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Translation Centre

The Translation Centre of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was established in 1990 to translate Acts falling under the EEA Agreement as well as the Agreement itself.

At present, the main task of the Centre is to translate Acts falling under the Decisions of the EEA Joint Committee, other texts related to the European Economic Area and EU aquis. The Centre has also specialised in translating international agreements and legal texts, formal letters and other such texts where standardised vocabulary is required.

A new and updated dictionary (icelandic/english and vice versa) is available at the following site:

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Translation Centre
Raudararstigur 25
150 Reykjavik, Iceland

Tel.: +354 545 99 00


The Translation Centre's Dictionary

The Translation Centre's Dictionary is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice.


GENERAL

The main task of the Translation Centre is to translate Acts falling under the EEA Agreement according to the Decisions of the EEA Joint Committee and other texts related to the European Economic Area. The Unit has also specialised in translating international agreements and legal texts, formal letters and other such texts where standardised vocabulary is required.These include the Schengen-aquis, free trade agreements, conventions of the Council of Europe and other international agreements.

The Dictionary contains various legal and administrative terms and a great deal of technical vocabulary related to the different subject areas covered by the EEA Agreement. The Dictionary also contains a great many terms related to the European Union and its institutions. The number of entries in April 2007 is about 45 000. However, it should be borne in mind that the Dictionary is still under development and subject to a disclaimer. The Dictionary is the property of the Translation Centre of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and has been developed by its staff. It is publically accessible, free of charge, but any copying or use of the Dictionary for the purposes of publication or reproduction in any way, shape, or form is prohibited.

USE

The basic languages of the Dictionary are English and Icelandic but there are also entries in other languages such as Danish, French, German, Latin, Norwegian and Swedish. Search terms may be entered in any of those languages. In Basic Search a string may be entered word for word, without context (in which case the appropriate box should be checked) and search terms may be entered in a single language or in all the languages simultaneously.

There is also an Advanced Search option in which fields can be searched independently and related to a specific term in the dictionary. The following search options are available: 

  • abbreviation (icel. skammstöfun), synonym (icel. samheiti), variant (icel. annar ritháttur)
  • definition (icel. skilgreining)
  • document number (icel. skjal nr.)
  • example (icel. dæmi)
  • head word (icel. aðalorð), word class (icel. orðflokkur), gender (icel. kyn), extra grammatical information (icel. önnur málfræði)
  • note (icel. athugasemd)
  • reference (icel. rit)
  • specialist (icel. heimild)
  • subject field (icel. svið)

While some of this is self explanatory, some of it may require further explanation.

Abbreviations and spelling variants:

There are a great many abbreviations in the Dictionary, especially English abbreviations. They can be searched specifically, but can also be found through Basic search. Many English words have alternative spellings, e.g. organisation or organization, centre or center, colour or color in which case both variants are recorded.

Head word, word class, gender and other grammatical information:

Grammatical information has been added to the Dictionary, a practice modeled on the way corresponding information is recorded in the Word Bank of the Icelandic Language Institute. In the case of multiword terms the head word is specified. Grammatical information applies to the Icelandic expression or its head word if it´s a multiword expression. Grammatical information includes word class (part of speech), gender of nouns, and other information if necessary, e.g. whether the word only exists in the singular or plural.

Reference:

Each entry contains a reference to a source. For the most part these are Acts falling under the EEA Agreement, which are filed according to the system used by the EU (Celex numbers).

Example: 301L0030 where:
type of document: 3 = secondary legislation
year: 01 (2001)
form: L = directive, R = regulation, D = decision, H = recommendation, Y = resolution
number: four digit serial number.

There is also a citation containing the volume and page numbers of the Official Journal of the European Communities. In other cases, other texts are cited, such as international agreements, the JAR-OPS Rules of the Air, standards, announcements of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, as well as various publications of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs e.g. the Ministry´s Diplomatic List.

Subject fields:

The terms are classified according to the subject domains which provide the context of their usage and meaning; for instance there are terms that belong to the fields of civil aviation, legal language, international agreements, standards etc. Terms extracted from EEA documents are classified according to the classification of the Annexes and the Protocols of the EEA Agreement. These include terms related to the fields of telecommunications, medicinal products and motor vehicles. Several terms and phrases are so widespread as not to be assigned to any one category or subject field. They are classified as terms generally used in EC/EU texts or as fixed phrases in EC/EU texts, as appropriate.

