THE STATE OF LITHUANIAN TERMINOLOGY
Head of the Centre of Terminology, Institute of the Lithuanian Language
Lietuviešu valodas institūta Terminoloģijas centra vadītāja
Junior research worker of the Centre of Terminology, Institute of the Lithuanian Language
Lietuviešu valodas institūta Terminoloģijas centra jaunākā pētniece
Junior research worker of the Laboratory for Computer Application in Research, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics
Matemātikas un informātikas institūta Datorpētniecības laboratorijas jaunākais pētnieks
The Centre of Terminology
Terminological work at the Institute of Lithuanian Language and Literature was started in 1952. A separate Department of Terminology was founded in 1990 and just recently it was reorganized into the Centre of Terminology. Dr Albina Auksoriūtė is Head of the Centre and the staff of nine includes four people with doctorates.
Research into the history of Lithuanian terminology and theoretical issues of present-day terminology.
Establishment of principles and norms of Lithuanian terminology and terminography.
Practical work of normalisation of terminology in various fields, creation, evaluation and normalisation of new terms.
Training of specialists in the field of terminology, consultation to compilers of terminological dictionaries.
Theoretical research into Lithuanian terminology.
Articles by employees of the Centre are usually published in Acta Linguistica Lithuanica, Kalbos kultura, Lituanistica, Terminologija and in foreign scientific publications.
The Centre publishes a terminological magazine called Terminologija (ISSN 1392-267X), which has been published annually by the Institute of Lithuanian Language since 1994. The publication deals with the theory and practice of terminology. It discusses the specifics of scientific style, the sources of present-day terminology, standardisation mistakes and inaccuracies in usage, and some amendable terms. The publication contains reviews and an annotated list of the most recent dictionaries.
Terminologists from the Institute participated in the preparation of the 3rd and 4th edition of the Dictionary of Modern Lithuanian (1993, 2000) and its computer version (2002). In 1980 Dr. Stasys Keinys published Terminologijos abėcėlė (ABC of Terminology) and in 1992 a group of authors issued Terminologijos taisymai (Terminology Corrections). The latest book prepared by a terminologist from the Institute is a monograph by Dr. Kazimieras Gaivenis Lietuvių terminologija: teorijos ir tvarkybos metmenys (Lithuanian terminology: an outline on theory and practice), which was published in 2002.
The Centre organizes terminological conferences and seminars for specialists. Last year a scientific seminar about synonymy in terminology was held. In October 2003 there was a conference called Terminologija III tūkstantmečio pradžioje (Terminology at the beginning of the third millennium).
For 50 years nearly all the most important dictionaries of terms were prepared with the participation of terminologists from the Institute. Most employees of the Centre participate in various editorial boards of terminological dictionaries, where they are included as consultants. Until 1993 the Department of terminology was responsible for approving terminological dictionaries and standards, later the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language took over those duties. Now the Centre of Terminology reviews terminological dictionaries and standards and carries out expertise on behalf of the Language Commission. Employees of the Centre of Terminology assist the Language Commission as experts and participate in the work of the sub-committee of terminology in this commission. Centre of Terminology also advises various institutions by email, telephone or post.
Creation of the database Synonymy of Lithuanian terminology
In 2002 the Centre started a database called Synonymy of Lithuanian terminology. It contains various combinations of international, Lithuanian and hybrid terms and at present it includes about 12 000 entries of terms. The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language started financial support for the creation of a database called Lithuanian equivalents of international terms, which is part of the above-mentioned database.
This database will be created in several stages. Firstly data are being collected from Lithuanian defining dictionaries of terms and specialised encyclopaedias, later terms from multilingual dictionaries will be included and finally terms from various texts of science, technology, politics and other fields. This database ought to be renewed periodically in order to include new terms.
It is planned to carry out this work in two directions: 1) data should be obtained and renewed continually (it should contain about 30 000 entries); 2) on the basis of the database a defining dictionary of Lithuanian terms and their international equivalents should be compiled. It is planned to write this dictionary between 2004-2006.
