Theme 3: The Terminologist in Profile

The activities carried out by the terminologist today are many and varied, requiring so much knowledge and various skills that one may well ask if one or more profiles for the terminologist are in existence (see the documents issued by RaDT and OTTIAQ).

Depending on the country, the profession of terminologist veers towards that of informatician, whether as documentalist or even that of translator. However, the job offers mentioning the word ‘terminologist’ are not as rare as heretofore, which prompts questions on the terminologist’s professional life and real working conditions: what is the ideal place and level which the post of terminologist ought to occupy in an organisation chart, and what level of power and salary should this position be matched with? These are questions which have as yet been but rarely touched upon and which we would like to debate.

In other respects, can one still reasonably claim to train professionals skilled for all contexts and mastering all these potential aspects of terminological activity? Where does the terminologist’s training and activities stop? What are the distinctions and convergences between all the training courses in documentation, communication, linguistics, informatics and terminology?

Do we want a strong and therefore monolithic identity, or a more fluid image although perhaps more difficult to defend? If the terminologist also deals with informatics, can the informatician also do terminology work? Can terminology be introduced everywhere because it involves only a technique and not a profession?

The point of departure for this session resides in the examination of existing documents describing the profile of the terminologist, and especially in the study of their context and their provisions.


  • What profiles are at our disposal? Are they sufficient? Distribution?
  • Which new skills are desirable? Should they be included in training courses and in which form?
  • How is the terminologist recruited?
  • What is the professional status of the terminologist?





LSP 2017 21st Symposium on Language for Specific Purposes 
28-30 June 2017



25-27 October