Slovene terminologies

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Slovene terminologies - Termis

TERMISPreserving Sloveneterminology in a globalising worldGlobalisation is challenging the full functionality of Slovene language, more specifically terminology. However, anew research model using an exemplary discipline may hold the key to standardising terminology in future fieldsTERMINOLOGY, THE STUDY of terms, is animportant aspect of all modern national standardlanguages. Unlike general vocabulary, which ischaracterised by general development, socialand aesthetic factors, terminology is definedby those that regulate the meanings given to asystem of words in a particular discipline.The development of terminologies, particularlythe standardisation of terms through thecreation of dictionaries, is important forpreserving a national language. Additionally,modern linguistic theories see terminology asan important aspect of linguistic policy andplanning, which concerns linguists and expertsfrom individual fields, as well as society and allthe users of a language.However, the popularity and spread ofthe English language, brought on by theglobalisation of politics, economy and culture,is threatening to create lexical among otherholes in different languages. One such countryfacing this problem is Slovenia. Many Sloveneexperts in various disciplines, ie. translators,journalists, etc., face the task of developingSlovene (especially when the naming of thingsis concerned) through the English – Sloveneencounter on a daily basis.Printed evidence of Slovene terminologies wasfirst found in the texts of Protestant writers duringthe 16 th Century before development becamemore extensive during the second half of the18 th Century. Fuelled by the competitive threatof the German language, Slovene intellectualspublished the first terminological dictionary in1880, with many more created after.During the last couple of decades Slovene expertsof various disciplines have been unable to meetthe demands for terminological dictionaries.As – combined with the proliferation of Englishscientific publications and English speakinglecturers at the universities – the naming ofconcepts usually takes some time. Since it isnecessary for the formation of terms to takeplace simultaneously, it has been realised thatin order to have a fully developed language,Slovenia must focus on creating and developingits terminological dictionaries and databasesrapidly, at low-cost and with modern languagetechnology tools. This movement is backed by thenational government who has already co-financedseveral language corpus research projects.LEADING THE WAYDr Nataša Logar Berginc is leading one suchproject, intent on continuing and adding to thoseprojects that have gone before. Financed by theSlovenian Research Agency, Pristop and theChamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia(CCIS), the project, ‘Terminology data banks asthe bodies of knowledge’, intends to transferthe knowledge of reference corpora to thecorpora of professional texts, done so throughthe provision of free tools. Using these tools, theproject aims for experts in various disciplines,alongside translators, journalists and those whodetermine Slovene terminology, to create a freeonline dictionary at a fairly rapid pace.With many initiatives and individuals in Sloveniaalready attempting to create terminologicaldictionaries and databases, Logar’s efforts havebeen collaborative with other contributionsfrom a number of experts at the Universityof Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences, aswell as colleagues from the University ofLjubljana’s Faculty of Arts, consultancy andcommunications company Pristop, Amebis,a company working in the field of languagetechnologies, the Institute for Applied SloveneStudies, Trojina, and the Fran Ramovš Instituteof the Slovenian Language. In total, six differentinstitutions and at least four different scientificfields have collaborated on the project.A CORPUS APPROACHLogar chose to take the corpus approach,believing it to produce technologically andmethodologically more advanced and userfriendlyresults. Using the public relationsfield as an example of a particular discipline,the ultimate goal is to produce a free, onlineterminological database as a model for futurefields and disciplines. Comprised of 2,000entries, the database will also aim to provideinformation regarding the form, volume andlinguistic quality of dictionaries using thismethodology and scale.Alongside the corpus approach, the project alsointends to develop a technological offering thatallows linguistic annotation, provides a userfriendlyinterface and creates programmes forthe automatic extraction of terminology. Thetechnology will also incorporate lists of termcandidates in a web program to quickly andeasily allow non-specialists to contribute tothe database.Additionally, the technology interface willprovide automatic links between parts of thedictionary and a specialised corpus to allowboth the general public and specialised expertsaccess to additional information that does notbelong to the dictionary entry, but could bededuced from the use of a term in context.The database will be available to everyonethat possesses an interest in sharing Sloveneterminological or general language knowledge.The portal will also offer translations in abilingual or multilingual capacity whilst generalpolicy for the use of the database online andoffline will be overseen by the CreativeCommons Attribution Non-CommercialShare Alike license.80 INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION


