Summaries 2/1999

  • Lisää suomenkielisiä termejä Eurodicautom-termipankkiin / Lena Jolkkonen & Katri Seppälä

  • Satakunnan Makropilotti – lentäjien koulutusohjelmako? / Matti Hyyppä

  • Sanastotyön tietotekniset apuvälineet / Pirjo Soininen

  • Tietotekniikan sanakirjoissa on eroja / Olli Nykänen

  • Kirjallisuutta

    More Finnish terms into Eurodicautom

    The terminology collection project that started in May 1998 for the European Commission's term bank has been successfully completed. TSK coordinated this Eurodicautom project in which over 25 000 term records were handled, over 23 000 Finnish equivalents were found and almost 2000 definitions were written. It is obvious that TSK's personnel could not do this work alone. Luckily we found many experts interested in terminology work. Cooperation was needed, not just because of the size of the project, but also because many different special fields were covered.

    One of TSK's guiding principles has been to work with special field experts. This model gives the experts a possibility to influence the usage of terms in their own field and guarantees that the terms are correct. This does not mean that collecting terminology is always easy. Although concepts are understandable and perhaps familiar, it is not obvious that a native term will be found. Sometimes there is no corresponding concept in Finnish.

    The main purpose of these Eurodicautom projects has been to add Finnish terms and their sources in the term bank. However, the term bank users are also taken into consideration, and definitions and other necessary information have been added. Term suggestions have been given when there is no established Finnish term. Even the information that a term is not found is valuable. For example, when there is no Finnish name for an animal, it is useful to know that the Latin name is used. In due course, this new information may be searched in Eurodicautom.

    Macro pilot – a training programme for pilots?

    In fact, the macro pilot project is Europe's most comprehensive development project in social welfare and health care. The Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health selected the region of Satakunta from 19 competing candidates to run the macro pilot project. The purpose of the project is to develop better work models for this field by using new information technology, multidisciplinary approach and team work. The project will last until the end of 2000, and it is estimated that over 100 million marks will be used in 30 subprojects.

    TSK's terminologist Virpi Kalliokuusi participated in one of these smaller projects in which macro pilot terms were collected and defined. Terminology work proved to be very important, because planning groups kept on inventing new terms, everyone had their own meanings for them and communication was difficult. The first phase of this terminology project is now over, and the basic concepts have become clearer. The second phase should start next autumn.

    Technical tools for terminology work

    Terminologist Pirjo Soininen discusses the development of IT tools to enhance terminology work.

    The first phase of a terminology project is to gather existing terms from different term collections and texts of the field in question. If this is to be done by computers, automatic term recognition is needed. The best results have been achieved by combining linguistic rules and statistical methods. For example, a term is usually composed of more than one word, it is very often a noun phrase and appears often in a text. However, automatic search results are always only preliminary material and a terminologist is needed to verify the computer's term choice.

    Extracted terms are usually stored in a database format. Terms are often saved in a term bank that is used as a storage for material and as a distribution channel. Traditional books and electronic vocabularies on CD-ROMs and diskettes are also popular.

    The next step after automatic term extraction is the automatic collection of information on concepts. A terminological knowledge base may be used to do this. Concept relationships are so fundamental in terminology that it is worth while to study their automatic extraction.

    Automation requires that terminologists understand information technology and use it with ease, but this cannot be required from the users of terminologies. The same material should be available to both users and terminologists. Term banks should be easy to use, but in the same time terminologists need flexible tools for handling material. Hopefully applying language engineering to terminology tools will create more efficient and user-friendly applications.

    Books on IT terminology

    TSK's director Olli Nykänen introduces and compares three new Finnish books on information technology. The books are ATK-sanakirja (Dictionary of Information Processing, hereafter referred to as ATK) by the Finnish Association for Information Processing, Suuri tietotekniikan tietosanakirja (Complete Encyclopedia of Information Technology, Suuri) by Hannu Jaakohuhta and PC-tietosanakirja 99 (PC Encyclopedia 99, PC) by Petteri Järvinen.

    ATK has been published regularly since 1966, and the latest version contains about 2500 terms in the IT field and related fields and their equivalents in seven languages: English, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Estonian and Russian. The dictionary has been divided into a defining terminology, arranged alphabetically according to Finnish terms, and into indexes in different languages. In addition to short definitions, the terminology part often gives explanations and references to other concepts.

    Jaakohuhta claims that his book is the largest IT terminology ever published in Finland, and indeed it has more than 14 500 entry words and exactly one kilo of pages, i.e. 1024. Entry words are in Finnish and English, and the contents of each article vary a lot. Suuri contains terminology from many different subject fields, the majority of which are more or less related to IT. Entry words include many abbreviations and names, and the book contains many appendices and some pictures. The appendices include e.g. lists of smileys and abbreviations used in e-mails and chats.

    PC contains 4000 entry words. Järvinen's criteria for choosing terms have been more strict than Jaakohuhta's, PC does not ramble to related fields. PC's structure is simplest and easiest to use. The layout is also good and clear. There are more pictures than in Suuri, but only one appendix. The entry word selection of PC is a mixture of Finnish and English, including many abbreviations. Unfortunately, cross-references are sometimes missing, e.g. a term can be found only in Finnish or English and a reader using the "wrong" language cannot find the wanted term. The contents of articles vary from simple equivalents to extensive information packets.

    These three books have quite different terminological objectives. ATK is clearly the most normative, and it gives recommendations on usage. ATK favours Finnish terminology at the expense of words of foreign origin and professional jargon. Suuri is more descriptive; it does not divide terms into good and bad. PC does not try control language usage, but it still has an indirect influence on IT terms. Järvinen's works are widely appreciated, and the terms he uses will usually become familiar even among non-experts.

    The most important observation was that these three influential books contain information that differs from book to book. In a way it is understandable, because ATK is a "pure" dictionary, PC is an encyclopedia and Suuri is somewhere between these two. Surprisingly ATK's greatest merit – emphasis on living Finnish terminology – is perhaps its greatest weakness. Many words used in spoken language have been totally overlooked, and while the reader is looking for them, he or she cannot find even those terms that the book recommends. Jaakohuhta's work is slightly careless. This can be noticed in spelling mistakes, repeated sentences and even grammatical mistakes. PC's problem is that synonyms and alternative search words are scarce, and the reader may not find the information although it is there. Despite of these minor shortcomings, all of these books are valuable and necessary reference books that complement each other.


    Sikari aamusta yöhön
    This reference book on cigars was chosen the most beautiful book in Finland in 1998. It proved to be a valuable terminological source, too, when TSK was adding Finnish terms on tobacco farming into Eurodicautom term bank. The book deals with e.g. the history, raw materials, manufacturing and smoking of cigars.

    Suomi–saksa luonto- ja retkeilysanakirja
    Translator Lauri Hokkinen has written a German–Finnish dictionary on nature and hiking which contains over 3800 entry words on Finnish nature, forestry and environmental protection. The Latin names of species are also mentioned.

    Terminology on safety of machinery
    This terminology standard contains 95 terms, their definitions in Finnish, English, French and German and equivalents in nine other European languages. In addition, there is a vocabulary of English terms found in the European standards on safety of machinery and their Finnish equivalents used in Finnish standards.

    Terms in Context
    Jennifer Pearson writes about the use of corpora as an aid in terminology work. She discusses the use of corpora in identifying and retrieval of terms and searching of definitions and explanations. She also introduces the principles of terminology, lexicographic methods and different dictionary definitions.