Plans for a Nordic multilinugal terminology

These notes are based on the Workshop at the Nordterm 2009 discussions on 12th June 2009 where there was a common understanding that a Special Interest Group for Terminology (SIG-TERM) should be established for advancing the creation, development and publicizing such a multilingual terminology.

Possible forms of the LT terminology work:

  • It would be desirable that there is a common definition for each term so that the denomination in each language will correspond to the same concept and the denominations in other languages. The definition need not be a formal one and it can be fairly short.
  • The work should proceed in a distributed manner without need for traveling and meetings.

Wikipedia appears to be quite useful a tool for this kind of terminology:

  • Wikipedia might be a good place to write more detailed explanations, definitions and encyclopedic articles in each language about the concepts because articles written in local languages are easily accessible by the general public, students and all.
  • Wikipedia provides fairly good guarantees of continuity and long term availability of the work invested in writing the articles.
  • Each Wikipedia article can have a discussion list to be used by contributors.
  • Articles in different languages are linked to each other so that the user can easily switch to an article about the same topic written in any of the other languages. Each version has to be written separately, of course.
  • Wikipedia articles can indicate a category to which they belong to. The article for that category can then automatically display a list of all articles which have advertised themselves to be of that category.

Wikipedia alone is not fully sufficient as a tool, but the shortcomings of the MediaWiki used in Wikipedia can be compensated by using a very simple TWiki for keeping track of the inventory of terms and the links to possible Wikipedia articles describing their detailed definitions (and discussions about the process).

-- KimmoKoskenniemi - 2009-06-17

Topic revision: r3 - 2009-06-26 - KimmoKoskenniemi
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