Terminology management at the national language service

M Alberts
2010 Lexikos  
Terminology is a strategic resource in a multilingual country. It is the medium through which knowledge and information is disseminated. Through the use of correct, standardised terminology, effective scientific and technical communication skills are developed. A brief overview is given of terminology development in South Africa, with special emphasis on the work of the Terminology Division of the National Language Service. Aspects of present terminology practice such as terminology management,
more » ... inology management, the nature of terminology and terminography, and work-flow procedure in a multilingual terminology office receive attention. To present training activities, initiatives and needs attention is also given. Opsomming: Terminologiebestuur by die Nasionale Taaldiens. Terminologie is 'n strategiese bron in 'n meertalige land. Dit is die medium waardeur kennis en inligting versprei word. Deur die gebruik van korrekte, gestandaardiseerde terminologie kan effektiewe wetenskaplike en tegnologiese kommunikasievermoëns ontwikkel word. 'n Kort oorsig word gegee van terminologieontwikkeling in Suid-Afrika, met spesiale klem op die werk van die Terminologieafdeling van die Nasionale Taaldiens. Aspekte van die huidige terminologiepraktyk soos terminologiebestuur, die aard van terminologie en terminografie en die werksvloeiprosedure in 'n meertalige terminologiekantoor ontvang aandag. Aan huidige opleidingsaktiwiteite, -inisiatiewe en -behoeftes word ook aandag gegee. The National Terminology Services (NTS) and State Language Services (SLS) of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) merged on 1 April 1998 to form the new National Language Service (NLS). With the merging of the two offices some aspects of the management of terminology and terminography changed. The office is now called the Terminology Division of the National Language Service. The Terminology Division (TD) is the national office assisting the Government by providing terminology information in all the official South African languages. The TD documents, develops, standardises and publishes term lists covering various registers -the objective being to reduce ambiguity and misunderstanding, and thereby improving on the exactness of scientific and technical communication in the working environment. The TD advises on national policy concerning technical language, establishes and evaluates norms for terminographic purposes, creates and implements standardised facilities and procedures to collect, document, systematise, standardise and disseminate terminological information for the different language groups in the Republic of South Africa, provides an information service on technical languages as well as on terminographic matters, co-ordinates, supports and facilitates projects for the development of technical languages, makes terminology facilities and products available to related information and communication systems and develops and manages the National Term Bank. Originally resorting under the Science and Technology Branch of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, the National Terminology Services (now Terminology Division) worked according to subject fields. Since then, the TD has been reintegrated under the National Language Service of the Arts and Culture Branch of the DACST and will henceforth also function according to language specific needs and will emphasise the development of the terminologies of the hitherto marginalised languages. The TD will prioritize projects with the objective of promoting scientific and technical communication in the African languages by enlarging and developing the various technical languages. The centralised documentation of terms is important to avoid duplication and to promote standardisation. The TD acts as national facilitator recording the terminological input of various speech and subject communities in a central data bank. Terminological information can be obtained from this central office. In this way the TD serves the community and empowers them in communication. The TD will become a clearing house for terminology work in South Africa, since the demand for terminology increases rapidly. Unfortunately the TD does not have the personnel to cope with this demand. Various aspects
doi:10.4314/lex.v10i1.51277 fatcat:oea5xgz7afhkpp2xrpyomwiypy