Summaries 3/2004

  • Muutosta ilmassa / Lena Jolkkonen

  • Antti Rainio – navigoinnin asiantuntijaa kiinnostaa myös kielen kartoitus / Hanna Haapasalo

  • Suomi–ruotsi–suomi-sotilassanakirja tuo apua viestintään / Ritva Eskola

  • Psykiatriaa ja terminologiaa / Johanna Ketola & Päivi Peltoniemi

  • Ajankohtaista sosiaali- ja terveyssektorin termityössä / Matti Ojala

  • Toukka vai tunnisteväline? Tietoturvan termisuosituksia / Mari Suhonen

  • Leppoisasti käännösteknologiaa Savonlinnassa / Sirpa Suhonen

  • Kirjallisuutta

    Changes in the air

    It was decided in the annual meeting of the Finnish Centre of Technical Terminology TSK in the spring that the TSK's name will be changed and that private persons may be accepted as members. The new name for the association is Sanastokeskus TSK ry in Finnish, Terminologicentralen TSK rf in Swedish. The unofficial English name is the Finnish Terminology Centre TSK. The short form TSK may be used in all languages in informal situations. Although the change is moderate, it was considered necessary since the TSK works on many other special fields than technology, too.

    The other important change concerns membership of the TSK's. The change enables private persons to become members in addition to corporations. We hope that this change will enlarge and diversify the TSK's membership and put more emphasis on ideology. Individual membership offers a good possibility to follow the development and events in the field of terminology.

    Every member gets Terminfo newsletter, invitations to the TSK's meetings and reduced prices on the TSK's courses. Term service is only for corporation members. The suggested fee for individual members is 50 euros, the member meeting will decide on that this autumn.

    These changes in the TSK's constitutions happen conveniently in our 30th anniversary. The occasion will be celebrated in an afternoon symposium on the 6th October.

    Antti Rainio – Navigation expert is interested in the mapping of languages

    Antti Rainio, coordinator of Navinova Ltd and member of the TSK's board of directors, understands the importance of terminology work. The field of personal navigation develops fast, and positioning techniques and various services based on positioning have become part of everyday life. Experience in the special language of a new field has pointed out that with terminology work problems in communication can be avoided and in the same time even money can be saved.

    Rainio is a Master of Science in Technology. Since he has always been fascinated by maps, he chose land survey as his major in the Helsinki University of Technology, and worked for a long time in the National Land Survey of Finland. In the middle of the 1990s he moved to the Ministry of Finance and as a project manager made plans to develop the Finnish information society.

    An idea to start the Personal Navigation (NAVI) programme came up in the spring 1998, and it became one of the seven national top projects suggested by the information society strategy. The aim of the programme was to develop and test positioning services and devices taking into account consumer demand and the limits of technology. A NAVI network based on the programme was created. This cooperation forum on mobile location supports companies in their work.

    The newest forum, where Rainio acts as the coordinator, is ITS Finland. The purpose of this network is to utilise information and communication technology in transport. Rainio emphasizes that it is important to bring participants to work together in joint projects which no company could handle alone.

    In the spring 2001 the NAVI management board decided to compile a vocabulary on personal navigation and positioning together with the TSK. The purpose of the Vocabulary of Positioning was to give recommendations on Finnish terms and to create precise Finnish equivalents for English terms. The vocabulary was published in June 2002, and it contains about hundred concepts. Rainio says it was rewarding to participate in terminology work. "When technology develops, new terms must also be developed. There is much new in the field that requires defining."

    Rainio has been a member of the TSK's board of directors since the autumn 2003. He thinks that it is important to make terminology work better known. "Terminology work should be taken into account more often in different projects and program planning." According to Rainio terminology work helps to know one's own field. "I learned a lot of new things when I took part in the compilation of the vocabulary. When one has to think how things differ and why we need different terms, it is possible to learn the structure and reference frame of a special field."

    Rainio does not think that the language of personal navigation and positioning differ greatly from other special languages. The field is closely related with technology, so language tends to be exact. As in other technical languages, the use of English is wide and terms are often borrowed from it. Although experts often use English, Rainio has a strong opinion about the status and importance of the Finnish language. "Finnish is a value as such, and it must be developed and protected. Terminology work is a part of this work for Finnish and Finland. A language is a matter of self-respect, when we as Finns stand in the arena of nations."

