The Panel’s members represented key policy makers and funders of the field in Wales along with other associate members. Relevant officials from Welsh Government were also invited to provide information about current projects and provide evidence of the provisions and terminological needs of the Government’s Translation Service.
The panel met four times during 2013–14 to discuss research papers and to share their experience of commissioning and funding in these fields over the years. A delegation of the panel also held a fact-finding meeting with the major practitioners of the field.
The panel came to several key conclusions about the current activity in this field. Here is a brief summary of them:
- The work already carried out, and the work in progress in this field and in related fields is substantial.
- However, the funding arrangements for the field are often disjointed and short-lived and the lack of financial stability has implications for the quality of work produced, continuity of terminological work, fostering language skills etc.
- There has been insufficient strategic planning and coordination of efforts in the field to date and consequently there has been significant duplication of effort and expenditure.
- There are multiple sources of terminology and vocabulary at present. This is confusing to the user, especially since those sources often provide conflicting recommendations.
- The relationship between these sources is also unclear and this can be confusing for users looking for authoritative answers.
- This field is one that is constantly evolving and one that requires constant and strategic investment to meet the demand.
- There is a need to establish a procedure for the future that will take full advantage of the work already carried out in the field and bring the strengths and expertise of current practitioners together.
The panel also wished to stress that it is essential that terminology and lexicography work is not seen as a discipline on the fringes of the language planning agenda. There is a direct relationship between efforts in this field and the health and viability of the language.
These conclusions were shared with the Welsh Government. The Commissioner will continue to draw attention to them during the Fifth Assembly.