EAC Conference 2012, Day 1—Making the Language Portal of Canada work for you

The Translation Bureau launched the Language Portal of Canada in 2009 as a gateway to allow everyone free access to the translation tool Termium, a terminology and linguistic data bank in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Despite its translation roots, however, the Language Portal is packed with news, tools, and references that appeal to a much wider audience of editors, writers, educators, and anyone interested in language.

The Language Portal exists in both French and English, but the sites aren’t merely translations of one another. There are different types of language problems in French and English, so although there is parallelism in the tools available to users on the two sites, the content is different.

Robin Kilroy creates and curates much of what’s on the Language Portal, and she took EAC conference attendees on a tour of the site.


These link to language-related stories gleaned from external sources. Two headlines are posted each week and then are archived for a year.

My Portal

This is broken down for readers “At school,” “At work,” and “At home,” which link to specific resources for students and educators, professionals who have to write or edit (as Kilroy says, so many people now are “functional writers” who have to write for their jobs, though they may not consider themselves professional writers), and the general reader, respectively.

Resources include “Linguistic Recommendations and Reminders,” which offers tidbits of advice about grammar and style.

From Our Contributors

The Language Portal’s partner organizations (including the Editors’ Association of Canada) contribute language-related articles for this section, which are then edited and translated in house. They are all archived by organization name.


“Discover,” on the left-hand sidebar, and “Discover Coast to Coast,” at the bottom centre, link to the same resources but are organized differently. These are a collection of links, external to the Translation Bureau, to such resources as dictionaries and information about language training and language professions.

Well Written, Well Said

On the left-hand sidebar, this section links to Termium, Writing Tools, Gateway to English, and Quizzes (on everything from spelling and punctuation to Canadian authors and proverbs). Editors may find Writing Tools particularly useful, because it provides access to such resources as The Canadian Style (much more up to date than the print edition) and Peck’s English Pointers, among many others.

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