[OPE] International Translation Day, 30 September 2008

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Mon Sep 29 2008 - 17:49:40 EDT

(Everybody has their own international day nowadays, and so have translators!)

"In honour of International Translation Day 2008, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) pays tribute to terminology and the work of terminologists. All language professionals acknowledge the crucial role of terminology. How can we translate, interpret, write or localize in the most efficient manner possible without this basic necessity, words, and therefore terminology? Words are essential, yes, but the specific need is for words that matter, words that describe a previously identified concept and that contribute to the clarity and effectiveness of communication in a given field of expertise, environment or community. Words that, once linked together in guidelines and recommendations, such as ISO standards, can help us prevent the breakdown of communication between speakers and can promote the interoperability of systems around the world. And finally, words that carry considerable weight when the circumstances so require. Affairs of state, public security, pandemics and natural disasters are examples of situations where clear communication, whether in a single language or in many languages, is essential. None of this would be possible without standardized terminology, which allows us to speak with one voice." http://http://www.fit-ift.org/download/en/itd-2008.pdf/download/en/itd-2008.pdf

Frigga Haug's Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism has now reached the letter K, with entries in German from "cadre party" to "clones". So far the dictionary contains about 880 entries http://www.argument.de/wissenschaft/hkwm7-1.html

There are currently 2,553,622 articles in the English Wikipedia, totalling 1 billion words or about 290 words per article on average http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_of_Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_comparisons

The number of words in English has grown to about a million today, if you include half a million scientific and specialised words and terms. The average schooled English speaker appears to know about 20,000 word meanings, i.e. about 2% of the total English linguistic universe. About 80% of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed or derived from other languages. Worldwide, circa 750 million people (about 12% of the world population) use English language; there are about 480 million people who use it as their first language or mother tongue. It is the official language of the Olympics. Half the world's technical and scientific periodicals as perhaps three quarters of the world's mail volume use English. Half of all internet users in the world use English. About 80% of the information stored in the world's computers is in English. English is transmitted to more than 100 million people everyday by 5 of the largest broadcasting companies (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CBC).


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