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ISO 860:2007(EN)

ISO 860:2007(EN)

Terminology work — Harmonization of concepts and terms

ISO 860:2007(EN) was created by Technical Committee ISO/TC 37, Terminology and other language and content resources, Subcommittee SC 1, Principles and methods.

The third revision of ISO 860 (2007) canceled and replaced the second edition (ISO 860:1996), which has been revised technically.

In spite of all the efforts made to coordinate terminologies as they develop, it is inevitable that overlapping and inconsistent terminologies will continue to be used because documents and policies are produced in different contexts.

Differences between concepts and misleading similarities at the designation level create barriers to communication. Thus, Concepts and terms develop differently in individual languages and language communities, depending on professional, technical, scientific, social, economic, linguistic, cultural or other factors. Harmonization is, therefore, desirable because

  • differences between concepts do not necessarily become apparent at the designation level,
  • similarity at the designation level does not necessarily mean that the concepts behind the designations are identical,
  • mistakes occur when a single concept is designated by two synonyms which by error are considered to designate two different concepts.

So, Harmonization starts at the concept level and continues at the term level. It is an integral part of standardization.

Conventions and notation

In ISO 860:2007(EN) tree diagrams are used to represent generic concept relations. The following notation is used throughout this standard:

  • concepts are indicated by single quotes;
  • designations are in boldface;
  • characteristics are underlined;
  • alpha-2 language codes are in small letters, boldface and italics;
  • country codes are in capital letters;
  • examples are boxed.

Therefore, ISO 860:2007 a methodological approach to the harmonization of concepts, concept systems, definitions and terms.

So, ISO 860:2007 also applies to the development of harmonized terminologies, at either the national or international level, in either a monolingual or a multilingual context.

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