Members of the Lexicon research group, researchers from the Universidad de Valladolid, Rutgers University and Carleton University have joined efforts to carry out the project VariMed (FFI2011-23120), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and competitiveness. Our main objective is to study denominative variation as a cognitive and communicative phenomenon.

Denominative variation is a key element in medical communication both at the intralinguistic level (amigdalitis-sore throat) and at the interlinguistic level (keyhole surgery–laparoscopia). A close study of the phenomenon reveals cultural and cognitive patterns proper of a community. The objectives of VARIMED are: (1) to create a corpus of medical texts in English and Spanish multimodal communication contexts; (ii) to register and classify terminology proper lexical variants in English and Spanish and study their semantic and pragmatic features from the perspective of situated cognition; (iii) to carry out a series of experimental tasks to gain insight into the phenomenon of variation in relation to the cognitive processes of lexical production and comprehension; (iv) to generate a multifunctional and reusable resource with image support for linguistic research, translation and technical writing for knowledge dissemination.

TWB Glossaries


Domain: Health

In humanitarian response, field workers must communicate important, sometimes life-saving information to those in need. In many cases, the critical link to ensuring affected people understand is the interpreter. However, too often, that link is broken, either because concepts do not translate well into the target language or because the interpreter does not have the tools to understand the concepts clearly.

TWB Glossaries are a tool to assist humanitarian field workers and interpreters working on responses across the globe. They aim to improve communication between aid workers and communities by providing clear and accurate translations of humanitarian terms in an easy-accessible offline format. With the built-in audio feature, you can also hear the words spoken aloud.

The TWB Glossaries provide a number of benefits. They standardize ways of translating and interpreting important concepts and terms, providing consistent, accurate, and easily understood words in local languages. They also help interpreters feel confident in their work and give the field worker confidence that the person with whom they are trying to communicate does fully understand.

TWB Glossaries cover subject areas that are relevant to affected communities in a variety of humanitarian responses. Themes include protection; housing, land, and property rights; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). They were developed in collaboration with technical specialists and language partners.

Open for use by the entire humanitarian community, the glossaries are dynamic and can be expanded over time to include more terminology, subjects, and languages.

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