In the age of globalisation, international technical communication is becoming increasingly important. Experts such as scientists, politicians, lawyers etc. and internationally operating companies must constantly communicate and exchange information with each other. Therefore, there is a constant need for technical translations and multilingual terminology work.
The translation of such technical texts requires not only linguistic competence and translation talent, but also appropriate specialized knowledge. Specialized knowledge means, among other things, to know about certain national and international standards, laws and regulations. Today, there are a large number of guidelines and regulations that translators have to observe, such as those for technical translations in the field of chemistry.
In the chemical industry, industry associations often have to comply with strict specifications and requirements. As a result, substantial amount of written information is needed in order to meet the regulatory standards. For example, manufacturers and importers are obliged to draw up, adapt and, if necessary, translate into one or more languages patents, toxicological reports, safety data sheets, product identification labels and similar documents on an ongoing basis.
The CLP Regulation
One of the European Union regulations, familiar to technical translators in the field of chemistry, is the Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 (commonly known as the CLP Regulation) and its amendments or Adaptations to the Technical Progress (commonly known as ATPs).
The CLP Regulation is a European chemicals regulation from 2008 that implements the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of chemical substances and mixtures. It contains text blocks that are binding for the translator for hazard (H statements) and precautionary statements (P statements) for handling chemical substances .
So far, translators have been able to take the relevant information directly from the CLP Regulation and ATPs or use the database ECHA term of the European Chemicals Agency .
In order to enable faster and easier retrieval and integration of the H and P statements into a computer-aided translation program, the database HP statements (EU-GHS) has been created for this purpose.
Information about the Termbase HP statements (EU-GHS)
The database contains all H and P statements of the European GHS in the 24 EU official languages. It contains in total 263 entries. All contents of the database have been extracted from the CLP Regulation, its amendments and corrections. A structural presentation of the statements as well as possible search and filter functions enable the translator to find them quickly and easily. It is available in TBX format and in MultiTerm’s proprietary formats. For further information, please see the following guide (English).
In need of the H and P statements? You can download the database here.
In the image below, you will find an extract of a database entry in SDL MultiTerm, statement P223.
 Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006  OJ L353/1.
 European Chemicals Agency, ECHA-term: Multilingual Chemical Terminology by ECHA. https://echa-term.echa.europa.eu/de/home?p_p_id=term_WAR_termportlet&p_p_lifecycle=0&_term_WAR_termportlet_jspPage=%2Fhtml%2Fportlet%2Fterm%2Fsearch%2Fsearch.jsp&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view Accessed February 5, 2020.
Written by Johanna Garthe
Johanna is a graduate of the Bachelor of International Technical Communication and Translation at the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany. During my final thesis, I analysed whether it is advisable to provide standardised text blocks with metadata in a terminology database or a translation memory. I examined this using the example of the hazard and safety statements of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals in the European Union. With the completion of my thesis, the above-mentioned database has been created. I would be happy to make this publicly available to translators and interpreters.