The annual meeting of the UIC Terminology Group was held in Frankfurt from 17 – 18 October 2013 at the invitation of German Railways (DB). The Terminology Group, which is composed of terminologists, translators, international affairs managers and technical experts, was welcomed by Ms Annette Kraus, Head of corporate language services of DB. She gave an overall presentation of DB and of DB corporate language services in particular and placed emphasis on the fact that a harmonised terminology was needed in order to obtain high-quality translations and interpreting services.
Within the framework of the Terminology Group, UIC coordinates the translation work for 25 languages and is in charge of updating the RailLexic database in English, French and German. The translations into all the other languages are being done by the members of the group, who come from over 20 different railway companies.
This meeting provided not only the perfect opportunity to exchange good practices and to learn more about the member’s activities in the field of terminology but also to find out how RailLexic had started out in the early 1990s. Mr Schmidt, today a DB retiree, had kindly accepted the invitation and gave a presentation on the history of RailLexic. It was him who had initiated the electronic database format which allowed all the terms to be put into one single database, thus enabling interested member railways to add their languages. Prior to that, only paper dictionaries had been available and the number of languages was limited.
Besides exchanging experiences in the field of terminology, sharing different ways of organising the translation process for RailLexic and setting priorities for new terminology work, the main focus at this year’s Terminology Group Meeting was the new RailLexic online version which is available as a test version for the Terminology Group members for the time being. Furthermore, a lively discussion took place with regard to the time frame for the translation of terms and consequently the publishing of the next edition of the RailLexic CD-ROM.
A hands-on workshop on the second day gave participants and especially newcomers the opportunity to learn more about the functionalities and features of the web-based interface for terminology input in detail and how to practically use them. This online tool is a big step forward in terminology cooperation between the railways since any changes and newly added terms can be seen in real time. A technical visit to the S-Bahn depot where train maintenance is done was also part of the programme and the occasion to put relevant terminology into practice.