Is there company terminology
Thread poster: Lyussie (X)

Lyussie (X)
Bulgaria
English to Bulgarian
Jul 14, 2012

I have a general question - can the company I work in claim that I have published their terminology in proz.com glossary? Is there a "company terminology" at all? Can terms be of someone's property?

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 14, 2012

Why not? That doesn't mean it is "official", just that this company have decided that X is the term they want to use and not Y. It happens a lot in Finance, for example.
For example, in Spanish, "albarán" is used to mean packing slip/delivery note/despatch advice... etc but one company I work for only accepts "despatch advice" in written form, although in conversation it is a "joker" word that is used for several documents.

NB: Sorry, I seem to have misunderstood the query. If the company is trying to say that you have somehow breached confidentiality by posting a vocabulary item, I doubt that this can be the case, unless they have the term registered or patented somewhere. Need more info.

[Edited at 2012-07-14 16:47 GMT]

Is it possible that they are looking for an excuse not to pay you for work done?

[Edited at 2012-07-14 16:48 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:21
English to German
+ ...
Property - maybe not in a legal sense. Jul 14, 2012

However, companies may have put a lot of effort into developing their own lingo to distinguish themselves from their competition. It is part of their corporate identity. And they can be very picky about that and do not wish their unique tech lingo/preferred phrasing to be watered down or to show up in any texts from their competitors.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 21:21
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not in glossary Jul 14, 2012

If it's very specific company terminology it would not be helpful to other translators and should not be placed in the glossary - others might think that this is the official term.

 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:21
German to English
+ ...
Do you mean a term list? Jul 14, 2012

If the company has given you a term list they have compiled, then no, you can't simply enter their entire term list into the KudoZ glossary. That is a resource that the client has spent their time and money developing

Single terms? It depends on the situation. As I recall, one translator here posted once about a situation where she saw a translator ask a KudoZ question about a very specific product and was then able to inform her employer that a competitor was going to launch that product, giving her employer some valuable intelligence. As much as I understand the need to provide context, I make all of my queries anonymous (i.e., by writing Company X, etc.) to avoid revealing too much information about the work I am doing. Some questions I don't ask here at all. It's definitely a concern for financial translators and their clients.


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:21
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Almost anything can be a company's property Jul 14, 2012

Lyussie wrote:

I have a general question - can the company I work in claim that I have published their terminology in proz.com glossary? Is there a "company terminology" at all? Can terms be of someone's property?


When you state that you work in the company I take it that you don't work for them as a freelancer and that there is a contract of employment between you and the company. Employers have lots of rights they couldn't enforce on freelancers.

Regards,
Gerard


 

Lyussie (X)
Bulgaria
English to Bulgarian
TOPIC STARTER
I agree in disagreement Jul 15, 2012

That is correct - I work for the company under a contract, however the company does not have "branded" or patented terminology so that I can differentiate which term is company term or not. Anyway, I just deleted my glossaries, which were helpful not only for myself... It's amazing how words can be of somebody's possession...

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not if all those terms are in the public domain Jul 15, 2012

Lyussie wrote:
Can the company I work in claim that I have published their terminology in ProZ.com glossary? Is there a "company terminology" at all? Can terms be of someone's property?


If the company had provided you with a glossary, then that glossary belongs to the client, and you can't share it with anyone.

If you created a glossary while translating something for the client, and all of the terms in that glossary exist in texts elsewhere (i.e. on the internet, in files by other companies, etc), then that glossary is yours and you can share it or even publish it and sell it.

As for terms that "is someone's property", I think that if the information is not private (i.e. it is public, it is known or used elsewhere), then you may include it in a terminology list even if the terms are "owned" by them. After all, you can include trade names in a glossary, and trade names belong to the companies that own them.


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:21
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Property rights Jul 15, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

If the company had provided you with a glossary, then that glossary belongs to the client, and you can't share it with anyone.

If you created a glossary while translating something for the client, and all of the terms in that glossary exist in texts elsewhere (i.e. on the internet, in files by other companies, etc), then that glossary is yours and you can share it or even publish it and sell it.


I believe a key issue here is the the right to the compilation of terms rather than to terms themselves. A paper dictionary may contain only terms (or term pairs) which are commonly known, still you cannot copy and distribute it or violate the copyright in other ways.


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:21
German to English
+ ...
I agree with Jabberwock Jul 15, 2012

Compilation of terms is what I was getting at in my first point above. My second point is more about confidentiality and what you can find out from terms, rather than someone "owning" a specific term.

 


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