June 4, 2020

MS in Translation & Interpreting Faculty Member Barbara Inge Karsch Publishes ATA Chronicle Article on the Formation of New Terminology by Translators

In a recent article for the American Translators Association’s ATA Chronicle, “Creating New Terminology: Do Translators Really Do This?,” MS in Translation & Interpreting (MSTI) instructor Barbara Inge Karsch identifies situations in which translators might develop terminology to represent new concepts. Karsch, who teaches Theory & Practice of Terminology and Terminology Management, is one of the language experts convened by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create standards and frameworks to anchor the process of term formation.

“One of the primary goals of technical material is to pass on information to a user. A large component of technical texts are terms and names (designations). Indeed, terms and names are the main carriers of information, as they’re the representations of concepts covered by the text.

If we invent terms and names randomly, chances are nobody will understand the concepts behind them. Communication will be inhibited or not occur. If we form terminology with a systematic approach, a larger percentage of readers will grasp the concept, and grasp it faster. […]

Companies that are serious about their linguistic presentation and professional image put work into naming their products, features, departments, job titles, and most of all the company itself. As their extended representatives, translators must put equal care into the coining of new terms and names. ISO 704 provides us with seven term formation principles to guide us in this endeavor.”

Read the full text for a description of the seven principles and the significance of the committee’s work.   


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