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Terminology

Terminology

[tur-muh-nol-uh-jee]

Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. Not to be confused with "terms" in colloquial usages, the shortened form of technical terms (or terms of art) which are defined within a discipline or specialty field. The discipline Terminology studies among other things how such terms of art come to be and their interrelationships within a culture.

Terminology therefore denotes a more formal discipline which systematically studies the labelling or designating of concepts particular to one or more subject fields or domains of human activity, through research and analysis of terms in context, for the purpose of documenting and promoting correct usage. This study can be limited to one language or can cover more than one language at the same time (multilingual terminology, bilingual terminology, and so forth) or may focus on studies of terms across fields.

Terminology is not connected to information retrieval in any way but focused on the meaning and conveyance of concepts. "Terms" (i.e. index terms) used in an information retrieval context are not the same as "terms" used in the context of terminology, as they are not always technical terms of art.

Overview

The discipline of terminology is based on its own theoretical principles and consists primarily of the following aspects:

  • analysing the concepts and concept structures used in a field or domain of activity
  • identifying the terms assigned to the concepts
  • in the case of bilingual or multilingual terminology, establishing correspondences between terms in the various languages
  • compiling the terminology, on paper or in databases
  • managing terminology databases
  • creating new terms, as required

Types of terminology

A distinction is made between two types of terminology:

  • Ad hoc terminology, which deals with a single term or a limited number of terms
  • Systematic terminology, which deals with all the terms in a specific subject field or domain of activity

Ad hoc terminology is prevalent in the translation profession, where a translation for a specific term (or group of terms) is required quickly to solve a particular translation problem.

Terminology as a discipline

As a discipline, terminology is related to translation, alongside which it is often taught in universities and translation schools. Large translation departments and translation bureaus will often have a terminology section, or will require translators to do terminology research.

  • Some of this stuff is made up, as we weren't sure what to put.

Typology

Terminology is also defined by context, the study of terms primarily concerned with organizing them by the context in which they are used. These contexts may include:

See also

External links

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