Title: Terminology and other language and content resources
Scope: Standardization of principles, methods and applications relating to terminology and other language and content resources in the contexts of multilingual communication and cultural diversity
ISO/TC 37 "Terminology and other language and content resources"
* terminological principles and methods
* vocabulary of terminology and language resource management
* terminology work
* preparation and management of Language Resources
* preparation and layout of terminology standards
* computerized terminography and lexicography
* terminology documentation
* coding and codes in the field of terminology and other Language Resources
* applications of terminology and other language resources in language engineering and content management
ISO/TC 37 may be only 50 years old, but it can look upon a long history of terminology unification activities. For decades, terminology experts - even more so experts of terminology theory and methodology - had to struggle for recognition. Today their expertise is sought in many application areas, especially in various fields of standardization. The emerging multilingual information and knowledge society will depend on reliable digital content - terminology is indispensable here. This is because terminology plays a crucial role wherever and whenever specialized information and knowledge is being prepared (e.g. in research and development), used (e.g. in specialized texts), recorded and processed (e.g. in data banks), passed on (via training and teaching), implemented (e.g. in technology and knowledge transfer), or translated and interpreted. In the age of globalization the need for methodology standards concerning multilingual digital content is increasing - ISO/TC 37 has developed over the years the expertise for methodology standards for science and technology related content in textual form.
The beginnings of terminology standardization are closely linked to the standardization efforts of IEC (
International Electrotechnical Commission, founded in 1906) and ISO ( International Organization for Standardization, founded in 1946).
A terminology standard according to ISO/IEC Guide 2 (1996) is defined as "standard that is concerned with terms, usually accompanied by their definitions, and sometimes by explanatory notes, illustrations, examples, etc." ISO 1087-1:2000 defines terminology as "set of designations belonging to one special language" and designations as "representation of a concept by a sign which denotes it". Here concept representation goes beyond terms (being only linguistic signs), which is also supported by the state-of-the-art of terminology science, according to which terminology has three major functions:
1 basic elements carrying meaning in domain communication, 2 ordering of scientific-technical knowledge at the level of concepts, 3 access to other representations of specialized information and knowledge.
The above indicates that terminological data (comprising various kinds of knowledge representation) possibly have a much more fundamental role in domain-related information and knowledge than commonly understood.
Today, terminology standardization can be subdivided into two distinct activities:
- standardization of terminologies, - standardization of terminological principles and methods.
The two of them are mutually interdependent, since the standardization of terminologies would not result in high-quality terminological data, if certain common principles, rules and methods are not observed. On the other hand, these standardized terminological principles, rules and methods must reflect the state-of-the-art of theory and methodology development in those domains, in which terminological data have to be standardized in connection with the formulation of subject standards.
No wonder that terminology gained a special position in the field of standardization at large, which is defined as "activity of establishing, with regard to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context" (ISO/IEC 1996). Every technical committee or sub-committee or working group invariably finds out sooner or later that you cannot standardize subject matters, if you have not defined and standardized the respective terminology. The time-honoured saying "terminology standardization precedes subject standardization" (or "subject standardization requires terminology standardization") still holds true.
History of ISO/TC 37
ISO/TC 37 was put into operation in 1952 in order "to find out and formulate general principles of terminology and terminological lexicography" (as terminography was called at that time).
The history of terminology standardization proper - if one excludes earlier attempts in the field of metrology - started in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which was founded in London in 1906 following a recommendation passed at the International Electrical Congress, held in St. Louis, USA, on 15 September 1904, to the extent that: "...steps should be taken to secure the co-operation of the technical societies of the world, by the appointment of a representative Commission to consider the question of the standardization of the nomenclature and ratings of electrical apparatus and machinery". From the very beginning, IEC considered it its foremost task to standardize the terminology of electrotechnology for the sake of the quality of its subject standards, and soon embarked upon the International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV), whose first edition, based on many individual terminology standards, was published in 1938. The IEV is still being continued today, covering 77 chapters as parts of the International Standard series IEC 60050. The IEV Online Database can be accessed via 
The predecessor to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Federation of Standardizing Associations (ISA, founded in 1926), made a similar experience. But it went a step further and - triggered by the publication of Eugen Wüster's book "Internationale Sprachnormung in der Technik" [International standardization of technical language] (Wüster 1931) - established in 1936 the Technical Committee ISA/TC 37 "Terminology" for the sake of formulating general principles and rules for terminology standardization.
ISA/TC 37 conceived a scheme of four classes of recommendations for terminology standardization mentioned below, but the Second World War interrupted its pioneering work. Nominally, ISO/TC 37 was established from the very beginning of ISO in 1946, but it was decided to re-activate it only in 1951 and the Committee started operation in 1952. Since then the secretariat of ISO/TC 37 has been held by Austria.
Objective of ISO/TC 37
To prepare standards specifying principles and methods for the preparation and management of Language Resources within the framework of standardization and related activities. Its technical work results in
International Standards(and Technical Reports) covering terminological principles and methods as well as various aspects of computer-assisted terminography. ISO/TC 37 is not responsible for the co-ordination of the terminology standardizing activities of other ISO/TCs.
