Terminology | Translation | European Parliament

What we do

Terminology is a very important part of the translation process. By definition, terminology is the study, collection and systematic presentation of terms - but it can also refer to the pool of these terms, i.e. specialised words and expressions specific to a particular subject field. By providing information on the meaning and the use of terms, terminologists contribute to the accuracy and consistency of translations. This is particularly important in an environment like the European Parliament, where the texts can be very technical. Furthermore, it is worth emphasising that EU legislation, adopted by the European Parliament, is law applicable in the Member States. Correct and consistent terminology is therefore essential for ensuring uniform EU-wide application of laws, which contributes to legal certainty in the EU.
Our main tasks at the Terminology Coordination Unit are to assist translators with their day-to-day work, to facilitate terminology research and terminology management in the translation units, and to increase Parliament's contribution to the EU terminology database, IATE ('Interactive Terminology for Europe').


In order to achieve this:

  • we coordinate IATE work and prepare various terminology projects involving the terminologists and trainees of the translation units;
  • we provide translators with a range of terminology and documentation tools and resources;
  • we look for new terminology, and provide related glossaries and definitions for important legislative procedures;
  • we organise training sessions and workshops, as well as larger academic seminars on terminology-related issues;
  • we cooperate with relevant services and management groups both within Parliament and at an interinstitutional level;
  • we are a member of important terminology associations, such as the European Association for Terminology (EAFT), the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm) and the International Network for Terminology (TermNet);
  • we network with universities, terminology bodies and experts in order to share knowledge, experience and material;
  • we provide terminology courses at the University of Luxembourg as part of its Master's programme, and at other universities.

Traineeships and study visits in TermCoord

The Terminology Coordination Unit welcomes students, graduates and postgraduates for traineeships and study visits in its two main fields of work:
  • Linguistic and terminology activities
  • Communication and IT activities