New IATE widget

IATE widget 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.

WarningHowever, 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.

This entry was posted in Medical, Regulatory, Terminology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to New IATE widget

  1. Hi Emma,
    Thanks for reviewing this new widget for us. Having to define the language pair every time is my main gripe with the IATE website, so it’s a shame the widget doesn’t get round that.
    Have a good week!
    Caroline Lakey

    • Thanks for your comment, Caroline. In the full IATE search window (link above) you should be able to define your languages under “my search preferences”, where they will be stored as a cookie. Maybe you have cleared your cookies recently?

  2. CJNolan says:

    Hi, Emma. Great post, as always. Thanks for the heads-up; saves us time. 🙂
    PTW, I searched your blog for more comments on “IntelliWebSearch” but couldn’t find any. Do you find it easy to use? Does it tell you exactly how to do things (for example, not just “Set it to any key you’d prefer”, but tell you HOW to set it)?
    Cheers, Cinnamon

    • Glad you found the post useful, Cinnamon. IntelliWebSearch is on my list of future posts as it really is a useful application for translators. It comes with lots of pre-set searches and it’s usually quite easy to add websites as a customised setting. The help section gives great step-by-step instructions too. More on this soon…
      *Updated to add this link to my blog post on IntelliWebSearch:

  3. Thank you for your review, Emma, this is definitely very useful! I tried the widget a few times and I agree on the usability drawbacks. Anyway, this widget might be a good first step towards the implementation of new helpful search tools. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
    Have a lovely week

  4. Lucia Colombino says:

    Thanks for this information, Emma. I’ll continue to use the old search function
    Have a great week!

  5. TermCoord says:

    Dear Emma,
    Thank you very much for your interest and your post concerning our widgets and ad- ons. I must admit that we have some restrictions coming from IATE itself, which we are in a process to improve. This requires a wide interinstitutional cooperation and decision making that takes some time.
    We improved the widget following to your feedback. Could you please check it now and tell us if its is better in your opinion?
    With kind regards,
    Rodolfo (heading the TermCoord Unit of the European Parliament)

    • Hi Rodolfo, Thanks very much for the heads-up about the improvements to the widget and the great response to my post. I’ve been trying it out again, and it seems that you can now search for a term without specifying any languages. That makes the search much quicker, although you have to wade through all the language results to spot the one you really want.
      Is that the improvement you’re referring to or have I missed something?

  6. Orologos says:

    Just a small correction to your post: the IATE database is maintained and fed by ALL the main EU institutions, not by the European Parliament alone.

  7. Nelida K. says:

    Emma, thanks for your thoughts. However, I find it useful to have it on my toolbar (though I have yet to find a term I am searching for… :), mostly I come up with zero result), despite having to indicate my pair of languages every time, and also I have installed it on my website, as a useful link for people who visit. Thanks for the tip regarding preferred settings in the full version, I also had overlooked this feature. I will be looking forward to your post on IntelliWebSearch, which I have downloaded ages ago and never got around to adequately set it up, and therefore never use it.

    • You’re right, Nélida, it’s a useful link to have on a translator’s website. I’m glad you’re interested in reading more about IntelliWebSearch – I’ll write a post on it soon, as it seems there’s quite a lot of interest in it!

  8. Pingback: IntelliWebSearch for medical translators | Signs & Symptoms of Translation

  9. Marko says:

    To spare some seconds of your translation time, the IATE widget can be tweaked to pre-select the default source and target language in the two dropdown menus as follows. The procedure is as follows:
    1. Find the IATE Chrome extension ID. In Chrome, open your profile and enter: chrome://extensions/ and note the ID listed under IATE 1.0
    2. Locate the IATE extension installation folder. In Chrome, enter chrome://version/ and note the path listed under “Profile path”. Open the path in Windows Explorer and navigate to Extensions/ID you have found under point 1.
    In my case (I am using several Chrome profiles) the path is: C:\Users\MY_USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 4\Extensions\gmjddhdjacbigcglbjmjnamcmdllfkgp\1.0_0
    3. Find a file named popup.html and create a backup copy in case something goes wrong (copy-paste it with a different name). Then, open it in a text editor of your choice and scroll down to locate the language list for the source language. For example, if you want to change the source language to German, find the line

    <option value=‘‘de’‘ />Deutsch (de)

    and change it to

    <option value=‘‘de’‘ selected=‘‘selected’‘/>Deutsch (de)

    Repeat the same for the target language and, if necessary, for the domain.

    4. Save the file, close Chrome and reopen it. When you select the IATE widget, the languages and/or domain should be preselected for you.

    • Many thanks for your workaround, Marko. I’ll try it out when I have a minute. I thought that the widget could be tweaked, but I’m not IT savvy enough to figure it out myself.
      Thanks again,

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