The InterActive Terminology for Europe (IATE, ex Eurodicautom) is a multilingual dictionary/translation memory of the European Union. It can be a useful tool for translations in Wikimedia projects and an example to be considered for Wiktionary. This page exists to discuss its possible usage and improvement and what can be learned from it.
What is Eurodicautom?
Eurodicautom is a multilingual dictionary of the European Union. It contains really loads of glossaries and specific terminology as for example in the field of technique, agriculture, chemistry. It is one of the most accessed ressources on the internet for European terminology. An internal staff of the EU works on this huge project that requires many resources in humans and in technical equipment.
Why do translators use Eurodicautom?
For many language combinations it is hard to find for example good technical dictionaries and so many translators refer to Eurodicautom as one of the most reliable ressources. It is easy to access, updated if possible, free.
What can be improved? + Received notes
This is a question I first of all sent to langit-2 a discussion list for translators in Italian.
This is what came out up to now:
- Higher bandwith as the connection very often is slow and the error message "no more connections available" is becoming more and more frequent.
- Allow people who would like to do this to sign up and log in.
- Who has signed up may send advice, notes, notify errors (since unfortunately there are some) to the staff.
- Potentialisation of the Eurodicautom staff, otherwise the above points would not make sense.
- Add picture material to the terms.
- Extensive explanations on machines, chemical agents etc.
- There are doubts if it is possible to modernise Eurodicautom
- There's not only the problem of the new EU member states - even for the old ones many translations are not complete in all languages
- The Swiss government contributed with its database in DE, FR, IT (and partially EN)
- UIC (world organisation for railway cooperation) contributed only the old version of its glossary
- There are voices that the EU does not have enough funds to assure the service and that they are thinking to close it down for the public
- Translations for the new EU-languages will have to be done e.g. Czech to English and then from English to Italian instead of doing this directly from Chech to Italian - and this of course sometimes will result in not 100% correct correspondence between two terms
- Alternatives are glossary listings
- Background information would be very important (where a term is used etc.)
- There are existing dictionaries (Silverline Dictionary of the publishing company Compact) has tables of translations in 11 languages that are alphabetically listed in any of those 11 languages and that are corresponding words in these languages. This should be a way to go in a globalized world.
Quotes from e-mails
- ...My comment is not so much a request for a specific improvement although I am sure many of the proposed changes would be very welcome. My concern is that I feel the Eurodicautom powers that be should realise that their dictionary has become an almost indispensible part of many translator's lives. I feel it is very important for them to see this and that it would be good if they interacted with the community by, for example, quashing rumours that the service might be stopped for the public. The fact that they have not done so suggests that they attach little importance to relations with the outside world of translators who have come to depend on their service or - even worse - they are considering such a move...
The contributors to this article are listed on the discussion page.