Translation Technology course/Terminologiekurs

I am away from the office and I can’t get my laptop on the internet because some people have forgotten their WPA password. Hence slow or non-existent blogging.

On Saturday June 6, I went to a one-day course on term extraction and terminology management at Imperial College. It was actually a well-paced introduction to two programs, Lexterm (which is free) and Lingo (which is cheap).

Ah – Lexterm – a Catalan program! and Lingo by Lexicool.

I must say that looking at the results of term extraction of bilingual files immediately reminded me of Linguee, which is obviously the same technology at work, hence the occasional bolded words.

There were thick handouts with deliberately redundant information. I was happy with what I learned, although I would like to meet someone else who has ideas about recording legal vocabulary in a terminology program. It would be easy enough to disambiguate in a monolingual database, but not in a bilingual one. Perhaps one should have a German database, an English database, maybe even more to distinguish England and Wales, the USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland etc., and then a messy and unscholarly bilingual database cross-referencing it. I mean, it’s all very well to say you need one entry for bank meaning a financial institution and another one for bank meaning a river bank, but that assumes they have equivalents in the other language.

I was able to complete the day with a visit to the British Film Institute to see Ukulelescope with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

6 thoughts on “Translation Technology course/Terminologiekurs

    • They were in Nuremberg in April (at Karstadt, strangely enough), but I was too indecisive. This time, they shoved in an extra performance with only a couple of days’ notice, so I managed to book them.

  1. On the practice vs. practise distinction, note that quite a few UK publications and Solicitor’s firms/ Barristers’ Chambers – even the Law Society and Bar Council – websites and publications are still writing ‘authorized to practice in England & Wales’, ‘holding a practicing certificate’ and ‘with a broadly-based practise’. Maybe proofreaders (if the texts are indeed checked at all) just can’t be bothered with the AmE vs. Oz/NZ/BrE distinctions any more.

    • I know the US approach to ‘practice/practise’ is different from ours, but it seems to vary a lot too. Yes, I do notice what I think are errors, but of course that goes in the other direction: I don’t so much mind individuals getting it wrong (if I may use the term ‘wrong’!) as dictionaries insisting that one form is the only correct one when it isn’t.

  2. “Judgment” appears to be the spelling favoured by British lawyers, quite correct. I would always spell with the extra E: judgement.

    As for standardizing a dictionary in German to cover both British and American legalisms in one standard spelling or the other (let’s face it: American would be chosen) you will end up with ridiculous-looking mis-spellings. “License” in the UK is a verb, never a noun. That is “licence”.

    Personally, especially for someone who is not British or American I think both versions should be given. Otherwise a German law student is liable to pick the wrong spellings and produce work that, to a native English speaker from either domain, looks downright bizarre.

    • It’s not my experience that American law/usage is always wanted; sometimes the bias is British.
      Of course you would have to know which the dictionary was written in.
      I take your point, but I don’t think a specialized dictionary should have the job of teaching non-native speakers the absolute basics. They should have a couple of general dictionaries too. If it says ‘revocation of a licence’, then a person aiming for US English should recognize that that’s BE and change it to AmE, having decided the phrase itself is OK.

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