    Rainio does not abandon navigation in his hobbies either. Maps and positioning services are needed at sea as well since he spends his leisure time by boating.

    Finnish–Swedish–Finnish military dictionary

    In this autumn the first modern and large Finnish–Swedish–Finnish dictionary on military terms will be published in electronic format. It has been compiled by M.Sc. Ritva Eskola and colonel Olof Thodén on assignment by the Finnish Defence Forces Education Development Centre and it contains over 10.000 entries from Finnish into Swedish and vice versa.

    The importance of international military cooperation in Finland's security policy has increased. Versatile and wide military cooperation between Finland and Sweden has enhanced the need for Swedish. The need for an up-to-date dictionary was clear. There were only few, partly outdated glossaries. Military terms could not be found or there were several equivalents from which the correct or wrong one could be chosen by guessing. Mere term equivalents are not usually enough in order to write understandable texts, and this became one important criterion when thinking about the structure of the dictionary. The new dictionary clarifies terms with examples and definitions.

    One big problem in this work has been that there are two Swedish military terminologies that partly differ from each other: Swedish spoken in Sweden and Swedish spoken in Finland. There are concepts in both languages that don't have direct equivalents in the other language. Misunderstandings are also caused by the similar organization of defence forces in Finland and Sweden because same names are used for different organization levels. The purpose has been to harmonize terms but the Swedish terminology that already has been established in Finland is included in the dictionary.

    The dictionary is mainly meant for those who work in the defence administration or administrative tasks related to it, but the compilers believe that it will also be useful for all who need military terminology in their work or hobbies.

    Psychiatry and terminology

    Ulla-Helena Kapiala analyses in her doctoral thesis "Can mental disorders be understood and named? Psychiatry and its diagnostic terms" (2003) the concepts and terminology of psychiatry. Her objective is to describe the classification of psychiatric concepts and the understanding and naming of mental disorders. She tries to demonstrate that the terms in the classification of diseases in psychiatry should be regarded cautiously. As a linguist and a layperson in psychiatry Kapiala observes the way experts give names to psychiatric concepts. As her material she uses Finland's official classification of diseases, i.e. Chapter V of ICD-10 on mental health and behaviour disorders, its supplementary part and diagnostic and statistical guidelines on mental disorders DSM-III-R – in all almost 1.700 diagnoses.

    In her thesis Kapiala discusses how mental health is often defined through its disorders and symptoms, so the line between psychic disorders and normal life becomes unclear. According to her the special language of psychiatry differs from other special languages so that its linguistic concepts are questionable and inaccurate. In psychiatry observations are often insufficient and concept systems differ from each other, since it aims at describing subjective situations.

    In her terminological analysis Kapiala first considers the standard and special language designations of the concept mental health on the expression level. Then she analyses the concept on the concept level and considers how it can be approach scientifically and from which viewpoints its characteristics can be observed and which facts affect psychiatric concepts.

    Kapiala compares the terminology of psychiatry with the terminologies of sociology and medicine and concludes that psychiatric terminology situates in the middle between everyday information and textbook information. She states that a good psychiatric term includes the layperson's viewpoint.

    Kapiala also contemplates how the meanings of diagnoses have changed. She considers how concepts should be designated when aiming at humane classification of diseases. According to her indexes pointing to time and place can be added to diagnoses or the designation may be changed to a more positive one through discussion.

    Terminology work in social and health sector

    Questions related to reference terminologies are being considered in the terminology work of the social and health sector in many countries, including Finland. The most well-known reference terminology is SNOMED Clinical Terms owned by the College of American Pathologists. It contains over 100.000 concepts and about 200.000 synonyms related to them.

    There are many problems when building a reference terminology. In Finland, the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim has an honourable tradition of collecting, editing and publishing medical terms for more than 100 years. Their newest medical dictionary contains 22.500 main entry words and 14.600 sub entry words. However, the terminology work for other professions than doctors in the social and health sector, such as nurses, physiotherapists and social workers, is in its infancy. When compared with SNOMED terms, the Finnish terminology in this field is quite limited. There is also the problem that definitions for concepts have not been systematized for a reference terminology in digital systems. This may mean that the current Finnish terminologies should be partly rewritten.

