Glossaries: The Oil in the Machine

The other day I read some very interesting news about the translation industry: the presentation of a plan to create a multilingual terminological dictionary on olive oil. Apparently, this is a project initiated by the University of Jaén in 2009 with the aim of increasing knowledge about the industry and creating a communication tool to facilitate trade of this product in the international language for business, English, as well as Spanish, and the other language that is currently experiencing the largest upswing: Chinese. China today is one of the fastest-growing markets for olive oil, as its incorporation into the culinary practices there is still nascent and booming.

The team that is developing this project, led by Professor of the Department of General Linguistics at the University of Jaén, Mercedes Roldán Vendrell, is composed of specialists from multiple disciplines: linguists, terminologists, economists, translators, IT experts, etc.

This dictionary, which according to its director will be completed this year, will include full details of each term, i.e. not only is a dictionary that provides equivalencies, but offers extremely interesting information for anyone interested in this area, as the file for each entry consists of the definition for the context in which it is used, possible synonyms, grammatical and phraseological information, including details of interest apart from the corresponding equivalent in both English and Chinese.

The principle topics will mainly focus on: oils (type, tastings, denominations), industry, culture, health and trade.

Although the project is still being developed, as noted above, some information on the advances, resources, etc., is available on its website You can also access a demo of what the dictionary will actually look like in its final version:

Also, another very positive point is that the dictionary will be free and available online to facilitate and speed up searches and terminology will be free.

The truth is that from what can be appreciated at the moment, it is a very complex project that when it is fully developed will represent a valuable tool for any professional working in the sector, and will be used not only as a commercial communication tool but can be used as a resource to learn what a particular word means, whether or not we need to know the equivalent in Spanish or Chinese.

It is a pleasure to read such news and see that there is a qualified interdisciplinary team performing this task.

(Versión en español: