A one-stop shop for EU-related terminology was today officially opened to the general public in a ceremony organised by the European Parliament and the European Commission. The InterActive Terminology for Europe database, more familiarly referred to as IATE, combines the terminology databases of the individual EU institutions and bodies in a single database containing 8.7 million terms and covering all 23 official EU languages. IATE ,which has been in use by the translation services of the EU institutions since 2005, already plays a major role in ensuring the quality of the written communication of the EU institutions and bodies. Offering easy access to validated EU-related terminology, it ensures the consistency and reliability of terminology which is indispensable for producing the clear and unambiguous texts necessary for guaranteeing both the validity and transparency of the legislative process and effective communication with the citizens of the Union.
Opening statements at the ceremony, attended by representatives of the EU institutions and language professionals from outside the institutions, were made by Commissioner Orban and Vice-President of the European Parliament, Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez.
"The development of IATE is the laudable result of successful interinstitutional co-operation. It also lives up to the expectations of cost-effective use of resources, and shows the EU institutions working for Europe's citizens," said the European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban.
Vice President Martínez Martínez referred to the opening of IATE to the public as being a "tangible expression of the institutions' genuine commitment to full multilingualism", essential in ensuring the openness and transparency of the European process.
The potential usefulness of IATE for a much wider public than the translation services of the EU institutions was identified right from the start. In offering free access to IATE to all EU citizens, the institutions are placing this unique and unparalleled tool at the disposal of anyone who wishes to take advantage of it - not only language professionals outside the institutions, including freelance translators, researchers, and language students, but also national parliaments and administrations involved in the transposition of EU legislation into national law and the dissemination of information on the EU.
As a multilingual term base, IATE enables the user to search for a specific term in a source language and to find the corresponding terms in one or more selected target languages .At present, it contains not only 8.7 million terms, but also 500 000 abbreviations and 100 000 phrases and covers all 23 official EU languages. The content volume per language varies, depending primarily on the length of time each language has been an official EU language. The long term objective is to reach the same content value for all official languages.
Two particular features distinguish IATE from its predecessors, EURODICAUTOM, EUTERPE and TIS. Firstly, it is interactive: any translator in an EU institution can add and update information in the database. To ensure the quality of the individual contributions, a change in the database automatically launches a validation cycle, whereby terminologists in the translation departments validate new and modified information. Secondly, IATE is interinstitutional. The partners contributing to the development and maintenance of IATE are the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions the European Investment Bank, the European Central Bank and the Translation Centre.
The overall development costs of the database from 1999 to 2003 were €1.41 million. The annual maintenance costs for 2007 are €627 000. These costs are covered by the budgets of all the participating institutions and bodies of the EU.
For more information:
- IATE database: http://iate.europa.eu ;
- Languages in the EU: http://europa.eu/languages/ ;
- DG Translation: http://europa.eu/languages/.