As part of our series on terminology research tools, today we would like to highlight the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Catalan Centre for Terminology (TERMCAT) as two constructive resources that can help you in your search for accurate and comprehensive terminology. 

British National Corpus (BNC) 

The British National Corpus (BNC) is a comprehensive collection of spoken and written British English. It is a valuable resource for linguists and language researchers interested in the development, regional variation and use of British English. Initiated in the late 1980s, the BNC project was a collaborative effort between universities and institutions in the UK. It began in earnest in 1991 and was completed in 1994. It has since been revised to improve its scope and quality. The corpus includes literature, academic discourse, newspapers, magazines and even spoken conversation. The texts have been carefully selected to represent a range of English registers, dialects and styles. The BNC contains over 100 million words, making it one of the largest and most diverse language corpora in the world. This facilitates in-depth studies of the use of English in different periods, genres and social settings. A comprehensive representation of the English language is achieved through the equal inclusion of different text registers and formats, including formal written prose and colloquial spoken language. 

What makes the BNC different from other terminology research tools? 

The British National Corpus (BNC) is an immensely flexible resource with a wide range of applications in many industries. It is an essential tool in linguistics for the study of language evolution, syntax, semantics and other linguistic phenomena. The BNC is a reliable source of real language samples that teachers can use for curriculum development and successful language teaching. Lexicographers use the BNC to build dictionaries and thesauri with the highest level of confidence. Without question, the BNC is an invaluable tool for Natural Language Processing (NLP) training and evaluation of NLP models and algorithms. In sociolinguistics, it also facilitates the study of regional dialects, sociolinguistic patterns and linguistic variants. 

The BNC was formerly a paid resource, but libraries and other institutions around the world have made it available free of charge to researchers and students. The corpus can be viewed through a number of easy-to-use interfaces and tools designed specifically for searching and analysing texts. 

Today, the British National Corpus is a valuable resource for the study of English in all its forms and contexts. It has been instrumental in the development of linguistic research, language teaching and natural language processing, and has contributed significantly to our understanding of the English language. 

Catalan Terminology Centre (TERMCAT) 

TERMCAT, also known as the Catalan Centre for Terminology (Centre de terminologia de la llengua catalana), is a well-known organisation that works to improve and standardise the Catalan language. It has been in existence since 1985 and its main objective is to study, define and disseminate terminology in many different fields. TERMCAT’s hard work has helped to protect and promote the Catalan language and culture in many academic, professional and artistic fields, not only in Catalonia (Spain), but also in other places where Catalan is spoken. 

What are the main objectives of TERMCAT? 

  • TERMCAT’s main mission is to develop and maintain terminology databases covering a wide range of fields such as science, technology, culture and the arts. These resources are essential to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the Catalan language in different fields. 
  • In addition, TERMCAT plays an important role in the standardisation of Catalan terminology by collaborating with experts and institutions in different fields. This partnership contributes to the development of standardised terminology that meets the constantly evolving needs of Catalan speakers. 
  • TERMCAT also carries out extensive research to identify new terms and document existing ones, ensuring that the Catalan language keeps pace with developments in science, technology and society. The research carried out by TERMCAT contributes to the creation of specialised dictionaries and glossaries. 
  • In addition to its research and development efforts, TERMCAT actively promotes the use of Catalan terminology in academic, professional and public contexts. This includes educational initiatives, workshops and publications to raise awareness of the importance of correct terminology use. 
  • TERMCAT collaborates with other terminology centres and linguistic institutions worldwide to ensure that Catalan terminology is in line with international standards and practices. 
  • TERMCAT provides access to its extensive terminology resources through its website, making it a valuable tool for translators, writers, educators and anyone interested in preserving the linguistic richness of Catalan. 
  • In addition, TERMCAT offers consultancy services to organisations and individuals who need help with the development and standardisation of terminology in specific fields. 

 TERMCAT’s work is of paramount importance in preserving Catalonia’s linguistic heritage and promoting the sustainability of the Catalan language in a rapidly evolving global context. TERMCAT enhances the language’s ability to adapt and remain relevant in many professional and academic contexts through its ongoing efforts to update and expand its terminological resources. It also fosters a sense of individual and collective identity and cultural pride among the Catalan-speaking community, thereby strengthening the language’s position in a wider international context.