Making sense of the Tower of Babel
A demonstration project in multilingual equivalency work
This paper describes an international project involving four partner countries — Canada, France, Italy, and the United States. The goal of the project was to produce a multilingual lexicon of terms, definitions, and images relating to a particular group of objects in the field of cultural heritage. Background on the International Terminology Working Group, under whose aegis the project was developed, is given, followed by a discussion of some of the problems and issues encountered, examples from the resulting lexicon, a description of the roles played by the partner institutions and the methodology used, and the lessons learned about how to manage such a complex project, as well as the equivalency work itself.
Keywords: Vocabularies, Thesaurus Construction, Cultural-Heritage Terminology, Religious Objects, Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Multilingual, Canada-France Accord, Language Equivalents, International Terminology Working Group
Published online: 21 January 2011