Tuesday 30 June 2020

RailLexic Online: UIC modernises its rail term bank with a new facelift as from 1 July, 2020

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The Terminology Group at UIC has enhanced RailLexic Online (RLO) with a modern interface, so that it can better serve the UIC Members and the rail sector. The primary key was to considerably improve the experience of the users, as well as of the editors and contributors. The official launch is planned for 1 July, 2020.

UIC railway dictionary: the first-class reference work
RailLexic Online offers over 11,000 railway concepts, presented in 23 languages. This represents hundreds of thousands of terms that need to be updated constantly, according to the latest needs and projects. The terms are generally annotated with grammatical and contextual information, supplemented by a constantly growing number of definitions and explanatory notes.

The UIC terminologist and the Terminology Group work in synergy with the top experts at the member networks of UIC to ensure that the updates are anchored in the everyday practice of the sector. The symbiosis with the IRS is recognized in particular.

History: a digitised tradition
Nearly thirty years ago, RailLexic superseded the “Lexique général des termes ferroviaires” (general lexicon of railway terms), which was first printed in 1957. In the early days of globalisation, the key objective was to provide reliable technical terms and their equivalents in several languages for the numerous stakeholders in railways across Europe, and later the whole world.

Over the course of time, the terminological database has gradually been updated and completed by the Terminology Group at UIC, which published it online in 2015: RailLexic Online was born, and was straightforward and easy to use. In 2020, UIC has opted for an even more flexible solution, providing a modern service in line with the needs of the experts and the latest terminological requirements.

New platform: it’s time for custom-made solutions
As from 1 July, 2020, RailLexic Online will boast a unique interface for managing and consulting the terminological data of UIC. The aim is to make the user experience more fluid by providing a rapid and efficient platform. In particular, the search bar for keywords combs through the terms from every available perspective, in a similar way to the latest search engines.

A number of new functions will open the path to more extensive customisation. A user recently asked if we could extend the length of her session, while another would like to save their language selection… In addition, editors will appreciate the chance to create search filters, topic-based glossaries and validation processes or even to add add images. Above all, the UIC terminologist is currently managing the user profiles directly, so that he can respond better to the needs expressed by his colleagues and by the working groups at UIC.

Massive updates: welcome to the 21st century
Specifically, the launch will provide the opportunity for a little spring cleaning:

  • Revision of the fields in the term entries
  • Creation of a field for process monitoring
  • Clarification of dozens of recurring abbreviations
  • More relevant presentation of grammatical information
  • Differentiated management of the cited sources
  • Formal distinction between Japanese terms and their pronunciation
  • Compatibility with the TermBase eXchange (TBX) format

This standardisation of thousands of entries in virtually all the languages according to contemporary terminology best practices is aimed at providing a cutting-edge service. By satisfying both the linguistic and the technical requirements, UIC is demonstrating its understanding of the importance of railway terminology, and is pursuing the ideal of efficient communications between the experts and between its Members.

ETF shop: special rates for UIC Members
RailLexic Online is accessible online via an annual subscription purchased from the ETF shop, a subsidiary of UIC. The choice is essentially based on the required number of simultaneous users. At present, all the languages can be consulted, although customisation options are currently being studied.

Please note that UIC Members will benefit from a discount on the stated prices. We therefore encourage them to make their move and, particularly, to communicate and distribute the access licences internally. The experts that we have met in the working groups were extremely interested and warmly welcomed this type of support.

For your information: hard-copy dictionaries and installable software are still available from the ETF shop, but they correspond to earlier publications.

The ETF team are available to help you with any queries regarding a subscription to RailLexic Online: publi@uic.org

The UIC terminologist, Mr Raynal, will be glad to answer any queries about the database and its contents: raynal@uic.org

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