Opening talk

Conférence d’ouverture 2019: The emergence of terminology science and terminological activities
Christian Galinski
Résumé : Today’s terminology science has several roots and shows many approaches. From a science theory point of view, the concept-oriented approach in terminology science became a necessity in the course of the development of modern sciences and technologies from the late 18th to the early 20th century. Scientists in many countries were active in designing nomenclatures in various domains which then needed to be unified and harmonized at international level. The need for multilingual terminologies emerged in the course of early standardization efforts and finally when the official standards organizations were established. No wonder that engineers around and after 1900 engaged in large-scale terminological activities. They chose a practical-pragmatic concept-oriented approach in cooperation with many, sometimes thousands of experts, in order to develop multilingual terminologies. A comprehensive theory for these endeavours was developed only much later, after World War II. Already in the wake of establishing the international organizations for the new world order after WW 2, terminology (in the sense of terminological entities) was recognized as essential for the mutual understanding of experts, including diplomats. Terminology standardization further developed as a basic need of subject standardization. Other terminological activities turned to societal needs, such as terminology planning as important aspect of language planning, or to the then booming domain of information and documentation (I&D) with its need for indexing and retrieval languages. Thus, national institutions started focusing on ‘terminology’ – new terminology centres were founded. In addition, LSP (language for specific purposes) came up to meet new needs in language education/training and specialized/professional communication studies. The 1980s and 1990s became an era of emerging new approaches and the foundation of organizations focused on ‘terminology’, as well as terminology science gaining foothold in academia. The contribution provides an overview on the development of the field of terminology with its broad range of practical activities and theoretical approaches.
Biographie : Christian Galinsky studied Japanese and Chinese as well as I&D (information and documentation) and applied linguistics at the Universities of Bonn and Vienna. In the mid-1970s, he pioneered in technical documentation in industry focusing on Japanese. Research and professional technical writer in Inforterm, ISO, IGO, CEN, and others. EU projects in which he participated on behalf of Infoterm, focused on technical communication aspects, the role of language services and the language industry, language and terminology policies, recently also on communication with and among persons with disabilities (PwD), as well as pertinent standardization activities. Since many years C. Galinski works as consultant for national, European and intergovernmental organizations (IGO) as well as numerous non-governmental organizations (NGO) world-wide, including ISO. He is the author of many publications in the field of terminology and related fields, including different kinds of structured content (here in the meaning of microcontent) and its role in eBusiness and eCommerce.

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