on the t-shirts that we as organisers were wearing.

However, we did not only talk about multilingualism, it was all about multilingualism. Some of the speeches were given in the local language of the speaker and thus interpreted, which gave the listener the unique experience of trying to ‘depend’ on interpretation, translation and terminology. They were therefore given a live insight into the importance of our daily work as both interpreters, translators and terminologists.

By the end of the day, all the TermCoord brochures were gone and the ‘magic’ terminology box almost emptied and even more visitors than the ones I had previously spoken to knew what terminology now was. I consider my mission completed.




By Stine Jensen, Terminologist at the Terminology Coordination Unit and facilitator during the multilingualism day