The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 35

RESOURCE REVIEW

BY TOMÁŠ BARENDREGT

English-Czech COVID-19 Glossary

O

ne way to say "to do one's bit" in
Czech is "p isp t svou troškou do
mlýna," which means "to contribute
one's little bit to the mill." For me, the mill
was the global COVID-19 pandemic and
the little bit I contributed was my EnglishCzech glossary of terms related to it.
No need for me to paint the situation
in much detail since we're all too familiar
with it. It was mid-March and international
borders were closed, the kids returned
home from college, and we were sewing
face masks. As I thought of my elderly
relatives isolated in their homes and teared
up looking at the faces of nurses and
doctors ravaged with welts from endless
shifts wearing tight-fitting respirators,
goggles, and face shields, I realized that
I, too, am a part of this community of
humans trying to protect the vulnerable,
help the sick, and preserve the way we
function as a society. It seems almost funny
in retrospect that the best thing I could
think of doing was to create a glossary.
It wasn't just the novel coronavirus
that was spreading rapidly. There was an
outpouring of information about the virus,
the virus-altered reality we found ourselves
in, the measures taken to mitigate it, and
the research done toward overcoming
it. Reading up on all this, I started to do
what comes naturally to most translators
and interpreters-asking myself if I could
express those thoughts and name those
concepts in my other working language.
I work in English and Czech and
focus on the medical and pharmaceutical
domains. My daily routine involves
reading about developments in these
fields. With the pandemic, major
newspapers were chock-full of medical
and scientific information. What is this
virus? How do we defeat it? What tools
do we need? The volume of information
was, and still is, enormous. Creating
the glossary was my way to get a grip
on this information and prepare for the
translation work that was sure to come
my way. I decided not to keep this as my
own personal asset (we translators tend
to be pretty protective of our glossaries
under normal circumstances). Instead,
I've made the glossary available for free to
anyone who might need it.
www.atanet.org

Figure 1: An example of several initial rows of the published glossary

THE GLOSSARY AT A GLANCE

CHOOSING MY SOURCES

At the time of this writing, the glossary
contains a collection of over 600 terms
posted on my blog.1 I first posted 100
terms, which tripled and then doubled in
size with subsequent updates. The blog
posts contain a table with the English
and Czech terms (see Figure 1 above)
and downloadable .pdf and .tbx files that
facilitate using the glossary according
to the user's needs (such as importing
it into a computer-assisted translation
[CAT] tool).
I have great respect and admiration
for the work professionally trained
terminologists do and feel compelled at
this point to explain that my collection of
terms is not a proper terminology database
but rather what I call a glossary of the
"translator's friend" variety. It's merely a
well-researched list of language equivalents
in current use to serve as a starting point
for terminological research based on the
context of the actual source text.

My primary starting point is the Czech
and English newspapers I read daily. I
read the majority of articles related to
COVID-19 and follow the links provided
or research terms that catch my eye. This
often leads to hours of terminological fun!
I also read recommendations/guidelines
published by major international and
national health care organizations (in
English, I tend to limit myself to sources
from the U.S., U.K., and European Union).
I also monitor legislative documents
from the European Union. The major
advantage of these documents for
terminology research is that they are
bilingual, which greatly accelerates term
acquisition. I systematically look for all
COVID-19 related legislation published
at EUR-Lex2, download the English and
Czech versions, and do terminology
research over these documents.
In addition, I find it important to listen
to podcasts and TV/radio interviews. One
of the emphases for me was to capture
the language as it's actually used by
American Translators Association

35


http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020

Contents
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - Cover1
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 2
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - Contents
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 4
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 5
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 6
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 7
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 8
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 9
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 10
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 11
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 12
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 13
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 14
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 15
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 16
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 17
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 18
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 19
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 20
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 21
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 22
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 23
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 24
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 25
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 26
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 27
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 28
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 29
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 30
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 31
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 32
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 33
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 34
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 35
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 36
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 37
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 38
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 39
The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com