Are dictionaries relevant for specialists?

Having worked as a terminologist for some 11 years and witnessing some challenges subject-field specialists have in finding the desired information in a dictionary, it’s not surprising that I have decided to write about specialists and their relation to terminography.  I have also studied this topic in my Master’s dissertation (2012) which was about the general tendency of experts in using specialized dictionaries. It was my first attempt to write about this subject, but it wasn’t the first time observing the role of specialized dictionaries in the academic life of experts.

Based on my experience, it is not occasional that a specialist cannot find a specific term in a technical dictionary, or if it is found, the definition or the semantic relations provided may not be accurate enough. This simply results in further searching for the suitable meaning or some other terminological information by multiple checking and comparison among existing reference resources.  In other words, it might be the case that most lexicographical resources do not fulfill experts’ quality and quantity expectations. A simple question might be “what do they look for that cannot be found in a single specialized dictionary?”. 

Continue reading “Are dictionaries relevant for specialists?”

Advertisements

Key Terms: Expert

In terminology science, there are some terms that you might come across while reading technical articles or blog posts that sound very familiar or in some cases very general. However, they have specific meanings and functions in terminology. Decoding the terminology of the subject fields, at least the most common terms, is very important for the mutual understanding and effective communication.

Over time I have also noticed that some of the fundamental terms such as “context”, “expert”, “specialization”, “end-user” or even the basic term “concept” (particularly the perception and implications of concept regarding its position in terminology) are more controversial. The good news is that we, terminologists, are also struggling with these terms and their implications. This simply is due to the very nature of the humanities and language sciences and shows the dynamics of the subject.

So, I have decided to start writing about these terms and presenting some of the most frequent use of them once in a while, and I begin with “expert”.

Continue reading “Key Terms: Expert”