The following is a complete list of the subject fields currently in the Dictionary (65).

 English – Icelandic:

  • Abolition of Technical Barriers to Trade in Wine – afnám tæknilegra hindrana í viðskiptum með vín
  • Agricultural and Forestry Tractors – landbúnaðardráttarvélar
  • Audiovisual Services – hljóð- og myndmiðlun
  • Border Control and Mutual Assistance – landamæraeftirlit og réttaraðstoð
  • Civil Aviation – flugmál
  • Company Law – félagaréttur
  • Competition – samkeppni
  • Construction Plant and Equipment – byggingarsvæði og búnaður
  • Construction Products – byggingarvörur
  • Consumer Protection – neytendavernd
  • Cooperation in Specific Fields outside the Four Freedoms – samvinna á sérstökum sviðum utan marka fjórþætta frelsisins
  • Cosmetics – snyrtivörur
  • Cultural Goods – menningarverðmæti
  • Dangerous Substances – hættuleg efni
  • Energy – orka
  • Environment – umhverfismál
  • Environment Protection – umhverfisvernd
  • Explosives – sprengiefni
  • Feedingstuffs – fóður
  • Fertilizers – áburður
  • Financial Services – fjármálaþjónusta
  • Fish and other Marine Products – fiskur og aðrar sjávarafurðir
  • Fixed Word Phrases in EC/EU Texts – fast orðasamband í EB/ESB-textum
  • Foodstuffs – matvæli
  • Free Movement of Capital – frjálsir fjármagnsflutningar
  • Free Movement of Workers – frelsi launþega til flutninga
  • Freedom of Trade – viðskiptafrelsi
  • Gas Appliances – gastæki
  • General Provisions in the Field of Technical Barriers to Trade – almenn ákvæði á sviði tæknilegra viðskiptahindrana
  • Electrical Material – rafmagnsvörur
  • Health and Safety at Work, Labour Law, and Equal Treatment for Men and Women – öryggi og hollustuhættir á vinnustöðum, vinnuréttur og jafnrétti kynjanna
  • Personal Protective Equipment – persónuhlífar
  • Household Appliances – heimilistæki
  • Information Technology, Telecommunications and Data Processing – upplýsingatækni, fjarskipti og gagnavinnsla
  • Intellectual Property – hugverkaréttindi
  • International Agreements – milliríkjasamningar
  • International Organisations – alþjóðastofnanir
  • Legal Terms – lagamál
  • Lifting and Mechanical Handling Appliances – lyfti- og flutningabúnaður
  • Machinery – vélar
  • Marine Equipment – búnaður um borð í skipum
  • Measuring Instruments – mælitæki
  • Medical Devices – lækningatæki
  • Medicinal Products – lyf
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs – utanríkisráðuneytið
  • Motor Vehicles – vélknúin ökutæki
  • Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications – gagnkvæm viðurkenning á starfsmenntun og hæfi
  • Phytosanitary Matters – plöntur
  • Pressure Vessels – þrýstihylki
  • Public Procurement – opinber innkaup
  • Recreational Craft – skemmtibátar
  • Right of Establishment – staðfesturéttur
  • Rules of Origin – upprunareglur
  • Social Security – félagslegt öryggi
  • Standards – staðlar
  • State Aid – ríkisaðstoð
  • Statistics – hagskýrslugerð
  • Telecommunications Services – fjarskiptaþjónusta
  • Term generally used in EC/EU Texts – hugtak, almennt notað í EB/ESB-textum
  • Textiles – textílvörur
  • Tobacco – tóbak
  • Toys – leikföng
  • Transport – flutningastarfsemi
  • Veterinary Issues – dýr

Icelandic – English:

  • Afnám tæknilegra hindrana í viðskiptum með vín – Abolition of Technical Barriers to Trade in Wine
  • Almenn ákvæði á sviði tæknilegra viðskiptahindrana – General Provisions in the Field of Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Alþjóðastofnanir – International Organisations
  • Áburður – Fertilizers
  • Búnaður um borð í skipum – Marine Equipment
  • Byggingarsvæði og búnaður – Construction Plants and Equipment
  • Byggingarvörur – Construction Products
  • Dýr – Veterinary Issues
  • Fast orðasamband í EB/ESB-textum – Fixed Word Phrases in EC/EU Texts
  • Félagaréttur – Company Law
  • Félagslegt öryggi – Social Security
  • Fiskur og aðrar sjávarafurðir – Fish and other Marine Products
  • Fjarskiptaþjónusta – Telecommunications Services
  • Fjármálaþjónusta – Financial Services
  • Flugmál – Civil Aviation
  • Flutningastarfsemi – Transport
  • Fóður – Feedingstuffs
  • Frelsi launþega til flutninga – Free Movement of Workers
  • Frjálsir fjármagnsflutningar – Free Movement of Capital
  • Gagnkvæm viðurkenning á starfsmenntun og hæfi – Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications
  • Gastæki – Gas Appliances
  • Hagskýrslugerð – Statistics
  • Heimilistæki – Household Appliances
  • Hljóð- og myndmiðlun – Audiovisual Services
  • Hugtak, almennt notað í EB/ESB-textum – Term generally used in EC/EU Texts
  • Hugverkaréttindi – Intellectual Property
  • Hættuleg efni – Dangerous Substances
  • Lagamál – Legal Terms
  • Landamæraeftirlit og réttaraðstoð – Border Control and Mutual Assistance
  • Landbúnaðardráttarvélar – Agricultural and Forestry Tractors
  • Leikföng – Toys
  • Lyf – Medicinal Products
  • Lyfti- og flutningabúnaður – Lifting and Mechanical Handling Appliances
  • Lækningatæki – Medical Devices
  • Matvæli – Foodstuffs
  • Menningarverðmæti – Cultural Goods
  • Milliríkjasamningar – International Agreements
  • Mælitæki – Measuring Instruments
  • Neytendavernd – Consumer Protection
  • Opinber innkaup – Public Procurement
  • Orka – Energy
  • Persónuhlífar – Personal Protective Equipment
  • Plöntur – Phytosanitary Matters
  • Rafmagnsvörur – Electrical Material
  • Ríkisaðstoð – State Aid
  • Samkeppni – Competition
  • Samvinna á sérstökum sviðum utan marka fjórþætta frelsisins – Cooperation in Specific Fields outside the Four Freedoms
  • Skemmtibátar – Recreational Craft
  • Snyrtivörur – Cosmetics
  • Sprengiefni – Explosives
  • Staðfesturéttur – Right of Establishment
  • Staðlar – Standards
  • Textílefni – Textiles
  • Tóbak – Tobacco
  • Umhverfismál – Environment
  • Umhverfisvernd – Environment Protection
  • Upplýsingatækni, fjarskipti og gagnavinnsla – Information Technology, Telecommunications and Data Processing
  • Upprunareglur – Rules of Origin
  • Utanríkisráðuneytið – Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • Vélar – Machinery
  • Vélknúin ökutæki – Motor Vehicles
  • Viðskiptafrelsi – Freedom of Trade
  • Þrýstihylki – Pressure Vessels
  • Öryggi og hollustuhættir á vinnustöðum, vinnuréttur og jafnrétti kynjanna – Health and Safety at Work, Labour Law and Equal Treatment for Men and Women

History

The Translation Centre of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was launched in 1990 and work soon began on the compilation of a Dictionary, based on terms extracted from translated texts. The Dictionary´s editor from its beginning up until 2000 was Aldís Guðmundsdóttir, who was also Head of the Unit. Since 2000 the following members of staff have worked on the Dictionary: Gunnhildur Stefánsdóttir (2001-2002), Björgvin Andersen (since the Fall of 2002), Sigrún Þorgeirsdóttir (editor since 2001), Hálfdan Ó. Hálfdanarson who has been instrumental in the revision of the scientific terminology. Björn Þór Jónsson and Reynir Gunnlaugsson have been responsible for setting up the Web site of the latest version of the Dictionary.

 However, every member of the Translation Centre Staff has taken part in the development of the Dictionary. The Icelandic equivalents of terms have largely been provided by the translators themselves but a great many experts from a wide variety of disciplines have also made contributions to the Dictionary.

 

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