The main objective of this work is not only to establish the current state of affairs and to collect data, but also to evaluate borrowed terms and their Lithuanian equivalents which are in usage, to promote existing or suitable newly offered Lithuanian equivalents, to create conditions for developing the potential of the Lithuanian language and to improve its prestige.
The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language
The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language was established in 1990 by Act of Parliament. It collectively takes decisions about language policy, normalization and standardisation of the Lithuanian language and implementation of the State language law, which was approved by Parliament in 1995.
The Commission itself consists of 17 members from scientific and educational institutions. There are 7 sub-committees of:
orthography, punctuation and grammar;
pronunciation and accentuation;
evaluation of textbooks;
The Sub-committee of Terminology
The head of the sub committee of terminology is a professor Albertas Rosinas from Vilnius University and four employees of the Centre of Terminology are its members. Practically all research staff of the Centre work as experts for the Commission and review dictionaries and standards of terms on its behalf.
In 1997 the Commission approved the regulations for the approval of terminological dictionaries. Dictionaries, published in a large number of copies and not for the internal usage of a particular institution ought to seek the approval of the Commission, though in practice this requirement is not being enforced. Most significant dictionaries of terms published recently got this approval. Compilers of dictionaries seek it, because it is a quality certificate. Seven out of fifteen terminological dictionaries published in Lithuania 2001, had the approval of the Commission and eight out of nineteen dictionaries in 2002.
For the preparation of a terminological dictionary there is a requirement to include a terminologist in the group of compilers, although this requirement is not always observed. When compilers seek approval the Commission appoints two experts perform the expertise a specialist of a particular field and a terminologist. After the dictionary is discussed in the sub-committee of terminology it then receives approval.
The law on the bank of terms
There is no one common bank of terms in Lithuania, so the Commission together with the Chancellery of the Parliament took the initiative to create a State Bank of Terms and decided to prepare a law of such bank. The draft of this law is nearly prepared and possibly in the nearest future it will be passed to the Parliament for its first reading.
It is planned that this bank of terms will be created and maintained by the Commission together with the Chancellery and it will be financed from the state budget. It is supposed to be accessible via the internet. It is not exactly sure what will be the relation between this bank and bank of terms being prepared by the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics.
Terminological entries for it will be proposed to the Commission and prepared by terminological working groups in various state institutions. Each of those groups ought to include a Lithuanian linguist. First of all this bank will focus on terms from various legal acts, because their terminology varies considerably. Terms in this bank will have special marks noting their acceptability. Employees of the Centre of Terminology will participate as experts on the behalf of the Commission and will discuss those terms in the sub-committee of terminology, possibly they will be invited to participate in the various working groups.
Terminology and the language of science get some attention in other documents of the Commission outlining language policy in the future. In the draft of a document entitled State Language Policy Landmarks there are some tasks for the development of the LSP:
to encourage creation and usage of the Lithuanian terminology by legal and financial means;
to require publications in the state language when conferring a scientific degree;
to encourage the development of the LSP in higher educational establishments;
to regulate the ratio of foreign languages and the Lithuanian language used for teaching in higher schools.
Department of Standardisation
In the Department of Standardisation the Technical Committee 37 Terminology has been in existence since 1996. It consists of 5 sub-committees:
Terminology principles and methods;
Electrical engineering and electronics;
Mechanics, road vehicle and railway engineering;
Agriculture and health.
At present the fifth sub-committee is the most active. Most attention is given to the translation of European and ISO standards into Lithuanian, although some local Lithuanian standards are also being prepared. The first sub-committee has prepared draft translations of terminological standards Terminology work Principles and methods (identical ISO 704: 2000(E)), Terminology work Harmonization of concepts and terms (identical ISO 860: 1996), Translation-oriented terminography (identical ISO 12616: 2002), Terminology work Vocabulary Part 1: Theory and application (identical ISO 1087-1: 2002), Terminology work Vocabulary Part 2: Computer applications (identical ISO 1087-2: 2000). In the near future they will be accepted as Standards of Lithuania.
