Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Specialized translation (cod. 9174)

Learning outcomes

The student understands the theoretical and methodological foundations of terminology, and how they relate to terminology management practices; s/he is able to use effectively the main tools for terminology extraction, systematisation and validation; s/he is able to devise, manage, carry out and evaluate complex terminography projects, involving several professionals and a variety of skills and competences, in a way that is consistent with professional ethics; s/he is able to acquire higher-level knowledge and competences in the areas of terminology/terminography independently, and to apply them to novel fields.

Course contents

The course aims to provide the knowledge and tools for the retrieval, systematization and recording of terminological information belonging to technical-scientific domains. These activities are discussed as part of translation processes and as independent practices.

As concerns theoretical aspects, the course will illustrate the developments in terminology as a discipline, from prescriptive to descriptive terminology, up to the most recent cognitive approaches. Particular attention will be devoted to the themes that lie at the centre of terminography practices, including the notion of specialized domain, conceptual relationships and their representation, definition types, synonymy and term formation processes.

As concerns applied aspects, the course will cover the main methods and IT tools necessary to carry out a complete terminology management workflow:

  • identifying and delimiting a specialized domain;
  • retrieving reference materials for the domain and creating textual corpora, both through manual and semi-automatic techniques;
  • identifying terms and their variants in annotated and non-annotated corpora (concordances, collocations, frequency lists and keyword lists, search strategies based on POS-tagging);
  • systematizing terminology in conceptual maps (trees and networks);
  • retrieving and recording terminological information, including definitions and contexts of use, in terminological databases, to be produced in various formats (e.g. SDL MultiTerm-compatible formats).


  • Bowker, Lynne (2022) "Multidimensionality". In Pamela Faber and Marie-Claude L'Homme (eds.) Theoretical Perspectives on Terminology. Explaining terms, concepts and specialized knowledge, 127–128. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Cabré, M. Teresa (1999) Terminology: Theory, Methods and Applications, translated by De Cesaris, Janet Ann. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Faber, Pamela and Marie-Claude L'Homme (eds.) (2022) Theoretical Perspectives on Terminology. Explaining terms, concepts and specialized knowledge. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Faber, Pamela (2009) “The cognitive shift in terminology and specialized translation”. MonTI. Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación No. 1(2009): 107–134.
  • Freixa, Judith (2006) “Causes of denominative variation in terminology. A typology proposal”. Terminology 12(1): 51–77.
  • Sager, Juan C. (1998-99) “In search of a foundation: Towards a theory of the term”. Terminology 5(1): 41–57.
  • Wüster, Eugen (2003) “Historical Readings in Terminology: The Wording of the World: presented graphically and terminologically”, selected and translated by Juan C. Sager. Terminology 9(2): 269–297.

Teaching methods

Lessons are delivered in the form of lectures and workshops, and combine theoretical contents and a strong practical and applied component.

Theoretical contents are delivered through presentations by the lecturer, and their acquisition is tested by means of in-class discussion, as well as in the final examination.

The applied part consists of hands-on practice in the lab and homework exercises. Exercises are discussed during troubleshooting sessions in the following class. Students will be asked to hand in, either individually or in small groups, assignments in preparation for the exam; the lecturer will provide detailed feedback on them. These activities are aimed at constantly monitoring progress in the development of the technological skills that make the object of the course.

Students are expected to attend at least 70% of the module classes.

All students must attend Module 1 and 2 on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

Students will hand in an individual terminography project, and will discuss it during an oral exam, which will also test their knowledge of the theoretical principles presented during the course.

The project, which will have to be handed in via email or Moodle one week before every "appello", consists of: a) a pool of bi- or multi-lingual corpora representative of the specialised domain chosen for terminological investigation; b) a bi- or multi-lingual terminological database and the matching conceptual systems, through which the typical terminology of the domain is systematized; c) a final report on the product of the terminographic process and on the methods that were adopted.

The assessment will focus on two components:

  1. Quality of the project; worth 25 points. Evaluation criteria: relevance and originality in the choice of the domain for terminological inquiry; thoroughness in the sampling of relevant texts for corpus construction; clarity in the systematization of terminology (conceptual systems); formal correctness of the terminological databases.
  2. Knowledge of the theoretical foundations of terminology/terminography presented in class; worth 5 points. Evaluation criteria: relevance of the answer with respect to the question; ability to present the key concepts of the discipline.

For each of these two areas, assessment is based on the following scale:

  • 100% of the score: excellent skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria;
  • 90% of the score: very good skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria;
  • 80% of the score: good skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria;
  • 70% of the score: adequate skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria;
  • 60% of the score: sufficient skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria;
  • <60% of the score: insufficient skills and knowledge with reference to the evaluation criteria.

Teaching tools

Both frontal and workshop-like lectures will be delivered in a computer lab equipped with a PC and an overhead projector.

Frontal lectures will provide the necessary theoretical and methodological foundations of the discipline. These lectures will be followed by lessons in the form of workshops, during which substantial time will be devoted to practical hands-on exercises, focusing on the main software applications used in the field of information mining, both proprietary and open-source/free. 

Support materials (videos, sample texts, slides, project files, instructions etc.) are made available through the Virtuale e-learning platform.

Office hours

See the website of Adriano Ferraresi


Quality education Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.