GET TO TERMS with CULTURE, the SOUL of EUROPE

November 19, 2019 3:18 pm

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One of the most important fields where multilingual communication meets the need of clear message to a very diverse audience is culture.

Audio- guides  of big museums include nowadays in their “languages”, in addition to the special description for children, also audio texts in clear (plain) language.

neus museum

To be able to address the very multicultural and multilingual audience of cultural venues all over the world, you need two layers of cultural terminology, the scientific one and the one with plain terminology permitting all audiences to understand your message.

This is why the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament included in its new program “Terminology without Borders” also a project on cultural terminology.

The translation services of the European Parliament have been recently confronted with the challenge to translate cultural messages to a wide audience in 24 languages when they had to translate the description of all the exhibits of the House of European History. In order to face even more efficiently such challenges in the future, the Directorate General for Translation is creating a specific unit for the translation of cultural texts.

The texts translated for the House of European History form a unique corpus from which our terminologists made a term extraction to create a cultural glossary in the 24 languages of the European Union.

This glossary will shortly be published and offered to the visitors of the website yourterm.org together with other linguistic resources on culture and with the results of terminology projects run in collaboration with several universities and coordinated by TermCoord.

The first of these cultural projects has started this semester with the University ISIT (Paris). It consists in the creation of a big corpus from the texts produced by the over hundred European Capitals of Culture for projects covering all fields of art. We selected this source as the most successful European project running since 1985 fostering common European identity and cultural exchanges between all European countries. From this corpus, the students will then extract terms in English and transpose them in French. This bilingual glossary will constitute the basis for a multilingual terminology project in which other interested terminology and translation departments of universities will be invited to add their languages. As for all projects of the series “Terminology without Borders”, experts of international organisations dealing with culture will validate the terminology in the respective languages, the results will be added later in the European terminology database IATE and will be available to the public through yourterm.org.

We are glad about this cooperation and we consider it an obligation to work in this field and to provide a useful multilingual terminology resource on culture that is “the Soul of Europe”.


Written by Rodolfo Maslias, Head of the Terminology Coordination Unit.

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