[IUFRO] IUFRO Working Unit 6.03.02 "Trends in forest terminology" WSL


Do I have to be a IUFRO member to participate in IUFRO Working Unit?

IUFRO Working Units are increasingly acting as focal points of interdisciplinary research. Our Working Unit's activities will be open to IUFRO members as well as to non-member professionals in forestry and other disciplines mentioned above, in particular terminologists and translators.

Does Working Unit 6.03.02 restrict its terminological activities to English?

The working language is English but input in or about other languages is welcome.
How can I contribute to the Terminological Watch?Simply by alerting us by e-mail about any new terminological "phenomenon" you may encounter, even those that may not seem very important:
  • new terms referring to old concepts: this may hint to a shift in the concept definition (e.g. "forest dieback" and "forest decline")
  • new concepts referred to by a variety of new terms, sometimes leading to terminological confusion
  • new emerging terms rapidly spreading but not "acknowledged" yet, etc.

How will these new terms and/or concepts be processed?

If relevant, a new discussion group may be set up, with or without collaboration of a professional terminologist. In all cases, your contribution will also be forwarded to SilvaVoc and examined for inclusion in the forestry terminological database.

If I join the Directory of Experts, what type of question may I have to answer?

Typical questions may be:
  • "What is the name of the zone between bare sand desert and savannah?"
  • "What is the difference between wood decomposition and wood decay?"
  • "What is the difference between scarification and mechanical site preparation?"
  • "How should I translate needle retention in French?"

How will the users of the Directory of Experts get in touch with me?

Users will identify you via an online database searchable by fields of expertise, language, country and name of experts.
Questions and answers may be exchanged via any means of communication but whenever possible, we urge both users and experts to give priority to electronic mail in order to facilitate further processing (see below).

Will anybody else benefit from my input?

Users and/or experts are encouraged to forward their questions and answers in original or digested version via e-mail or by fax to WU 6.03.02's coordinators. There they will be scanned in order to:
  • search for recurrent or emerging concepts that could be discussed within thematic discussion groups or handed to IUFRO's terminology project SilvaVoc;
  • select items to be posted in online archives on WU 6.03.02's home page.

What is SilvaVoc?

SilvaVoc (silva=forest; voc=vocabulary) is IUFRO's clearinghouse for multilingual forest terminology. Since February 1995 located at the IUFRO Secretariat in Vienna, SylvaVoc comprises a library of forest terminologies and glossaries, a forestry term database and relevant information.
WU 6.03.02 and SilvaVoc understand each other as mutual, beneficial and complementary. They closely collaborate on terminological issues, cooperate with respect to all questions that arise in forest terminology and exchange experience and information on experts and documentation material. Persons active in a SylvaVoc project may serve as well as source persons for the Hotline and vice versa. On common agreement, results from discussions, comments and requests on terms will be entered in the SylvaVoc term database.
Find out more about SilvaVoc's activities.

Where do the thematic discussion groups meet?

The thematic discussion groups operate via Internet as moderated mailing lists. The lifespan of these mailing lists is determined by the moderator but should remain short (less than 6 months).

What is the general terminological guideline of these mailing lists?The discussions are based on descriptive rather than prescriptive principles, i.e. they do not necessarily aim at recommending definitions but rather at pointing out geographical and cultural differences in term uses.
In a discussion on "old-growth forest" for example, beside defining the concept, it may be relevant to point out that this term is not used in all continents, and hence to identify alternative terms (e.g., "primary forest", "ancient forest", "virgin forest") which in turn may need defining.
On the other hand, a discussion on e.g. "eco-certification" may rather focus on defining the concept and suggesting a standard terminology.

What benefit will the international community get from this all?

The recommendations of the thematic discussion groups are all the more valid and useful to the international community that these groups consist of leading experts in a broad array of fields. They are likely to become standards through repeated citation.
In addition, these recommendations as well as information from the Terminological Watch will be relayed by SilvaVoc.

What personal benefit will I get from this all?

To various degrees, all scientists get involved in terminological activities at some point: reading a paper in an unfamiliar discipline, preparing a lecture, translating an abstract into a foreign language. When dictionaries are helpless, frustration is not far ahead. Joining a group of peers ready to share their expertise will bring more than help in dire terminological straits. It will also show the bright, stimulating and challenging side of terminology.

Back to Working Unit 6.03.02 home page

© 1998-2021 WSL - - Last Update: Thu Oct 26 2017