COWIterm: Optimering af en elektronisk intranetordbog

Martin Christoffersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Throughout 2008, I have had the challenges – and the pleasure – of developing COWIterm, an electronically based intranet dictionary for the employees of COWI, a Danish engineering consultancy group. However, the development has been within the frames set by COWI with regards to both data presentation and data search. Therefore, my purpose in this thesis is to discuss different theories pertaining to terminology and lexicography as well as existing electronically based intranet dictionaries in order to examine the possibilities within the electronic online media, for the purpose of optimising COWIterm for the intended user groups and functions. The first thing to do when planning a dictionary is to establish the intended user groups, cf Bergenholtz & Tarp (1994). The primary user group, set by COWI, consists of technicians and engineers with Danish as their native language, and the functions relevant comprise production of English texts and translation from Danish to English. Furthermore, I have assumed a secondary user group for whom the same functions apply, consisting of translators and other language employees. A secondary function is production of texts in Danish as well as translation from English to Danish by people not having Danish as a native language, resulting in a tertiary user group consisting also of primarily technicians and engineers; however; this group is more difficult to define, as it could be anyone not having Danish as a native language. I continue with outlining the theory of lexicography (Bergenholtz & Tarp, 1994), and the different word types are described, lemma and equivalent selection are touched upon, and I establish the contents of a microstructure (presentation of data) and how these data can be made searchable (the macrostructure). Afterwards, theories of terminology (Madsen, 1999) are described, including concept systems and the process of making definitions. Next, I incorporate theories on online reference works including the theories of the lexicographic convergence model as well as the lexicographic document template, cf Simonsen (2007) and Burke (1998), and establish that there are almost unlimited possibilities for data presentation and data search methods, including the elements of multimedia (sound, images, videos). In the discussion, I juxtapose the theories of traditional lexicography and terminology with those of electronic lexicography and internet reference works relevant for COWIterm in order to explore the optimum layout for an electronic based intranet dictionary such as COWIterm. I argue inter alia for the implementation of internal subject classifications of COWI's six main business areas, as this will help identifying 1) relevant texts to be included in the corpora; 2) relevant terms in those texts. Furthermore, it would be necessary to include annual reports and contracts as well as other economic and legally binding documents in the corpora, as the secondary user group can be assumed to produce and translate such texts. I base my conclusion on a model, showing the ideal way of constructing an electronically based intranet dictionary such as COWIterm, consisting of a result page in the upper third of the screen, above it only an input field for making a new search as well as the possibility of selecting a subject and a text genre for the new search. In the lower two-thirds of the screen, the information related to the term clicked upon in the result list appears, and space is reserved for different kinds of multimedia in the left hand side of the entire screen.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages52