The quality of the terminology used in a specialist text determines to a large extent on the quality of the text itself, whether it be the original or a translation. Terminology is therefore essential for effective communication and knowledge transfer.
What is terminology?
Terminology is first and foremost the specialist vocabulary used in a specific field, e.g. medicine, law or spatial planning.
Terminological work involves compiling, processing and publishing this specialist vocabulary. This can be done on an ad hoc basis, for example when working on a translation, or systematically, to compile a comprehensive terminological collection in a specific field.
Writers, translators, interpreters, lawyers, communication specialists, scientists, technicians etc. all deal with terminology in their daily work.
The role of terminology
The quality of the terminology used in a specialist text determines to a large extent the quality of the text itself, whether it be the original or a translation, as the correct use of terminology helps to make a text clear and comprehensible.
Terminology is therefore very important for effective communication and knowledge transfer.
Terminology in the Federal Administration
The Federal Administration operates multilingually, but there is no centralised coordination of this work. In order to avoid the same work being done twice, and to ensure unity and quality, terminology work in the four national languages and English needs to be well coordinated and access provided to the relevant information.
The Terminology Section in the Federal Chancellery assumes this role, compiling terminology and making it publicly available in TERMDAT, the federal terminology database.
Each year, the Terminology Section runs courses on the methodology of terminology work and on how to search for and record entries in TERMDAT in several languages.