Summaries 4/2001

  • Vaalikokouksen kuulumisia / Lena Jolkkonen

  • Aatto J. Repo – filosofi ja yhdistysmies / Johanna Suomalainen

  • Uusi Matkaviestinsanasto / Sirpa Suhonen

  • Holdninger til færøsk terminologi / Jógvan í Lon Jacobsen

  • Erikoiskielet esillä Vaasassa / Sirpa Suhonen

  • Palveluketjusanasto / Mari Suhonen

  • Tutkielma sanastotyön viestinnästä / Minna Isoherranen

  • Kirjallisuutta

    News from TSK's autumn meeting

    Two vocabularies have been completed by TSK this autumn: Mobile communication vocabulary and Service chain vocabulary. Terminologists Sirpa Suhonen and Mari Suhonen tell more about these projects in their articles.

    TSK's autumn meeting was held in the end of October, and about twenty members attended the meeting. The most important issues were TSK's action plan and budget for the next year as well as the election of the board of directors. The chair is elected for one year at a time, and the present chair Mikael Reuter will continue also next year. Krista Varantola and Markku Lammi, members of the board who were in turn to resign, were chosen for another two years. Aatto J. Repo will be replaced by Eira Yrttiaho in 2002. The other members of the board areKari Kaartama, Sirpa Kuusisto-Niemi and Seija Suonuuti.

    In 2002 TSK's membership fees will remain the same, but the term service quotas will be reduced considerably. The reason for this is that the public funding TSK receives is not sufficient enough to cover all TSK's non-profit services.

    Aatto J. Repo – philosopher and active association member

    Aatto J. Repo, the managing director of TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre, is the newcomer in TSK's board of directors. He joined the board in 2000, and will end his two-year term in the end of this year. Eira Yrttiaho, the managing director of MET Publishing, will take his place.

    "TSK's financing and strategic positioning have been discussed in the board of directors almost throughout the two-year term" tells Repo. According to him it has been essential to find the association's role in the big picture when thinking about positioning, and the versatility of members must be taken into account. Repo thinks that at least some of those TSK's non-profit services that are aimed at all citizens should be maintained, in spite of problems in public funding. "If only contract work based on assignments is done and all non-profit services are cut, it must be considered what is the reason to function as an association at all."

    Repo wants TSK to have more cooperation with various organizations. Based on his own experiences Repo considers networks important for the functioning of an association. As one of TSK's most central partners Repo names the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland. Other possible future partners could be commercial organizations in the field.

    Repo has studied information science and philosophy. His doctoral thesis on the value of information was published in 1989. Repo has worked, for example, as researcher, development manager in a telematics department and director in quality and development department. He became the managing director of TIEKE in 1998.

    TIEKE is an organization which aims at promoting the development of the information society. It acts as an independent network builder and a discussion forum, develops information society practises and interoperability and standardization of information technology. TIEKE's activities focus on the starting and implementing of different projects as well as on information services. TIEKE has invented an exam and a course called the Computer Driving Licence. During years this service has grown from a single licence to a family of licences on IT courses and examinations. Now it contains three levels and exams. The newest project is developing a wireless communication licence.

    One of TIEKE's activities is to standardize information technology and telecommunication. According to Repo it is TIEKE's duty to follow international standardization in the field and to inform about current events. "Beside this so called official standardization – and in fact which are even more important in the information society – different consortiums and forums of IT companies and other organizations have arisen in recent years" Repo says. TIEKE tries to participate in these selectively. At the moment TIEKE focuses on electronic business, information security and learning technology – specially standardization connected to the Internet.

    New Vocabulary of Mobile Communication

    In 1993 Vocabulary of Mobile Communications (TSK 19) was published. This vocabulary served well for some time, but mobile communication has developed rapidly since then and the old vocabulary is not anymore up-to-date in many cases. Because of this, a group of telecommunications organizations decided to start a project with TSK to update the old vocabulary. Now a new revised vocabulary called Vocabulary of Mobile Communication is ready.

    The subject fields dealt with in the new book are e.g. mobile communication systems, mobile networks, mobile services and different mobile equipment. Such radio engineering, information security and payment concepts that are important for mobile communication have also been included.

    The vocabulary contains 365 term records. Terms are in Finnish and equivalents in Swedish and English. Definitions have been written in Finnish and then translated into Swedish and English.

    In TSK's vocabularies the source language has traditionally been Finnish. Finnish concepts and terms have been studied first and equivalents in other languages have been looked for later. However, when compiling the Vocabulary of Mobile Communication the source language was often English, because Finnish terms and material were not available. One of the work group's objectives was to give new Finnish term proposals for English terms, when established Finnish terms did not exist.

    The vocabulary is available both in printed form and on CD-ROM. Both versions may be ordered from Finnet Focus Oy (phone +358 9 228 111, web site The price is 30 euros + VAT 8% + postage.

