Friday, April 07, 2006


Son of Eurodicautom

IATE - Interactive Terminology for Europe - is the new(ish) EU terminological database, replacing Eurodicautom. I'm not sure to what extent the translation community is still up in arms about this, but I recall great outcry some years ago when word went around that a charge was to be introduced for using Eurodicautom. The international translators federation FIT went so far as to publish a petition which it asked translators to sign and send to their MEPs.

Now, freelance interpreters who do work for the European Commission are being offered free access to IATE. On condition, however, that they promise to use it only for EU work.

This idea of being required to use a database only for a particular purpose may have its absurd side but it is not without precedent. When I first worked for the European Court of Justice as a freelance translator, the EU law reports and legislation were not yet available online to the general public. So I was (eventually) given a password for CELEX, the subscription database, but only on condition that I would use it exclusively for ECJ work. "What about Commission work?", I asked. That seemed to be a grey area.

As regards IATE for interpreters, my expectation is that most interpreter colleagues will be consulting the database so infrequently they'll soon have forgotten their usernames and passwords. The exceptions will be those doubling as translators, who are sure to be more retentive.

I've asked the people of IATE for a password, but they haven't reacted at all.
I read on the site that they plan to open it for the public as of January 1, 2007.
Maybe that's why...
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As I understand it, access is restricted to EU staff at the moment. AICs (freelance interpreters) are technically staff, albeit of a highly temporary kind.

I wonder if there's still going to be a charge for external users
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