Summaries 4/1998

  • Ydinjätesanasto / Kaija Alaraudanjoki & Outi Paasikallio

  • Sanostotyön asema yrityksen prosesseissa / Seija Suonuuti

  • Eurokääntäjät termintekijöinä / Inkaliisa Vihonen

  • Wüsterin toinen perintö – Terminologian ja yleiskielen suhteesta esperantossa / Jouko Lindstedt

  • Kirjallisuutta

    Nuclear waste vocabulary

    Kaija Alaraudanjoki, an arts student at the University of Vaasa, worked as a trainee in TSK in the summer of 1998. During the summer she prepared a mini vocabulary about the final disposal of nuclear wastes with Outi Paasikallio, Master of Science in Technology.

    The vocabulary includes terms connected with nuclear wastes in five languages. The subject is considered from the Finnish point of view, and the focus is mainly on the processing of spent nuclear fuel and different alternatives for the final disposal of nuclear waste.

    All radioactive waste is not nuclear waste. Nuclear waste is created during the operation of nuclear power plants, whereas other radioactive wastes are produced e.g. in research work using radioisotopes and research reactors.

    Nuclear wastes may be classified in many ways. One of the most common methods is to classify nuclear wastes by the amount of radioactivity into low-level, intermediate-level and high-level radioactive wastes. Another way is to categorize nuclear wastes by origin into spent nuclear fuel, operational waste and dismantling waste. The latter approach was chosen in this vocabulary.

    Terminology work as a business process

    Section Manager Seija Suonuuti from Nokia Telecommunications examines terminology work as a process in such an enterprise that requires exact documentation in many languages. The processes described in this article do not directly reflect Nokia's processes.

    The processes of an enterprise are often divided into core and supporting processes. The core processes realize the business mission of an enterprise and produce its profits. The supporting processes do not have immediate effects on the operation of an enterprise, although their absence may disturb the operation or quality. Terminology work is clearly a supporting process.

    But what is the activity that terminology work supports and how does it support? It is obvious that multilingual terminology work helps translation work, but what about monolingual one. It can be said that monolingual terminology work supports almost all other processes in their documentation phase. Terminology work should be part of a planning phase; then it is the time to write monolingual terminology and definitions. It should also be part of a manual-writing phase, because in this phase a large amount of terms may be developed when "hard technology" must be illustrated and popularized.

    A well-planned terminology process supports other processes at the right time and its results are widely used. Then terminology work may achieve its quality and economic objectives, like saving time in documentation and translation, harmonizing language usage and decreasing term and translation errors. A good terminology process offers solutions for all its clients, its results are appreciated and it is considered as common property so that the work may also be valued and criticized to improve it further. If terminology work does not reach its clients and establish working reciprocity, it may be considered as a burden or a necessary evil.

    Eurotranslators as termmakers

    Finland's membership in the European Union has brought many new terms into Finnish. Inkaliisa Vihonen, a translator in the European Commission, explains in her article how new terms are created by translation.

    Neologisms are an essential part of translators' everyday work. Neologisms are new terms designating usually new concepts. Translators' source texts often include neologisms that do not have equivalents in the target language. The newer or more technical the subject is, the greater the need is for new term equivalents. In addition, Finnish EU translators have to create terms more often than their English or German colleagues, because there is only little Finnish material in the EU's term banks or translation memories.

    Neologisms can be divided into primary neologisms and translated neologisms. Primary neologisms are formed when a new term is created for a new concept in a certain language. Translated neologisms are formed when a new expression in another language is created for an already existing term.

    Vihonen has studied neologisms created by Finnish translators in the Commission's Multiterm term bank where all translators can enter new term equivalents. Her material includes in all 1700 terms, of which she considers 76 terms as neologisms. More than half of them are borrowed meanings where the meaning content, but not the expression, of the source language is transferred and replaced by target language words.

    Another type of loan words are direct loans, however, their phonetic form is integrated into Finnish. Syntagmatic structures were also found in the material. They are language units which together make up a new meaning unit. Some translation neologisms are abbreviations, although they are not used as often in Finnish as, for example, in Euro-French.

    In their daily work translators encounter new concepts for which they are expected to find equivalents in their own language. Besides time and technical facilities translators also need knowledge of language usage and recommended term formation methods and techniques. Thus translators can be encouraged to create useful neoterms both inside and outside the EU.

    Terminology and standard language in esperanto

    Esperantist Jouko Lindstedt, professor of Slavonic philology in the University of Helsinki, writes about the terminological aspects of Esperanto.

    In 1920's Eugen Wüster published a large dictionary called Enciclopedia Vortaro Esperanta-Germana which raised the lexicography of Esperanto onto a quite new level and laid the foundation for terminological work in Esperanto. At that time it also began to be clear that in Esperanto, which had been invented in 1887, special languages had to be distinguished from the standard language as in natural languages.

    Although the origin of Esperanto is artificial, the standard language has detached itself from the normative guidance of dictionaries. This is a natural consequence of the fact that the use of Esperanto has spread and that it has its own speaker community. The speakers of Esperanto from different countries are in touch with each other by travel, newspapers, literature, radio and recently by the Internet, too. The amount of families using Esperanto as their home language has increased. In everyday use words live their own life regardless of dictionaries.

    However, the special language words in Esperanto require terminological work in the same way as in other languages. Because Esperanto has been used much more as the language of fiction and popular press than as a special language, the terms of many subject fields are as undeveloped as, for example, in some European minority languages.


    Terminologia gvidilo

    The World Esperanto Association, Universala Esperanto-Asocio, has published an Esperanto version of Heidi Suonuuti's Guide to Terminology.

    Finnish civil service terminology in English and German The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office have published two glossaries about the Finnish civil service, one including English and one German. The purpose of these glossaries is to align the English- and German-language versions of the titles and names of posts and units in the central administration. The glossaries consist of about 530 terms listing names of organizations and titles within the Finnish civil service in Finnish, Swedish and English/German.