This is a list of termbsaes (terminology databases) that are publicly available online. I try to provide some information for each of them.
This list is by no means complete. In fact, this list is based on a rather old backup from my previous blog (should have made more backups!) and I think a few reader-contributed termbases were lost. So if you know of freely accessible termbases not listed here, I’d appreciate if you could let me know!
|Microsoft Language Portal||It allows you to search Microsoft’s terminology database and software translation memories (UI translations). You can search these resources but you can’t download them from this site. For a given term, Microsoft’s termbase shows the source term, target term, definition and product. No other data categories are visible. If you have an MSDN Subscription, you can download the software translation memories in CSV format from the MSDN Subscription site. More info here.|
|Sun Globalisation Portal (Sun Gloss)||It allows you to search and download (export) Sun’s terminology. Sun makes public a lot of their data categories in this tool (part of speech, status, product line, and a few others). Not many terms have definitions and it looks like the database mixes terms with UI strings. Note: you have to create an account with Sun. It’s very easy, free and gives you instant access.|
|EuroTermBank||An EU project to provide a centralised terminology resource for new EU member states, however it contains terms in all EU languages. The database covers terms from a wide range of domains. It consolidates a diverse set of terminology resources in its database. You can get more info in this article. The tool allows you to search terms in any EU language and get their translation in another EU language. The tool displays the term, definition and an explanation note. No other data categories are exposed. They also provide a Microsoft Word add-in that allows you to integrate terminology in your documents as you write them! (I blogged about this in the past).|
|InterActive Terminology for Europe (IATE)||This is the EU’s inter-institutional terminology database. Since it deals primarily with terminology produced by EU institutions (European Commission, Parliament, Economic & Social Committee, etc.) the domains it covers include Law, Politics, Economy, Banking, Education, etc. The IATE web portal allows you to search terms in any EU language and get their translation in another EU language. The termbase fields exposed include the source term, target term, domain, definition, reliability (approval status?), date and a couple of IDs called Term Ref. and Definition Ref.|
|ISO Concept Database (ISO CDB)||A highly anticipated termbase that was only released to the public in October, the ISO CDB provides terminology from all of its standards. Since ISO’s standards cover practically every aspect of human endeavour, you can expect that the ISO CDB’s domain coverage will be pretty comprehensive. The database seems to be monolingual only (English) and it exposes some basic fields: term, definition, part of speech and a note, along with other more ISO-specific fields: title, reference (standard the term belongs to), edition, entry no., etc. Some terms might be accompanied by a graphic symbol. I have not seen a facility to export data.|
|wordnik||Strictly speaking this is not a termbase. It is some sort of dictionary that shows as much information as possible for every word in English. I think this could be useful for terminology research. It also has an API which is giving me a few interesting ideas.|
|WebTerm||This is “the collection of terminology databases based on diploma theses written at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences”. It covers many diverse domains. The database seems to be divided in glossaries and it looks like you can’t search across glossaries. Anyway, the glossaries are organised by domain so you might not need to search across glossaries. Most glossaries are in German and English only, although I found glossaries that also supported French and Spanish. The database exposes term, definition and context. The interesting bit is that definition and context fields can also link to other terms, which is a handy and original feature in a termbase.|
|Terminology Management Software||A collection of different glossaries for many domains/industries. Available languages vary from glossary to glossary.|
|TAUS Search||This is not really a termbase, but rather a translation memory search portal. It searches translation memory software strings from many companies including Microsoft, EMC, Dell, eBay, Sun and others. I think the idea is that these translation memories are used as training data for Machine Translation and you can review them through TAUS Search and correct them if you spot an error.|
|TERMIUM Plus||The termbase of the Canadian government. It covers a wide range of domains and is available in English, French and Spanish. It exposes the terms in the three languages as well as definitions, context and observations in the same three languages.|
|National Terminology Database for Irish||A very comprehensive bilingual termbase for English and Irish developed and maintained by Fiontar in Dublin City University. Thanks to Michal Boleslav Měchura who suggested this termbase!|
I would like to thank Licia Corbolante for suggesting some of the termbases that appear listed here.