TecCOM - Profession of Technical Communication

Communication and culture


It is essential that technical writers are acquainted with these, otherwise their documents would be not understandable. This subject helps to establish, organize and categorize the vocabulary within technical documentation.

Technical writers need to understand not only technical processes but also their denomination. Terms must be selected and used in accordance with the respective processes and the domain. Terminology is domain-specific and establishes rules between the technical writer on the one hand and the audience on the other hand, so that in the end the text can be understood by the latter.

The subject provides an overview of the basics of terminology, having tight links with lexicology, lexicography, semantics. Translation and the use of terminology tools in translation are other main issues of this subject.

Terminology Theory
  • Know models to explain the basic concepts and the relations between object, concept and term
  • Understand phenomena such as synonymy, ambiguity, equivalence
  • Know different types of definitions
  • Know different types of concept relations and concept systems
Terminology Principles
  • Understand the mechanisms for term formation
  • Know the criteria for evaluating terms (e.g. for selecting the preferred term in prescriptive terminology work)
  • Write good definitions
Terminology Process and Workflow
  • Know how terminology work and management are organised in a company
  • Organise processes for terminology work
  • Set up terminology workflow processes
  • Know about terminology guidelines and terminology circles
  • Know approaches for quality assurance for terminology

see also content development

Legal Aspects of Terminology
  • Know the copyright issues in terminology work
  • Know the copyright and usage rights issues for terminological data


see also legal requirements and standards

Field-specific Terminology
  • Know appropriate terms used in a field (e.g. the field of computer science as opposed to the field of mechanical engineering)
  • Understand the importance of terminology work to prevent domain loss in native languages


Terminology Search
  • Understand the importance of terminology retrieval
  • Know types of terminology resources and how to use them for terminology work
  • Use the internet for terminology search


Terminology Management in Companies
  • Know about stakeholders and target groups for terminology management
  • Understand classic terminology problems in companies and the reasons for it
  • Understand terminology problems in technical documents and translations
  • Understand terminology planning as part of the corporate language
  • Know about economics of terminology management, return on investment (ROI)
  • Calculate cost and benefit of terminology work


see also corporate management principles

Terminology Management Systems (Terminology Database)
  • Understand the basic principles of computer-based terminology management
  • Know about data categories and modelling of entries  (e.g. concept orientation and term autonomy)
  • Design a multilingual terminology datebase
  • Implement user profiles and access rights
  • Import and export data; know standards for terminology interchange


Terminology Tools
  • Know the market for terminology management systems
  • Use tools for terminology extraction
  • Use tools for terminology control