A Glossary of Olive Oil Taste Testing (Spanish-English And English-Spanish) Terminology translation jobs
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A Glossary of Olive Oil Taste Testing (Spanish-English And English-Spanish)

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* This paper is a result of the author’s supervised research study, entitled “The Terminology of Olive Oil Taste Testing: A Bilingual (Spanish-English and English-Spanish) Glossary,” directed and supervised by Dr. Beatriz M éndez-Cendón.


Soledad Sta. Maria photoThere is a considerable number of studies related to languages for specific purposes (LSP); however, there is dearth of studies focused on the terminology of olive oil tasting. Hence, in this study, the intention was to create a bilingual (English and Spanish) glossary of olive oil tasting in order to help those interested parties, especially translators and interpreters, by providing them with a tool for them to realize their objectives. Some problems and difficulties encountered during the process of translation had been also mentioned because its identification and subsequent solutions might help others. These problems can be grammatical or semantic inequivalence, primarily due to a number of non-equivalent terms in the target language (TL) and source language (SL), and cultural issues such as terms that have no equivalent in either in SL or TL, among others.


Language for Specific Purposes, Olive Oil Tasting, Problems and Solutions in Translating Specialized Terms, Bilingual Glossary, Terminology


This is a glossary for a special purpose and meant to meet the needs of experts, semi-experts, students, and any interested individual who needs a tool for speaking or writing, using terminology related to the field of olive oil taste testing. The bilingual glossary has been complied because Translation, being an applied science, is dedicated to solving practical problems—problems that are seen by society as being important—the key word is for. As Chesterman (2000c) said, “Translation studies are for society, for translators and for international communicators.”

Translation, being an applied science, is dedicated to solving practical problems.
In the creation of our corpus, the size and the representativeness (Clear 1992, Kennedy 1998, Pearson 1998, Tognini-Bonelli 2001) were taken into account. The corpus (in English and Spanish) was collated between the months of June and July 2010. Various glossaries, dictionaries and published materials on olive oil tasting in existence were searched on the Internet by applying two types of searches as proposed by Austermühl (2001: 52): institutional and keyword searches and by using search engines like Google and Yahoo. The following criteria were also considered to identify the terms in the corpus: the probability of comparisons and the frequency of occurrence of the term in the corpus (Méndez Cendón 2009). In order to facilitate the management of the co-occurrence of key terms, a concordance program called WordSmith Tools was used. It is a user-friendly software package that allows the generation of concordance and list of the words of a corpus by frequency of occurrence.

At the time of corpus creation, there were limited websites available and thus, olive oil taste testing terms were extracted from as many web pages (in both languages) found, and were chosen because they had similarities in terms and/or the dates of publication/creation (although not all websites indicated the date of publication). Due to constraints of available websites, time, as well as to meet the goal to have an authentic corpus (Laviosa 1998) with equal representation in both English and Spanish, in the end the texts from 24 websites (12 in Spanish and 12 in English) were chosen. The sources of the corpus can be seen in the bibliography but unfortunately, at this moment, some of them are no longer available on-line.

After going through the data collection, information and format conversion phases, during the glossary creation, the frequency of occurrence of the terms in English and Spanish corpuses were verified. There were 578 terms from the English corpus and 231 terms from the Spanish corpus. After looking at several term candidates, 92 terms in Spanish and 71 terms in English were included in the final specialized bilingual glossary. In addition, out of the combined 163 terms from both the Spanish and English corpuses, it was observed there were apparently 27 Spanish terms that coincide with the English terms. This means that it was necessary to look for the equivalence and/or translate 65 Spanish terms and 46 English terms or a total of 111 terms before defining them. In the end, there is a total of 254 terms in this glossary, where 133 of them are Spanish terms and 121 are English terms (see below for the list and the glossary with definitions in Spanish-English and English-Spanish, the terms that appear in italic refer to the undesirable traits and terms that appear in bold refer to the desirable traits of olive oil).

Some terms were not included in the final list because there are those that have two or more unrelated meanings (such as the term “sweet”, it was counted as one term although it has three entries) and those that have plural forms (for example, “green leaf” and “green leaves” were counted as one term but with separate entries in the glossary). Moreover, some general or scientific terms were also included because they appeared more than thrice and their definitions were also included in the corpus. Examples of these terms werecapacho, agrio, sweet, ácido oleico, polyunsaturated fatty acids, among others. The works of Ilson (1986b:F3), Hanks (1987 in Sinclair 1987b: 116-136), Sinclair (1987a: xvi), and Pearson (1998:88), as well as ISO 1087 (1990) recommendation about formulating definitions were taken into account to formulate the definition of terms.

As expected, some difficulties and problems were encountered during the creation of the specialized glossary and they could be classified as follows: inequivalence of terms which could either be semantic (existence of one term in the SL, which has two or more equivalent terms in the TL or vice versa, or need for explanation in the TL), or grammatical problems due to cultural issues (which could either be terms that don’t originate in the SL, terms in the TL that are not from English or Spanish, or terms that have no equivalents in the TL) and inequivalence of concepts.

To solve these issues, ample researchwas performed and documentation was prepared, and important decisions were made. For example, to address the issue of semantic inequivalence of terms, the Spanish term was used in English for the second meaning expressed by the entry term. At times, two or three entries appeared in the glossary or, when both terms exist but they do not share the same concept, different terms were chosen as equivalent. If one term exists in the SL but two or more in the TL or vice versa, those terms are treated as synonyms. If there are two terms that are grammatically inequivalent but they share the same meaning, they were entered as equivalent in the glossary. To solve problems due to cultural issues, reference was made to other languages (such as Italian, French, and Latin), and sometimes the term was used as is, without any translation but giving a definition in English or in Spanish or from previous editions of English or Spanish Dictionaries. As for the existence of concept inequivalence for either the Spanish or English term or both, that is, for terms that exist in the corpus but they have different meanings, it was decided to have two entries of the same term in the glossary. Furthermore, there are terms in the glossary that were not translated into the target language; these were Spanish terms that made reference to the different olive varieties such as arbequina, cornicabra, empeltre, farga, hojiblanca, lechín, picual, and picudo. Additionally, some general or scientific terms were included in this specialized glossary because they appeared more than three times and their definitions were also in the corpus. Examples of these terms are capacho, agrio, sweeet, ácido oleico, polyunsaturated fatty acids, among others.

It was observed that more difficulties were encountered in looking for equivalent terms from Spanish to English than from English to Spanish. The focus was to look for terminological adequacy - “attempts to preserve the appropriate stylistic resources of the target language (Abdulla 1994:70).” In most cases, during the process of translation of terms, the translation process suggested by Fernandez Nistal (2009) was followed. That is, attempts were done “to establish the equivalence between the source language texts and target language texts (Sa’edi 2004:242).”

It is recommended that in the future, this static glossary be converted into an “open” and “dynamic” corpus and that it be converted into an electronic online glossary with all its formal properties because the interest in olive oil taste testing continues to grow and it needs to be updated constantly. It is proposed that the glossary also include phraseology and be available in other languages like French, Italian and Chinese because France and Italy are deeply involved in the production and marketing of olive oil, while the Chinese economy is gaining importance in the global market.

Spanish-English Glossary of Olive Oil Taste Testing

English-Spanish Glossary of Olive Oil Taste Testing


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Published - November 2013

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