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ATANGANA EMMANUELLE MERVEILLES AS14P008

ASSIGMENT OF TERMINOLOGY, TRA 615.


SPECIFICITIES OF THE TERMINOLOGY IN AFRICA

INTRODUCTION:
According to M. Teresa Cabré in “Terminology: theory, methods and application”,
terminology is “a discipline concerned with the study and the compilation of specialised
terms”. That means: terminology deals with naming, classifying terms; establishing relations
between concepts and making differences between them. This definition of terminology as a
science implies that it has principles allowing its activities. By focussing the reflexions on
these principles, can we say that there is an African terminology or what are the specificities
of this science in Africa?

1- THE GENERAL SPECIFICITIES OF TERMINOLOGY

CORPUS/ SOURCES It is a science based on written documents,


on specialised publications and which uses a
textual memory.
SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES Descriptive and analytical approaches
(analyse of the elements in the system).
THEORIES Linguistic, onomasiological (naming
approach: from the idea, the concept to a
term) and ontological (description of
concepts and presentation of the relationship
between them) theories.
TECHNOLOGIES Dictionaries or databank.
PRIORITY Standardisation or normalisation
INSTITUTIONAL RULER International Association of Terminology

Seeing the specificities of the general terminology, we are going now to compare them with
what is effective in Africa in terms of terminology. That means, we are now going to look the
specificities of terminology in Africa.

2- SPECIFICITIES OF TERMINOLOGY IN AFRICA


As far as the African context is concerned, the transmission of knowledge is effective through
the oral mode; Information is transmitted through newspapers. This implies a new way of
considering “new realities”. Terminology in Africa is characterises by:
a- The oral documentation; which lead to a call of the collective oral memory,
b- There is no databank. To uses it, Africa needs to go back to the past; that is
impossible with the oral tradition,
c- The African theory of terminology is the cultural one because of the multiplicity of
languages – cultures.
d- As far as the approach is concerned, terminology in Africa is carried out through a
global vision.
ATANGANA EMMANUELLE MERVEILLES AS14P008
ASSIGMENT OF TERMINOLOGY, TRA 615.
e- The priorities are focussed on people’s traditions and reconceptualization instead of
standardisation or normalisation.
f- The science in Africa needs to revalorise the ancestral knowledge and to locally adapt
the new knowledge.
g- There are any institutional rulers; the action is individual and private.

To conclude the work that was about the specificities of terminology in Africa, we can
say that it is a science which is rising in (in the contrary to the European one).

REFERENCES

- La bouche qui mange parle : langues, développement et interculturalité en Afrique


noire, Anthropologue africain, vol 15, NOS. 1&2, 2008, pp. 21-38.
- Précis de terminologie – Pavel, Canada.
- Terminologie et diversité culturelle, Revue semestrielle, n-21, juin 2000,