As I’m sure you know, IATE (the European Union terminology database) is a great resource for translators of all European languages across a wide range of fields. So when I heard about a new widget that gives more direct and easy access to IATE, it sounded like good news. Click on the image if you want to test the widget yourself.
Following on from my post on Separating the Wheat from the Chaff, I was all ready to give the new IATE widget my green tick for a high quality resource. I ran through my terminology resource checklist:
- Source: Obviously, the source is top quality in this case. The database is fed and maintained by an inter-institutional management group, representing the European Parliament, Council, Commission and other EU institutions.
- Date: The database was created in 2004 and opened to the public in 2008. New terms are added every day.
- References: Each term is backed up with a reference linking to the source.
- Quality: Some 8.5 million terms are maintained and updated by a dedicated team of translators and terminologists. A star system is used to indicate reliability, ranging from “not verified” to “very reliable”.
- Usability: The database itself is easy to use and it has a clear help section. You can bookmark the full IATE search window, or better still, use IntelliWebSearch. The IATE database is actually one of the pre-set search settings in IntelliWebSearch, giving you fast access to terms, directly from any Windows application.
However, in my opinion, the new widget is not good news for translators. I installed the extension for Google Chrome and the problem is that you can’t customise search preferences, which means you have to define the language pair every time you use it. This means that the widget fails in terms of usability and enhanced productivity for translators. I can see that it’s a useful add-on for websites run by institutions, associations and universities, but for professional translators, who count every mouse click and the seconds it takes to define source and target languages, this widget is not the way to go.
So, I’ll give a big green tick to IATE itself, but a warning orange traffic light to the new widget.