    Approaches to Faroese terminology

    Jógvan í Lon Jacobsen, the writer of this article, works in the department of the Faroese language and literature in the University of the Faroe Islands. He is also the chair of the Faroese language board.

    According to Jacobsen the Faroese do not make a difference between general language planning and special languages. He reminds that the historical background must be taken into account when talking about the Faroese language. Danish was the official language from the Reformation until the end of 19th century. Danish was the language of administration, Church, the law and education. There were no newspapers in Faroese and very few books. The Faroese language became a school subject only in 1938.

    Jacobsen says that the Faroese language board receives questions concerning words and word formation from all kinds of occupational groups, for example, engineers, zoologists, journalists and programmers, but also from the general public. The questioners expect a certain type of answer, they want to have a Faroese word, a neologism.

    Jacobsen tells that the tradition of creating new Faroese terms is quite long. The first Faroese terminologist was Rasmus Rasmussen who wrote a Faroese textbook on botany published in 1910. His book is a pioneer work of very high quality, quite extensive and very systematic. He formulated a hierarchic structure by dividing the field into groups and subgroups, and all plants can be placed in this system. He used the same subject division as the Danish textbooks, but he did not translate the Danish terms. He created Faroese botanical terminology which has become the standard during time.

    Terminology is a part of the Faroese language policy, and the tradition has been to create Faroese neologisms for special field terms, too. For example Sigurður Jónsson has questioned whether this demand for neologisms is an obstacle to terminology in the Faroe Islands. In his opinion the strictly puristic language policy has harmed terminology, because people do not realize that specialized terminology is also needed for other purposes and that it follows other rules that the rest of the language.

    Jacobsen gives an example of radio amateurs who have discussed in their newsletter about the problem of international terms and Faroese neologisms. They say that scientific precision versus linguistic purity is a dilemma. Radio amateurs, however, consider international terms alien to the Faroese language, because they differ so much from original Faroese words. Their conclusion is that Faroese neologisms are better than global terms.

    The Icelandic language board has recommended four methods for extending the Icelandic vocabulary: compounds, derivations, old words with new meanings and borrowed words adjusted to the language. These four methods are relevant to Faroese neologisms, too. The first one is the most common method, and the last is just an emergency solution both for Faroese and Icelandic applied only if other methods fail. When compared to Danish, the situation is quite the opposite: the most common method in Danish is the adaptation of foreign words.

    Jacobsen thinks that the puristic language policy may also be a good thing for Faroese. A great part of special field terminologies belong to the standard language, too. And in time many terms will become standard language words.

    LSP 2001 in Vaasa

    The 13th European Symposium on Language for Special Purposes (LSP 2001) was organized by the University of Vaasa, Department of Scandinavian Languages, in Finland in 20–24 August 2001.

    Terms are an important part of languages for special purposes and terminology was one of the main themes in the LSP conference. An interesting case was presented by Heidi Cazes who discussed the translation of terms in literary texts. She compared two texts: Julian Anderson's short story The Houses of Double Women and William Golding's novel The Rites of Passage. According to Cazes an exact terminological equivalent is not always the best solution when translating literature. The author may have used terms for other purposes than to communicate specialized knowledge.

    Anderson's story contains plenty of plant names, and they create a certain feeling in the story. Many of the plant names that appear in the original English text are familiar to English readers, but their exact equivalents would be unknown to the readers of the Spanish translation. Sometimes the exact term equivalents would also create different connotations to Spanish-speaking readers. For these reasons Cazes has sometimes used the term of a superordinate concept or such a Spanish plant name that has the same kind of connotation as the original name.

    The strategy for translating terms is different in Golding's novel. Its main character is travelling from the South of England to Australia by ship, and he is determined to be able to use nautical terminology and become "wholly master of the sea affair". He thinks which terms should be used and what they mean. In this case the exact terminological equivalents are needed in a translation.

    Gerhard Budin discussed what is a theory, what is terminology and is terminology a science. According to him terminology is an autonomous field of science, although is related to many other disciplines. Terminology has its own research methods, researchers, teachers and conferences.

    Johan Myking's presentation dealt with sociocriticism, criticism of traditional Wüsterian terminology. In sociocritics' opinion traditional terminology does not take into account the relation between language and society. Myking thinks that some of the criticism is based on sociocritics' unilingual orientation and they have not taken into account multilingual terminology. He also made a difference between political and scientific terminology. Myking presumed that Eugen Wüster could be the secondary target for some French critics and that their real target would be the stringent puristic language policy of France.

    Persian terminology was presented by Iranian terminologists Leyla Asgari, Nasrin Parvizi and Mahnoush Tehrani. They work in the terminology department of the Academy of the Persian language and literature. They told that Persian has the same problem as many other languages: foreign, mainly English, words pour in Persian. English terms are used specially in sciences and technology. In Iran terminology work means selecting and coining Persian equivalents for foreign words.

    There are 37 technical committees in the terminology department where terminologists and special field experts work together on a certain special field, for example medicine. They find or make proper Persian equivalents for foreign terms. Then the equivalents are proposed to the council of the Academy and then to Mohammed Khatani, the president of Iran. After approval the Persian equivalents are official terms which all governmental organizations must use in official communication.