To accommodate the natural development ofterminology, Logar explains that the Termaniaportal on which the project is based will allowongoing updates with relatively minimal effortand minimal or no cost.With the creation of Slovene terminologicaldictionaries not deemed significant enough toreceive any considerable funding, one of thebiggest challenges facing the project’s formationwas financial-backing. As an applicative project,the Slovenian government demands a quarterof the funding to be given by private investors,which considering the current economic crisis isregarded as a daunting amount to procure. Logarexplains that companies are reluctant to cofinancesuch projects as the market is small andthey yield only a minimal return on investment.Fortunately, Pristop, the CCIS and the SlovenianResearch Agency stepped up to fund thedatabase. Logar believes the success of thisfirst model will determine future cooperationbetween private financers and the extension ofSlovene databases in other fields.EARLY SUCCESSThe two-year project, now underway for almosta year, is already proving its worth. Followinga number of appearances at conferences andmeetings to outline her goals, Logar beganreceiving emails and phone calls from particulardisciplines wanting to be included or wantingto know when to expect the completion date.Additionally, interest began pouring in fromabroad, especially from the countries of formerYugoslavia, which confirmed to Logar and herteam that the project was on the right track.Logar comments that: “The experiencesand knowledge which we acquire togetherwith our colleagues who are involved in thepreparation of lexical database for Sloveneon the ‘Communication in Slovene’ projectare exceptionally valuable. The automaticextraction of terminological candidates,which in our project was managed by ŠpelaVintar from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana,was – among others – the result of the projectSlovene Terminology Web Portal”. Logar isalso hopeful that the project will continue tothrive as the years progress: “It is evident thatthe project ‘Terminology data banks as thebodies of knowledge’ is continuing to build onrelated past and current projects in Slovenia andcombines the latest national and internationalknowledge in this field,” she concludes.INTELLIGENCETERMISTERMINOLOGY DATA BANKS AS THEBODIES OF KNOWLEDGE: THE MODELFOR THE SYSTEMATISATION OFTERMINOLOGIESOBJECTIVES• Development of technological infrastructurewith tools for the building of specialisedcorpora, automatic extraction of terminologyand the possibility of incorporating lists ofterms into a free online dictionaryediting programme• Terminological database of the publicrelations field that could be regarded as amodel for construction of future databases ofother fields and sciencesKEY COLLABORATORSMonika Kalin Golob, Samo Kropivnik, UršaGolob Podnar, Klement Podnar, Faculty ofSocial Sciences, University of Ljubljana • DejanVerčič, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universityof Ljubljana; Pristop • Vojko Gorjanc, DamjanPopič, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana• Miro Romih, Simon Krek, Amebis, Kamnik• Iztok Kosem, Špela Arhar Holdt, Trojina,Institute for Applied Slovene Studies • PolonaGantar, Fran Ramovš Institute of theSlovenian LanguageFUNDINGSlovenian Research AgencyPristopChamber of Commerce andIndustry of SloveniaCONTACTDr Nataša Logar BergincAssistant ProfessorUniversity of LjubljanaFaculty of Social SciencesKardeljeva ploščad 5SI-1000 LjubljanaE natasa.logar@fdv.uni-lj.siwww.termis.fdv.uni-lj.siNATAŠA LOGAR BERGINC completedher PhD at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljanain 2008. She has collaborated in severalresearch projects, focusing on differentaspects of modern Slovene language.WWW.RESEARCHMEDIA.EU 81

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