DHASA2017 – Abstract

An introduction of ISO/TC37: Terminology and other language and content resources

Janke, Ulrike1; Bosch, Sonja2; Calteaux, Karen3 
Department of Arts and Culture1; University of South Africa2; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research3

This presentation provides an overview of the work of the Technical Committee 37 of the International Standards Organisation. The standards it produces are applicable to researchers and developers working in the wider language industry and anyone involved in information and knowledge creation and management. Some relevant standards that have been published will be introduced, as well as those that have been adopted by South Africa through the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Current work of the committee will also be presented.

ISO/TC37 serves all fields and applications where human-human and human-machine communication is involved. This refers in particular to the language industry, in the development of terminology, human language technology applications and other language resources, as well as language services such as translation and interpretation. It further refers to fields and applications where knowledge is represented in whatever form. Thus ISO/TC37 standards are fundamental for language resource management, knowledge management and content management.

ISO/TC37 was originally established in order to standardise the methodology of terminology standardisation, and over time its scope grew to cover language and content resources and applications in any field or application which involves communication as well as the creation, management and transfer of information and knowledge. Its scope includes the standardisation of principles, methods and applications relating to terminology and other language and content resources in the contexts of multilingual communication and cultural diversity. ISO/TC37 consists of five subcommittees: (1) Principles and methods, (2) terminographical and lexicographical working methods, (3) systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content, (4) language resource management, and (5) translation, interpreting and related technology.

The objective of ISO/TC37 is to prepare standards specifying principles, methods and data structures for creating, managing, coding and processing language resources. Its mission is to provide standards and guidelines to standardisation experts and language professionals who are involved in creating and handling language resources.

Users and target groups of ISO/TC37 include language-related professionals (translators, interpreters, technical writers, language teachers, linguists, lexicographers, terminologists), language planners and policy makers, and developers of IT- related software, such as computer-assisted translation, machine translation, content management, automatic classification and knowledge management, cataloguing, and indexing.

Content creation and management as well as system design for e-business rely on ISO/TC37 standards to ensure interoperability, reusability and machine processability of language data. The methodologies laid down in ISO/TC37 documents facilitate the development of more efficient and effective modes of access to information. These standards lead to the development of language resources, such as terminology databases and text annotation schemes, which are multipurpose and interoperable. They also support innovation and development in natural language processing technologies and language engineering, which are critical to the future evolution of computing.

Worldwide application of ISO/TC37 standards helps to enhance the overall quality of terminologies and other language resources in all subject fields, to improve information management within various industrial, technical, commercial and scientific environments, to reduce its costs, and to increase efficiency in technical standardisation and professional communication.