Guest post: Terminology for translators

Welcome back to our guest post series! Hope you are all having a great start of the year so far. Mine has officially started this week. I mean, I have been working non-stop, but my mind is set to a new year only after my birthday, so here I am, putting my resolutions into practice with the greatest determination possible.

Enough of me, let’s welcome our first guest of 2017, Patricia Brenes.

Welcome, Patricia!

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Source: Unsplash, by Mark Solarski

Terminology as an added value to your Resume

More and more translators are starting to realize that they just can’t keep writing job description resumes, but rather value-added resumes, which means they need to find new ways to set themselves apart from the competition.

A little over two years ago, I started writing my blog on Terminology, In My Own Terms. Since then, I have received many messages from translators who say it had not occurred to them that Terminology could be a way to advance their careers. So what is all the hype? In the past years, the four blogs that actively talk about Terminology (see list below) have ranked among the 10 top language professional blogs in bab.la’s annual competition, a clear indication of an increased interest in Terminology.

Experts agree that learning about Terminology is key to a successful translation career. During Proz’s 2015 Virtual Conference, Jim Wardell, an experienced German to English translator, indicated that “Terminology is excruciatingly important, getting it right and being fanatical about Terminology, […] is what sets you, as a translator, apart from all the others who don’t do their homework, and that’s what makes your translations shine”. Also, according to Rodolfo Maslias, Head of the Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord) at the European Parliament “Terminology is an excellent choice for […] a specialization for linguists.

As Terminology continues to get more and more attention, I believe new training opportunities will open up. So if you don’t know where to start, the first step is to stay informed and up-to-date. Subscribe to these blogs:  TermCoord’s blog is updated daily with the latest events and activities. WordLo by Maria Pia Montoro offers interesting insights on Terminology and a comprehensive list of terminology tools and systems. Terminologia etc by Licia Corbolante is in Italian and although I don’t know much Italian, I find her posts brilliantly written with short and sweet practical cases of terminology. In My Own Terms explains theory in easy terms for beginners and offers, among others, a collection of posts called “Basic Course on Terminology”. There is also an inactive blog which provides useful cases on terminology management that I visit regularly: BIK Terminology, by renowned terminologist Barbara Inge Karsch.

Once you get a better idea of what terminology can do for you, you have more formal options, such as TermNet’s certification for Terminology Managers. They offer a basic and an advanced online course every year, as well as the School of Terminology, a one-week workshop that also allows you to get certified in-site (usually in Germany or Vienna). The Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona offers a Master’s in Terminology in English or Spanish, with the possibility of taking the courses separately, in case you can’t sign up for the full Master’s right away. You may also want to download the Telegram app and follow TeleTermino, a channel that teaches the basic building blocks of Terminology to beginners and other interested individuals.

There are also videos that introduce Terminology in various forms presented by renowned terminologists. You can also keep up to date by following the major players of Terminology in social media. Lastly, you can learn from the experts by reading the collection of interviews by TermCoord called “Why is Terminology your Passion?”. I think this is a great way to learn about the different roles that terminologists play around the world.

Don’t underestimate the power of Terminology. Offering terminology management to your clients will put you on the right track to a successful career. As expert terminologist Michael Beijer puts it: “Translation and Terminology are inextricably intertwined. Translating is the easy part as it comes naturally to you, but it is the terminology that trips you off.” So you should not only know how to manage terminology efficiently but also get more involved in the Terminology world to keep track of the latest trends. Let the Terminology bug bite you!

Thank you so much for accepting my invitation and taking the time to write to my blog, Patricia! It was an honor hosting you! I thought it was particularly interesting to learn about the Telegram’s terminology channel. Thanks for all the amazing tips!

About the author
pbrenes-photoPatricia Brenes is the owner of the blog inmyownterms.com. Originally from Costa Rica, she moved to Washington in 2000 to work for the Inter-American Development Bank. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Specialized Translation at the Universitat de Vic in Barcelona. She also has a Terminology Manager certification (ECQA) from TermNet. Her blog collects useful information on theory and practice, as well as infographics, biographies, interviews, tools and much more.

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4 thoughts on “Guest post: Terminology for translators

  1. Pingback: Weekly translation favorites (Jan 6-26)

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