Attila Piróth's website

Terminology & project mgmt


English-Hungarian dictionary of physics

Over the years, translators specializing in niche fields encounter a vast specialized vocabulary. Personal glossaries containing tens of thousands of specialized terms are not exceptional. But turning a personal glossary into a specialized dictionary that can be published requires a lot of extra work: ensuring its completeness – both in terms of the target-language equivalents of a certain term and the covered source-language vocabulary – is a lot of work. After more than ten years of compilation, my English-Hungarian dictionary of physics (written in LaTeX, see a sample page here) has entered the last verification phase before sending it to the editors. Currently it contains:

  • Over 12,000 headwords
  • Over 45,500 compounds
  • Over 91,500 translations
  • Over 13,500 pronunciations
  • Over 1,200 Hungarian pronunciations (of proper names)
  • Over 560 pages

Terminology management and training

Correct terminology is a stumbling block of successful projects. And even though excellent resources are available for any translator over the internet, the skills to find and handle them must be learned. A great part of these skills are independent of the translator's language pair and specialty field, which makes my terminology trainings valuable for most translators.

Consistent terminology is one of the key issues in team projects. If terminology is collected on the fly, and unification is done parallel to the translation, a great loss of time is guaranteed and either the quality, the deadline, or both is jeopardized. Using the right tools, careful preparation of the project terminology before translation saves a lot of time in the long run, and ensures better consistency. I have seen this both as a translator in team projects and as a terminology and project manager overseeing translator teams. 

Project management

In 2007, I set up the Solidarités translation team, a team of volunteers providing linguistic aid to NGOs. To date, about 80 people joined the group, whose other aim is to provide a networking possibility for translators based on real-life projects, and thus help professional translators get established. To date, our team has translated almost 500,000 words, and published a freely available 1000-entry French to English humanitarian aid glossary.

In September 2009, an internship program was set up at the French NGO Solidarités for two of our team members. In the framework of this internship program I held 10 webinar sessions to provide trainings for the interns as well as other team members (read more here). The careful analysis of the project management differences between such a strongly collaborative framework and the customary competitive atmosphere gave rise to useful conflict management tips, best editing practices, and a lot more.

This collaboration was discussed in IAPTI's first open webinar, Translators for NGOs, on March 31, 2010. See feedback here.