The Department of Standardisation has a database of standardised terms, which contains about 15 000 terms from 460 Lithuanian, European and ISO standards and is accessible to registered users on the internet.
A course on terminology is most systematically lectured at Vilnius Pedagogical University by Dr. Stasys Keinys, where some students write their bachelors or masters degree papers on terminology. Some of Dr. Keinys former students come to work for the Centre of Terminology. A course on terminology is also taught to students of linguistics at Vilnius University, Šiauliai University and Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas.
In most universities students of other fields have lectures on the speech culture and language of their speciality. In 2003 an LSP programme aimed at the students of non-linguistic studies was prepared and approved by Language Commission. It will be implemented from the year 2004. This programme is partly financed by the Commission, partly by the universities. It focuses on terminology and academic writing. Each university will have to adapt it to its own programmes of studies. Lots of attention is given to the language of the bachelor degree papers.
Bank of terms
The idea of creating a bank of terms in Lithuania arose quite a while ago. Preparatory work started about ten years ago, but for various reasons it was delayed. Most of the problems arose from the suitability of computer programs, principally due to Unicode and Lithuanian accentuated letters (about half of the accentuated letters needed do not have Unicode). At the beginning there were unproductive attempts to work with FoxPro, later the creators of the bank moved to an SQL Server. The main work is now completed. Using .Net technologies a special program was created and it will enable the user to access the bank of terms through the internet. It is supposed that this will ensure a quick transfer of data. The program is currently being tested and ought to be accessible to users in the nearest future.
The bank is being created on the basis of dictionaries of terms. The decision was taken to include in it the best terminological dictionaries, which were chosen by the Centre of Terminology. All technical work is being done by specialists from the Laboratory for Computer Application in Research under the direction of Dr. Valentinas Černiauskas at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. The Centre of Terminology provides the linguistic consulting.
At present the bank includes 200 000 terms from 19 dictionaries (some terms from different dictionaries concur, so in total it includes about 150 000 different Lithuanian terms). Most terms are polytechnical terms (about 46 000), terms of physics (about 20 000), radio electronics (about 19 000), informatics (18 000), meteorology (about 14 000), mathematics (about 14 000) and chemistry (about 13 000). There also are terms of textiles, electrical engineering, botany, geology, geography, information, pedagogy, psychology, sociology, sport and other fields. About 30 000 terms of astronomy, aviation, hydraulic engineering, medicine and linguistics are being processed and prepared. The bank will be supplemented with data from new dictionaries on a regular basis.
Due to the fact that most dictionaries from which the data is taken are not explanatory dictionaries, most of the terms do not have definitions, only their equivalents in various foreign languages are given (mostly in Russian - 145 000, English 105 000, German 80 000 and French 32 000). About one fifth (more than 40 000) of the terms have definitions.
As a matter of interest it could be said that most of Lithuanian terms are two-word terms (91 000). One-word terms (34 000), three-word terms (20 000) and four-word terms (4 000) are significantly less frequent. There are only slightly more than one thousand terms longer than four words.
Data from this bank will be protected. Bank users are divided into two groups: those who register themselves will be able only to look through the information, others (registered by the administrator) will have the possibility to print out terms or save them in .rtf, .pdf, .xls or .doc format documents.
The search capability of the database will be quite extensive. It was partly due to this reason that the creation of this database took so long, as quite a lot things had to be marked manually. It is planned to enable a search not only by a term or a part of it, but also by its abbreviation, symbol, synonym or variant, sphere of usage, category of suitability (for example, incorrect or obsolete), even by accentuation paradigm. The ability to search by some words from the definition could sometimes be very useful. The generic teem will enable the user to find the specific term and vice versa (all terms are marked accordingly). Searching by a number of components or letters is more orientated towards scientific research. The user will be able to choose which elements of the term entry to view (unwanted elements will not be shown), in which order the term report ought to be arranged and in which form the entry ought to be pictured (text or table).
The most difficult work is already completed. Todays task is to eliminate faults and correct mistakes. Shortly users will be able to make their observations.