    One aim of a current Finnish health development project is to create a national digital patient record system by the end of 2007. A question linked to the meeting of this objective and the further development of the patient record system is: what is the need for social welfare and health care reference terminology and the timetable for possible implementation. If the project is started, it will require extensive resources and take years to implement.

    Term recommendations in information security

    The 31st publication in the TSK series, the Compact Vocabulary of Information Security, will be published in September. The vocabulary will be a part of Finland's national information security strategy which aims at improving information security and increasing citizens' and enterprises' confidence in the information society.

    The vocabulary contains 82 concepts which have been defined and given Finnish term recommendations and Swedish and English equivalents. The purpose of the vocabulary is to help the ordinary computer user to understand what information security means, what information security threats are and what the different methods are that improve information security. It is hoped that the book will be useful for those who need information security terms in their work.

    The work group which compiled the vocabulary usually recommended such Finnish terms that are already established and known by the experts in the field. In practice, it is difficult to change an established term, even if that term would not be the most logical alternative. The old term will probably prevail, and then the effort for clear communication may only create a new synonym besides the old term and cause misunderstandings. However, in few cases the work group also created new Finnish terms. These were cases where the existing terms were used in other meanings or were misleading.

    When more than one Finnish term is used for the same concept, the ones that the work group considered the most common and best were included in the vocabulary. There are many Swedish and English equivalents in such cases where sources and language experts have proved that it is common in the language in question to use many different terms. There are also narrower and broader equivalents for concepts, and they are clearly indicated as such in the vocabulary. It is not always easy – or even possible – to decide on term recommendations and to find such a term that all would consider the best.

    In information security the designations for basic concepts are sometimes borrowed from the general language. It is a good way of making terms when the term gives a correct idea of the concept for a layperson. Such a term is e.g. availability.

    Translation technology in Savonlinna

    TTE2004 (Translation Technology Event) was organised by the University of Joensuu at Savonlinna in 10-11 June. Translation technology was handled from many points of view in the event: translation, terminology management, technical writing, localisation and translator training.

    The importance of terminology management was emphasized in many presentations. Lennart Waje from the translation solution company Xplanation said that translation companies must find out what terms are used in their client company and use these terms in their translations. Sirpa Suhonen from the TSK told about the terminology work done in the TSK and the methods used for terminology management. Jari Reilio from Kone Ltd. told about Kone's solutions to translation and terminology management problems, e.g. Kone Simplified English and elevator termbank.

    Arto Sinkkonen from AAC Global emphasized that localisation is needed in every activity of a company, from sales and marketing, product documentation to client service. Nicholas Hill from BGS Finland discussed the work of a technical writer and what does it take to be a good technical writer.

    Nick Wright works as a Commercial Manager for the Edinburgh-Stanford Link which is a research collaboration into speech and language technology. He discussed how to translate language technology into business benefit. Riitta Jääskeläinen from the University of Joensuu focussed on IT challenges in translator training and presented few researches where translators and translator students had been asked how much they use different translation technology programs in their work and how useful they consider the programs.

    It was also possible to see demos on electronic dictionaries, translation and terminology management programs, aids for audiovisual translation as well as educational programs. The modern language laboratory facilities of the university could also be visited during the event.


    Basic glossary on Finnish
    Timo Nurmi's Nykysuomen keskeinen sanasto (basic glossary on contemporary Finnish) contains 17.000 most commonly used Finnish words and phrases. It is suitable for those who study Finnish as a foreign language. It gives basic information on inflection, hyphenation and spelling. The meanings of words are explained shortly and there are numerous examples on use. Entry words also include Finnish idioms, phrases and collocations. Some foreign words and abbreviations with explanations and the most important Finnish and foreign place names with inflections are included. Information on pronunciation is given when necessary.

    New standards
    The Finnish Standards Association SFS has published standards SFS-EN 374-1 Protective cloves against chemicals and micro-organism. Part 1: Terminology and performance requirements, SFS-EN 12258-3 Aluminium and aluminium alloys. Terms and definitions. Part 3: Scrap and SFS-ISO 5127 Information and documentation. Vocabulary. All the standards contain terms and definitions in Finnish and terms in English. Standards SFS-EN 374-1 and SFS-EN 12258-3 contain also definitions in English and SFS-EN 12258-3 has a list of terms in French and German. Information and documentation standard has an index containing terms in French and an electronic version on a CD-ROM in addition to printed text.