More than a tool:
The interinstitutional terminology database IATE
Dieter Rummel
Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union
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IATE = “Inter Active Terminology for Europe”
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Objective: the creation of an interactive terminology database system that allows the
consultation, the creation and the joint management of terminological data;
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Project partners: European Commission, Council, Parliament, Court of Auditors, Economic
and Social Committee/Committee of the Regions, Court of Justice, Translation Centre,
European Investment Bank, European Central Bank;
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The development phase started in January 2000;
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IATE has been operational since summer 2004.
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IATE was opened to the public on 28 June 2007 Commissioner Orban and Vice-President of
the European Parliament, Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez
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2000 – 2004
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Project overseen by the Interinstitutional Committee for Translation
Top level group: Expert Group (Institutions, Agencies, Member States)
Steering Committee (Institutions, Agencies, chaired by DG ENTR)
Several technical work groups (data structure, workflow, implementation support)
Implementation managed by the Translation Centre
Since 2004
◦ An interinstitutional work group oversees the requests for improvements and reports to the
Interinstitutional Coordinating Committee on Translation
◦ Annual costs for hosting and staff are shared by the project partners according to a
distribution key that is based on number of staff and freelance budget.
◦ The Centre chairs the interinstitutional IATE Management Group and hosts IATE Support
and Development Team that carries out corrective and evolutive maintenance
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Several separate databases, using different technologies
Different data structures, different meta data (domain
classification, reliability codes etc.)
Different working methods and little practical interinstitutional
cooperation
Doubts as to the usefulness of a common database
Strong wish of the partner to stick to their traditional working
methods
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Incorporation of all existing terminology databases into single new
inter-institutional database
Adoption of fully interactive creation of terminology
Reorganisation of terminology activity and reinforcement of staffing
where necessary
Integration of terminology tools, including tools designed to support
terminology activities, into translation and office automation
environment
Deployment of new ergonomic and user-friendly interfaces
Co-operative infrastructure for data management rational recovery of
existing data
IATE merged all existing terminology
collections of the EU’s translation
services into a single database
Several user friendly interfaces were
implemented to cater for the needs of
translators, terminologists and other EU staff.
Eurodicautom
COM
TIS
Council
Euterpe
Parliament
Others
Language Independent
Information
Language 1
EN
Term 1
Term 2
Language 2
FR
Term 1
E.g. domain, domain
note, origin, problem
language, cross
reference ...
E.g. definition,
comment...
E.g. term, term type,
context, grammatical
information...
IATE in a Nutshell (2): Main Features
• On-line search
• On-line data editing
• Validation system
• Communication mechanisms
• User management
• Statistics
IATE Database
• All institutional IATE users can – in principle - add terminology to
the database
• They can update each others terminology
• IATE provides a validation mechanism to ensure that all new
terminology and all modifications are reviewed
• The process takes into consideration the language competencies
of the people involved
• Problem of this approach: validation bottle neck
IATE in Figures
bg - Bulgarian
24742
it - Italian
705941
cs - Czech
33068
la - Latin
64688
da - Danish
605007
lt - Lithuanian
45471
de - German
1039484
lv - Latvian
27635
524478
mt - Maltese
25261
el - Greek
en - English
1419555
nl - Dutch
696306
es - Spanish
617883
pl - Polish
49256
et - Estonian
32315
pt - Portuguese
532996
fi - Finnish
328462
ro - Romanian
25217
fr - French
1357121
sk - Slovak
30951
ga - Irish
42191
sl - Slovenian
33004
hu - Hungarian
38960
sv - Swedish
315539
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Plus terms in about 100 non-EU languages
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About 250 term added per day
Add
Modify
Validate
Publish
Intern
http://iate.europa.eu
Distribution of IATE queries over 24 hours
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
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IATE Public receives about 200.000 queries per day
The public site has about 250.000 unique users
It is used in over 180 countries
24/7
00
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The IATE working group has organised the practical cooperation between
the IATE project partners by…
• Regular interinstitutional meetings (ca. 6 per year);
• Creation of a network of contact points for terminological questions in
each participating service per language;
• Defining “writing rules” for the creation of new terminology;
• Creation of a “Best Practice” guide establishing general principles for the
work with IATE.
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Usefulness of a term for multilingual drafting, translation and
interpreting in the EU context
Reliability of the proposed term.
Relevance of the proposed term.
Information fed into IATE must have an added value over and above
what can be found in documentary databases or on the Internet.
Responsibility of each service to apply the guidelines.
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One common database with a common data structure and
harmonised meta data
Working methods still differ but based on common guidelines and
best practices
Stable interinstitutional cooperation in a joint Management Group
and networks
The usefulness of a common database is undisputed.
Strong wish of the partners to further increase cooperation
You can access IATE Public under:
iate.europa.eu
Any questions
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