The next standard to talk about is ISO 704 “Terminology work—Principles and methods.” It is an interesting one for a variety of reasons. For one, I have more questions than answers.
At the TKE (Terminology and Knowledge Engineering) Conference in Dublin, my esteemed colleagues, Hanne Erdman Thomsen, Sue Ellen Wright, Gerhard Budin and Loïc Depecker will devote a workshop to ‘Accommodating User Needs for ISO 704: Towards a New Revision of the Core International Standard on Terminology Work’. I will have a short time slot to provide input myself and therefore have been re-reviewing ISO 704 over the last few days.
As I am putting my thoughts together, I was wondering: Who knows or uses ISO 704? I would like to invite you to do two things: Click on the little survey below in this posting. And, if you haven’t done so, please tell me about yourself by participating in the survey on the Survey tab. Both surveys are anonymous and might help me understand what this standard could do. If you know the standard and have something to share about it, please leave a comment below. I would be very grateful to get your input.
Because, quite frankly, I am puzzling over this standard. I have read it three times over the past year and every time after a few weeks go by, I have to think about what this standard is actually for. I believe it stems from the fact that it is a bit wordy at the moment. It contains a lot of good information, but the presentation is ineffective.
But now, what can it do for the reader? As its title says, it lays out the various principles underlying terminology management. For example, it tells us what objects, concepts, concept relations and concept systems are. It then goes into definitions and definition writing, before the subject of designations is discussed. Remember, this little graphic from What is a Term? As an aside, we talk about terms many times when we actually mean designations; in German, we even find the ugly Anglicism Term and its plural Terme.
So, ISO 704 really does do what the title says, it presents us with principles and methods. It just doesn’t seem to stick with me. Yet.[polldaddy poll=3539284]