The Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism (ISCM) was founded to support the terminological needs that arose when equal status was granted to the German and the Italian language in South Tyrol. At the beginning, the main task of the ISCM consisted in retrieving and developing the German legal terminology that became officially implemented in the Province of Bolzano. This process led to the creation of large amounts of terminological materials in all the three official languages of the province. Researchers of the ISCM collected the terminological data and made it available in several resources and publications, all of which pursue the aim to smooth and to support multilingual communication. The largest collection of legal and administrative terminology in Italian, German and Ladin can be consulted online in bistro, Eurac Research’s Information system for legal terminology. Bistro is regularly updated and covers the Italian, German, Austrian, European and international legal systems as well as a wide array of subdomains of law. Some paper publications are devoted to specific areas such as contract law and higher education terminology.
The terminologists and legal experts of the ISCM also provided their scientific support during the process of standardisation of the German legal terminology by the South Tyrolean Terminology Commission. Later, these experiences proved valuable for the harmonisation of the quadrilingual terminology of the Alpine Convention and for other international cooperation projects. Several of the ISCM staff’s scientific publications and practical manuals offer insights into these activities and provide precious guidelines for managing, sharing and elaborating specialised terminology.
Today, we maintain several cooperations with local, national and international organisations. Our approach and methods are highly relevant for the wider international network of terminology research. Particularly important at local level is the cooperation with the administration of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, which consists in terminological advice and support for specialised translation projects (e.g. in the domain of safety at work). Our research on multilingual knowledge management in businesses and on training needs in language for specific purposes (LSP) is also finely tuned towards the local demands.
Our research activities are usually applied to training and consultancy initiatives, especially in the domains of terminology elaboration and management (including TMS, i.e. dedicated software), specialised translation, computer assisted translation (CAT), technical writing and documentation.