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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Terminology and Reference Section

The mandate of the Terminology and Reference Section is to facilitate the editing and translation processes by doing thorough research into each document submitted in order to verify if any part of it may have existed, in any form, in a previously translated United Nations document or publication.  That work not only helps to ensure high-quality editing and translation and consistency of language among United Nations documents, it also saves valuable time for all staff who are the beneficiaries of the Section’s efforts.

For that purpose, the Terminology Team of the Section, which is composed of one terminologist per official language and two assistants, maintains a six-language terminology database called UNTERM.  That database is accessible to all staff on both the United Nations internal website (Intranet) and the Internet.  The Team is also available to answer questions by phone and by e-mail regarding United Nations terminology and usage.

The Reference Team, which is about 25 persons strong, is in charge of identifying relevant documents and information by searching past United Nations documents in the Official Document System ODS, specialized departmental databases, the websites of United Nations specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations as well as various terminology databases.  The result of that research is a six-language reference package called an “e-folder” that is then delivered electronically to the translation services.  The Team also provides referencing services to various users in the Department on demand and prepares translation memories for staff who deal with documents submitted for processing.

With its thorough knowledge of United Nations documentation past and present, the Section plays a crucial role in the Division’s document production chain.


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Last Update: 23 May 2011 / Ann GETZINGER