About project

The development and natural use of specialized registers of Basque takes place, to a large extent, in academic contexts. It is in the primary and secondary schools where the foundations of formal and general discourse are established, and university bridges between basic education and the professional world. The future Basque specialists are being trained in the university classrooms, and it is at this level where they acquire the discursive resources and the terminology that they will use in their future professional life.

The university teaches and offers all kinds of specialized areas in Basque, and, as is well known, specialized communication requires specialized language resources, especially terminology. However, whereas communication among teachers and students is fluid, communication networks among teachers are not so. In fact, specialized communication exists mainly among international expert communities, where major languages are used for specialized communication (mostly English). This lack of fluid communication networks hinders the circulation and fixation of language resources that are being created and used by Basque experts. On the other hand, it is difficult for linguists and terminologists to describe the existing registers, because most academic communication is composed of oral and spontaneous written texts.

The project GARATERM includes several tools and resources that will help make academic texts and terminology visible. In order to carry out the task, several teachers from the department of Basque Language and Linguistics have collaboratively worked with researchers from the department of Computer Languages and Systems and with others that belong to the R+D group of the Elhuyar Foundation. Since academic registers are constantly changing and being adapted, we have developed several tools that will enable us to monitor the changes though a collaborative work among experts and linguists. The GARATERM work environment is crucial for this collaborative work, since it is used to collect texts in the corpus as well as to do terminology work. Both the GARATERM corpus and the Online System for Terminology Service (TZOS) are the result of collaborative work among experts and linguists. This collaborative work is possible mostly due to the program Weaving Terminology Networks (TSE), which has been supported by the Vicechancellorship of Basque and Multilingualism from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) since 2008.