ISO/TC 37/SC 1 (Principles and methods)
ISO/TC 37/SC 2 (Terminographical and lexicographical working methods)
ISO/TC 37/SC 3 (Systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content)
ISO/TC 37/SC 4 (Language resource management)
ISO 639Codes for the representation of names of languages, with the following parts:
ISO 639-1:2002 Codes for the representation of names of languages —- Part 1: Alpha-2 code (ISO 639-1/RA - Registration Authority for the maintenance of the code: Infoterm  )
ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages —- Part 2: Alpha-3 code (ISO 639-2/RA - Registration Authority for the maintenance of the code: Library of Congress  )
ISO 639-3:2007 Codes for the representation of names of languages —- Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages (ISO 639-3/RA - Registration Authority for the maintenance of the code: SIL International)
ISO 639-5:2008 Codes for the representation of names of languages —- Part 5: Alpha-3 code for language families and groups
ISO 704:2000 Terminology work —- Principles and methods
ISO 860:1996 Terminology work —- Harmonization of concepts and terms
ISO 1087-1:2000 Terminology —- Vocabulary —- Part 1: Theory and application
ISO 1087-2:2000 Terminology work —- Vocabulary —- Part 2: Computer applications
ISO 1951:1997 Lexicographical symbols particularly for use in classified defining vocabularies
ISO 6156:1987 Magnetic tape exchange format for terminological / lexicographical records (MATER) (withdrawn)
ISO 10241:1992 Preparation and layout of international terminology standards
ISO 12199:2000 Alphabetical ordering of multilingual terminological and lexicographical data represented in the Latin alphabet
ISO 12200:1999 Computer applications in terminology —- Machine-readable terminology interchange format (MARTIF) —- Negotiated interchange
ISO 12615:2004 Bibliographic references and source identifiers for terminology work
ISO 12616:2002 Translation-oriented terminography
ISO 12620:1999 Computer applications in terminology —- Data categories
ISO 15188:2001 Project management guidelines for terminology standardization
ISO 16642:2003 Computer applications in terminology —- Terminology Mark-up Framework (TMF)
tandards and other ISO Deliverables in Preparation
ISO 639 family: Language coding
*ISO/DIS 639-4 Codes for the representation of names of languages -- Part 4: Implementation guidelines and general principles for language coding
*ISO/DIS 639-6 Codes for the representation of names of languages -- Part 6: Extension coding for language variation
*ISO/CD 704 Terminology work - Principles and methods
*ISO/CD 860.2 Terminology work - Harmonization of concepts & terms
*ISO/PWI 1087-1 Terminology work - Vocabuary - Part 1: Theory and application
*ISO/DIS 1951 Presentation/representation of entries in dictionaries
*ISO/CD 10241-1 Terminological entries in standards -- Part 1: General requirements
*ISO/AWI 10241-2 Terminological entries in standards
*ISO/PWI TR 12618 Computer applications in terminology - Design, implementation and use of terminology management systems
*ISO/CD 12620-1 Computer applications in terminology - Data categories - Part 1: Model for description and procedures for maintenance of data category registries for language resources
*ISO/CD 12620-2 Computer applications in terminology - Data categories - Part 2: Terminological data categories
*ISO/WD 21829 Language resource management - Terminology (TLM)
*ISO/PWI 22128 Quality assurance guidelines for terminology products
*ISO/PWI 22130 Additional language coding
*ISO/DTS 22134 Practical guide for socioterminology
*ISO/PWI 22274 Basic principles and requirements for multilingual product classification
*ISO/NP 23185 Assessment and benchmarking of terminological holdings
*ISO/NP 24156 Guidelines for applying concept modelling in terminology work
*ISO/DIS 24610-1 Language resource management - Feature structures - Part 1: Feature structure representation
*ISO/NWIP 24610-2 Language resource management - Feature structures - Part 2: Feature systems declaration (FSD)
*ISO/WD 24611 Language resource management - Morphosyntactic annotation framework
*ISO/AWI 24612 Language resource management - Linguistic Annotation Framework
*ISO/DIS 24613 Language resource management -
Lexical markup framework(LMF)
*ISO/AWI 24614-1 Language resource management - Word Segmentation of Written Texts for Mono-lingual and Multi-lingual Information Processing - Part 1: General principles and methods
*ISO/AWI 24614-2 Language resource management - Word Segmentation of Written Texts for Mono-lingual and Multi-lingual Information Processing - Part 2: Word segmentation for Chinese, Japanese and Korean
*ISO/NWIP 24615 Language resource management - Syntactic Annotation Framework (SynAF)
Terminology planning policy- Development and Implementation
*ISO/DIS 30042 TermBase eXchange (TBX)
International Organization for Standardization- ISO: Terminology standardization
* [http://www.iso.org ISO International Organization for Standardization]
* [http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink?func=ll&objId=4705221&objAction=browse&sort=name ISO/TC 37 press kit]
* [http://www.infoterm.info International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm)] [http://www.infoterm.info/activities/terminology_policies.php Terminology Policy Section]
* [http://www.thewldc.org World Language Documentation Centre]
* ISO/TC 37 Annual Meetings 2007: Provo, USA [http://www.ttt.org/tc37]
* ISO/TC 37 Annual Meetings 2008: Moscow, Russian Federation [http://www.gostinfo.ru/show.php?/tk37/index.htm]
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