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Environmental Ontology Localization and Translation Relations

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Shaker Verlag


Environmental decision-making depends on seamless communication between EU agencies and administrations. However, the transmission of environmental information is considerably more than a simple exchange of measurements and data. Prominent communication barriers to the creation of a Single Information Space in Europe for the Environment (SISE) include multilingualism and multiculturalism. The elaboration of a concept system, valid for different language cultures thus involves ontology localization, defined as the process of adapting a given ontology to the needs of a certain community, which can be characterized by a common language, a common culture or a certain geo-political environment (Cimiano et al 2010). Nevertheless, ontology adaptation first requires a representation framework that includes different syntactic, lexical, conceptual and semantic features. It must also account for dynamism and context, which influence these features at different levels. Context features must also include translation relations and degrees of equivalence because correspondence should not only be established between concepts but also between terms. This paper examines environmental ontology localization and discusses the translation correspondence problems that can arise when context is not considered. The examples pertain to renewable energies and a wide range of other environmental concepts, such as air pollution, coastal structures, and geological formations. This involves an expansion of the usual ontological properties in order to incorporate new translation relations that codify the array of possibilities on the spectrum between the poles of literal translation and free or culturally adapted translation.


León-Araúz, Pilar; Faber, Pamela (2013): Environmental Ontology Localization and Translation Relations. Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Environmental Informatics - Informatics for Environmental Protection, Sustainable Development and Risk Management. Aachen: Shaker Verlag. Environmental Management Information Systems. Hamburg. 2013