My Essential Resources: TMclass

TMclass is a formidable resource for looking up terminology related to goods and services.

A database serving those who wish to apply for a trademark and in the process need to provide a classification for the item(s) they seek to protect.

The database is multilingual, fed with input from local trademark offices – it contains data in 34 languages. It is a very large database (close to 65,000 terms) and, at least on the Czech side, seems very consistent and trustworthy.

Any time I need to find out what “straw mulch” or “loft cap” or “cuticle clippers” is called in Czech, I head to TMclass and select the “Translation Tools > Translate term” tab. Searches are quick and intuitive and if there are too many results and one wants to invest the time to learn the Nice classification of goods and services, they can be further focused on certain areas such as clothing and fabrics or agricultural goods.

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Nabob | jumped-up monkey

When Petr Necas, the Czech Prime Minister, stated regarding those who might be interested in getting a vanity license plate (znacka na prani) for their car that it is basically their way of saying “Jsem nabob. Nevim, co s penezi, vykradte mé auto. Asi se to vyplati.”, I was intrigued by the word “nabob” and its possible English equivalents.

In Czech, “nabob” is a person who is too full of himself, ostentatious, empty and prideful. Technically, Akademický slovník cizích slov defines it as a “title of rich Muslim administrators of Indian provinces”. The word might have come to Czech through English as it was a term used in Britain for people who made their fortunes in the colonies (mainly India) only to return to their mother land to flaunt it. According to Wikipedia, nabob is an Anglo-Indian term for an East India Company servant who had become wealthy through corrupt trade and other practices. It also refers to a conspicuously wealthy man who made his fortune in the Orient – especially in the Indian subcontinent.

Although there is some equivalency to the Czech and English terms (mostly in historical contexts), I do not believe modern English would use “nabob” where Mr. Necas did. What might be used in the translation? My ideas (in the order of my preference): a pompous person (or a pompous ass, depending on register) / jumped-up (monkey) / stuffed shirt (a bit stuffy sounding in its own right…).

And the full translation of the Prime Minister’s opinion regarding owners of “kmotrovská znacka” (“a [mafia] godfather’s license plate”)? “I am a pompous person. I have more money than I know what to do with, go ahead and break into my car. It will likely be worth it.”

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My Essential Resources: EDQM Standard Terms

Published by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Health Care, the Standard Terms cover forms, routes of administration and containers used for medicines. The database covers several hundred terms in 31 languages and is available by subscription here.

While there are similar resources available free of charge, such as this document published by the Czech State Institute for Drug Control, they are not necessarily an up-to-date reflection of terminology currently used in the field.

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My Essential Resources: MedDRA

Translating clinical trial documentation (and medical texts in general), I could hardly do without MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities). It is a sizeable (I have not been able to find the exact volume so excuse my being vague here) terminological database containing English and a number of other languages including Czech. The database is accessible by subscription only (a freelance translator will pay $190 if based in the US and get free access if located in the EU – I am on the wrong side of this divide…) and can be used via a desktop browser, web-based browser or by using the ASCII files in other applications.

I am finding the terminology to parallel the WHO ICD-10 disease codes (another hugely important resource) but have not studied that in much detail. Working with the browsers takes a bit getting used to and displaying the terminology in multiple languages side-by-side is somewhat unwieldy; it is much more handy in the browsing mode rather than in the search mode which is essentially monolingual. The feature enabling quick(er) search across languages is “Search by code”: the codes of medical conditions are shared across languages and thus can serve as a unique key for locating the corresponding entry in another language.

Here is a brief description of this terminology resource published straight from the source:

MedDRA – the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities – is a medical terminology used to classify adverse event information associated with the use of biopharmaceuticals and other medical products (e.g., medical devices and vaccines). Coding these data to a standard set of MedDRA terms allows health authorities and the biopharmaceutical industry to more readily exchange and analyze data related to the safe use of medical products.

MedDRA was developed by the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) and is owned by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) acting as trustee for the ICH steering committee.

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Welcome to Czech Language Services

Czech Language Services is a company founded by Tomáš Barendregt, a Czech/English linguist with a wealth of experience in many areas of professional language services, including translation, interpreting, transcreation, subtitling and localization.   More about Tomáš here.

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