Information technology contains a wealth of terms that are clear and precise for the specialists, but that can be tough for others to cope with. The Voluntary teamwork for IT terminology (Tietotekniikan termitalkoot) project has been tackling this problem since the late 1990s.
The project has made recommendations for important but difficult IT terms. The project involves a wide range of specialists, including IT professionals and language specialists.
The project is managed by two separate teams. The coordination team meets several times a year and selects the latest material, and submits this to the specialist team for comments. The resulting recommendations are then published.
The specialist team includes persons with the interest and experience in IT to make the selected terminology accessible to the general public.
From proposals to recommendations
The coordination group uses terminological, linguistic, and use-related criteria to make its assessments. Linguistic needs related to the terms in texts aimed at professionals and laypersons are considered in the definition of the terms. The aim is to select terms that are transparent and descriptive while also being sufficiently accurate.
The strict requirements for a good term make the work demanding. The terms must be right for the context in question and must also meet the terminological and linguistic requirements. Based on the terminological criteria, the recommended terms can be derived from standard English expressions. The linguistic criteria, on the other hand, require that the terms are easy to pronounce and spell.
The Finnish Terminology Centre TSK has managed the project since 1999. During that time, it has published around 600 recommendations, the latest in January 2016. The services produced by the Finnish Terminology Centre TSK cover terminological work and its applications.
For more about these projects, go to: http://www.tsk.fi/tsk/termitalkoot/en