Terminology Notes

Terminology: Basically, it means what has been decided on as a term to a concept.

In the decision-making on a term, two problems are encountered. These are i) Translators do not often see terms in context and, so, we or end-users can end up using wrong terms, and ii) Changing a term that is seen as official but considered as problematic.

Consider the word ‘OUTLINE’ in English and its translation in to some African languages; does it encode one concept even in the source language, English? No! And that means there is the need to look into conceptual meanings of each term.

Moving on, two questions also come to mind. These are:
i. What makes a good term?
ii. How do we develop a new term?

Basically, developing or coming up with a new term has to be done by considering three steps. These are:
i. Terminologist must understand the concept.
ii. Localizer must understand the concept/term that was developed by the terminologist.
iii. End-user must understand what localizer meant.

Also of importance is the fact that (1), (2) and (3) have to learn the new concept. Terms can be made from the definition of source words; e.g. consider a disease and the symptoms that are associated with it; i.e. the symptoms may describe the disease. Other prominent means are also as follows:
i. Borrowing;
ii. Metaphor
iii. Descriptive phrase
iv. Political agenda.