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Term-IT - multilingual terminology resources

Term-IT is a preparatory-phase project aimed at leading to the development of methods and systems to improve the production, dissemination, and exploitation of multilingual terminology resources. One of its key objectives is to identify the requirements of users. For the purposes of this project, these are considered to be thesaurus editors and cataloguers, although the consortium recognises that potentially the most significant area of use for multilingual thesauri is in information retrieval from distributed databases.

Term-IT will also seek to assess the market situation and prospects for such a system, to clarify the availability of resources, and to select the most appropriate methodologies. This will encompass automatic algorithms, multilingual thesaurus data structures, and human thesaurus editor procedures, especially concerning collaboration between international teams.

The ultimate objective for further phases of Term-IT is the integration of well-established linguistic techniques with traditional manual creation of high-precision terminology resources within a Multilingual Thesaurus Production Environment. It is hoped that this will lead to faster and cheaper production and maintenance of these resources.

Term-IT will cover the whole production chain from acquisition of terminology resources to provision of services to cataloguers, including the dynamic relationship which exists between cataloguers and thesaurus editors. It will lead to a functional specification for a workbench providing state of the art translation tools to help thesaurus building and linking in different languages, access to terminology resources in various formats and internal organisations, co-operative work support to aid communication between dispersed editor teams, updates and version management, as well as data exchange facilities for end-users. It will also facilitate the establishment of standards in the creation, dissemination and use of these resources. Thesaurus users will benefit from a broader range of terminology in their language when cataloguing. The thesauri produced will enable transparent access to a variety of translations when querying.

Although addressing the cultural sector, Term-IT will address problems common to other domains lending itself to concertation with other projects exploring similar issues.

Term-IT Partners

Term-IT is a consortium made up of members from three European countries. The partners include:

Museum Documentation Association (MDA) from the UK - the project co-ordinator,

System Simulation Limited (SSL) from the UK,

The Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP) from Greece,

The Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (FORTH) from Greece,

The Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA) from France,

The Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCC), from France.

All of the consortium members have experience in the problems associated with the production and availability of multilingual terminology resources through their work on the Aquarelle project. Other organisations contributing to the project include the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Royal Commission for the Historic Monuments of England (RCHME), the Getty Information Institute (GII), and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). Other organisations have expressed an interest and it is hoped that they will become actively involved by the time the project commences on 1 March 1998.
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