Making Terms Matter 2015. Kara Warburton, Termologic
New Frontiers in Terminology work
The frontiers of terminology work are extending to such a degree
that we are no longer dealing with terms, but with
subsegment level linguistic data of various kinds,
which are needed to process information in the digital age.
Lexical data has many uses
● Computer-assisted translation (CAT)
● Controlled authoring (CA)
● Content Management Systems (CMS)
● Globalization Management Systems (GMS)
● Business process management (BPM)
● Global branding: products, features, marketing
● SEO and search keywords
● Spell checkers, typeahead, machine-translation, indexing
● NLP and text mining, e.g. sentiment analysis, opinion
mining, information forensics
A new operational framework is needed
● Factors driving the changes: advances in technology, diversity of
applications, increased availability of large-scale corpora,
“industrialization” of terminology
● Changes in the notion of termhood – what we agree to “manage”
● Changes in theory, mission, basic principles
● Changes in methodology – how and what we do
1990 2000 2010 2020
Range of tools
Role of text
Role of concept
Scope of applications
Trends we have been witnessing
Classical notions of termhood are being challenged
● Classical definition of a term:
– the designation of a concept in a structured concept system of a
field of special knowledge (subject field).
● Now guided by two factors**:
– relevance to the corpus – lexical structures that are “stable” and “salient”
in a given corpus
– relevance to the intended application – purposeful, productive,
economical, efficient, internally coherent
** Bourigault, D., and Jacquemin, C. 2000. Construction de ressources terminologiques.
In J-M. Pierrel, editor, Ingénierie des langues. Hermès, Paris.
Definition from the “Textual theory of terminology*”
A term is a construct that takes shape through an analysis which gives
consideration to corpus evidence, validation by subject-matter experts,
and the purpose of the terminographical product
According to the intended purpose, a collection of “terms” can differ
● which lexical units are retained
● how they are documented
* See works of D. Bourigault, C. Roche, A. Condamines, Slodzian, and M-C. L'Homme.
● A detailed, comprehensive data model
– Adherence to ISO standards, and principles
– Takes into account different applications
– Emphasis on textual context and concept relations
● A terminology management system (TMS) that supports such a
● Term selection criteria (termhood) according to purpose
● Increase traffic to a website by improving the site's rank in search
● A key SEO method is to add search keywords strategically to web sites
Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)
volume of searches* per day 2
number of competing pages (hits)
• value greater than 1 is ideal but often difficult
• values lower than 1 can still be good keywords
* you can get this data from: adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
Enterprise search can beat Google
● How can we associate the user's search words with
other different yet closely-meaning words that are
present in the text?
➔ Load the SE with a lexical resource (LR) comprising
terms from the domain in question.
● Can we do this for global SEO (i.e. Google, Baidu,
➔ No. The target domain of a search in a global SE is
➔ We can't load a global SEO with an LR
● Can we do this for an enterprise search (e.g.
www.ibm.com or www.scania.com)?
knowledge base feeds into
If a user searches for
“Venus”, the SE knows it is
not the tennis player.
A search for “planet” could
suggest all individual
planets as alternate
Leveraging big data
Using various NLP tools, terminologists can base decisions on
objective statistical measures
● Generation of sailient unigrams
● Term extraction tools
● Concordancing software
● Pattern clustering
● Concept maps
Like the cameleon who changes colours to adapt to his
environment, terminologists need to adapt to new conditions.
While respecting the traditions of the past where it makes
sense, we need to also be prepared to unshackle ourselves
from those traditions in order to play a greater role in the
evolution of information technology.