United Nations terminologists keep abreast of terminology developments in their assigned language in the fields of activity of United Nations bodies. They produce up-to-date standardized terminology for use in the United Nations, carry out linguistic research and prepare electronic terminology records on specialized topics of interest to the United Nations.
Terminologists systematically sift through United Nations documents and other reliable sources for new terms, which they research and enter into the multilingual database UNTERM. Terminologists are responsible for the relevance and accuracy of such data. They have to verify database entries against authoritative sources and consult with in-house specialists from substantive departments, language professionals and outside technical experts, as well as specialized websites. Normally, terminology work includes the following steps: identifying the documentation relevant to the topic, researching the concepts, extracting terms, crafting definitions and preparing the other background information provided in UNTERM terminology records. Similar procedures are followed in order to update existing entries. Terminologists have to take care to make their texts politically neutral. They must identify and extract substantive information only, shedding self-serving statements, ephemeral or marginal data, and political bias.
Usually source information is provided for each term and its synonyms, as well as for every element contributing to the record. This helps terminologists and their colleagues in the other language services to do further research and evaluate the reliability of the record’s elements.
Whether creating an entry in a multilingual terminology database or providing other translation-support services, such as referencing, terminologists create hypertext links to the texts of major documents, if possible in all six languages, when these are available on the Internet at reputable and durable websites. References to any official United Nations document that first triggered the creation of a record in the terminology database, for example, include the symbol of the document, as well as the link to the electronic version whenever it is available in the Official Document System (ODS).
Terminologists are typically assisted by and supervise the work of terminology assistants who do much of the basic term extraction, research and hyper-linking.
United Nations terminologists must:
The requirement of a third language may be waived in the case of candidates who possess relevant expertise.