    The lexis of and word manufacture in IT branch were also discussed in the conference, for example by Maurizio Gotti and Ulisse Belotti who both had studied English material. Neologisms are formed basically in the same way in the IT language as in English in general. The difference is, however, that new words are coined more often in the IT language than in general English.

    The most popular method for word formation in the IT language is abbreviation. Sometimes abbreviations form words that have a meaning, like BASIC (Beginners' All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code).

    Another popular method for coining words in English is blending. Some of these are established expressions, like modem (modulator/demodulator) and bit(binary digit), some perhaps just passing fads, like tetwrist (tetris + wrist) which means a repetitive stress injury caused by extended sessions playing computer games such as Tetris.

    There are also funny neologisms that are formed from personal names. For example verb dilbert which comes from the Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams. If you are being dilberted you are treated poorly or taken advantage of by a supervisor or manager.

    Service chain vocabulary

    TSK and STAKES, the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, have together compiled a vocabulary on concepts related to the service chain in social welfare and health care. The vocabulary is meant primarily for professionals in the field. The vocabulary gives recommendations on Finnish terms and contains terminological definitions for 23 concepts. The term records also contain information on several related concepts, which means that about 40 concepts in all have been dealt with in the vocabulary.

    There are two main themes in the vocabulary. The first has to do with the professionals, other persons or groups who work with or behalf of the client, and the second with independent coping.

    There were two main difficulties in defining the service chain concepts. The first was that many concepts are new and therefore their intension is not quite clear yet. The second was that the concepts, such as accessibility and usability, are often so abstract that they can be understood in many ways.

    The service chain vocabulary may be found in the web pages of STAKES ( where there are also three other vocabularies on social welfare and health care.

    Communication in terminology work

    Minna Isoherranen, the writer of this article has written her master's thesis on communication in terminology work. Her thesis is based on the theory of terminology and her work experience in TSK. The purpose of the thesis was to study the role of communication in terminology work and to survey how communication should be taken into account in the different phases of terminology work.

    In TSK terminology work is a project activity in which terminologists and special field experts participate. Because terminology work is aimed at a certain goal in cooperation between various partners, communication is important for the process to succeed.

    Terminology projects may be divided into different phases. In the planning phase it is important to study the situation in the special field and make contacts to experts. In the starting phase it is essential to get a work group together. In the beginning of a terminology project the special field experts should be given terminological training and the terminologists should receive training in the field in question so that they could better understand each other.

    It is worth wile to send a vocabulary for a comments round. A larger expert group will be reached and possible mistakes can be corrected. The comments round is also marketing, the target group will realize that a certain vocabulary is being compiled.

    When a vocabulary is ready, the target group must be informed about it. It is also polite and worth wile to remember and thank all those who have participated in the project.

    Advertising is often viewed negatively in connection with expert organizations. TSK is an expert organization which provides terminological services. The marketing communication of an expert organization can be realized best with news and so that a job well done will market itself. A terminology project that has been completed professionally creates a positive image of the organization and gives old clients a good reason to continue cooperation as well as brings new clients. However, at least a press release should be written and sent to the media and also those organizations which work in the special field.


    Kääntämisen opetussanasto
    The Centre for Translation and Interpreting in the University of Turku has published Kääntämisen opetussanasto, an electronic vocabulary of teaching translation. The vocabulary is available on the Internet, address

    The vocabulary has been compiled by translator students Riina Kosunen and Susanne Väisänen. Their work is based on Terminologie de la traduction. Translation Terminology. Terminología de la traducción. Terminologie der Übersetzung edited by Jean Delisle, Hannelore Lee-Jahnke and Monique C. Cormier.

    The vocabulary contains more than 280 Finnish terms and their English, French, German and Spanish equivalents. The term records contain also Finnish definitions, and when necessary, examples and notes on the subject. The vocabulary is meant for those who need translation terminology – translator students, translation teachers and translators.

    The vocabulary concentrates on terms that are related to the teaching of professional translation. It focuses especially on the present needs and circumstances of the Finnish translator training. According to Kosunen and Väisänen the vocabulary is descriptive. It does not try to say how terms should be used, instead it describes how they are used among the subject field specialists at the moment.

    New SFS vocabularies

    The Finnish Standards Association SFS has approved four European standards as national standards. They are: SFS-EN 13402-1 Size designation of clothes. Part 1: Terms, definitions and body measurement procedure, SFS-EN 971-1 Paints and varnishes. Terms and definitions for coating materials. Part 1: General terms, SFS-EN ISO 4618-2 Paints and varnishes. Terms and definitions for coating materials. Part 2: Special terms relating to paint characteristics and properties and SFS-EN ISO 4618-3 Paints and varnishes. Terms and definitions for coating materials. Part 3: Surface preparation and methods of application. All these standards are both in Finnish and in English.