On the initiative of the Chancellery of the Parliament of Lithuania Eurovoc was translated into Lithuanian in 2002.
Problems of Lithuanian terminology
Terminological work of specialists of other fields is not considered to be scientific activity; therefore this weakens the motivation to develop Lithuanian terminology and scientific language on the whole.
There is no search system for terms needed by governmental institutions and for public usage there is no electronic bank of terms and it is difficult to regulate the flow of borrowed words.
It is necessary to create the system for terminological education of specialists who are interested in terminological work in various fields.
Until now there was no coordination of the preparation of terminological dictionaries and there is a lack of well-prepared dictionaries (of economics and law in particular) because this work was mainly done by enthusiasts.
The level of knowledge about the experience of the creation and management of terminological databases is rather poor.
Hopefully, closer cooperation between neighbouring countries in the field of terminology will facilitate the sharing of experience and help to avoid mistakes.
Stāvoklis lietuviešu terminoloģijā
Terminoloģijas darbs Lietuvā tika uzsākts Lietuviešu valodas un literatūras institūtā 1952. gadā. 1990. gadā tika nodibināta Terminoloģijas nodaļa, kas patlaban pārveidota par Terminoloģijas centru, kuru vada Dr. Albina Auksorjūte. Centra uzdevumi: pētīt lietuviešu terminoloģijas vēsturi, izstrādāt terminoloģijas un terminogrāfijas normas, veikt praktisko darbu dažādu nozaru terminoloģijas attīstībā un jaunu terminu standartizēšanā, kā arī izglītot nozaru speciālistus terminoloģijas jautājumos.
2002. gadā ir uzsākts jauns projekts vārdnīca Lietuviešu terminoloģijas sinonīmija, kur paredzēts apkopot sinonīmoskos internacionālismus, hibrīddarinājumus un lietuviskos terminus, lai apliecinātu latviešu valodas spēju izteikt visdažādāko nozaru jēdzienus un tādējādi celt lietuviešu valodas prestižu un apliecināt tās ilgtspējīgumu. Patlaban vārdnīcā jau ir ap 12000 vienību. Finansiāli šo projektu atbalsta Valsts lietuviešu valodas komisija.
Valsts lietuviešu valodas komisija ir dibināta 1990. gadā ar oficiālu parlamenta lēmumu. Komisijas uzdevumos Valsts valodas likuma ieviešanas un citi valodas politikas, normalizācijas un standartizācijas jautājumi. Komisijā ir 7 apakškomisijas:
pareizrakstībā, interpunkcijā un gramatikā,
Terminoloģijas apakškomisijas vadītājs ir Viļņas Universitātes profesors Alberts Rosins, locekļi četri Terminoloģijas centra darbinieki. Apakškomisija izstrādājusi noteikumus terminu vārdnīcu veidošanai. Speciālās vārdnīcas tiek apstiprinātas komisijā, tādējādi gūstot kvalitātes sertifikātu.
Lietuvā nav vienas kopējas terminu bankas. Tiek gatavots šādas terminu bankas likums, paredzēts, ka šādu banku finansēs no valsts budžeta.
Kopš 1996. gada Standartizācijas departamentā darbojas Tehniskā komiteja 37 Terminoloģija, kas aptver terminoloģijas principu un metožu; elektroinženierijas un elektronikas; būvkonstrukciju; mehānikas un transportlīdzekļu; lauksaimniecības un veselības jomas.
Sistemātisks terminoloģijas kurss tiek lasīts Viļņas Pedagoģijas universitātē, kā arī valodniecības studentiem Viļņas Universitātē, Šauļu Universitātē un Vītauta Magnus Universitātē Kauņā.Terminoloģijas darba optimizēšanā pozitīva loma ir kaimiņvalstu pieredzes apgūšanai tādās jomās kā zinātnieku aktivizēšana terminoloģijas izstrādei, plašpieejas terminu datu bāzes veidošana, terminoloģiskā izglītība, finansiālais nodrošinājums u. c.