Originally, the idea for this project came from the 2019 Master’s of Translation Management class of the SDI München in response to the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the 2019 translation management students – who consisted of translators, project managers, and interpreters – decided to create a term database to document some of the new terminology that was emerging with the global governmental, social, and news media COVID-19 responses.
Shortly before work on this term database began, the Translation Automation User Society (TAUS), a think tank and language data network, had initiated a collective industry charity effort where participants contributed their own translation memories covering this domain called TAUS Corona Crisis Corpora. Anyone who was training their own MT engines could download these corpora for free and use them to improve their translation services and systems.
In April 2020, a blog article by In My Own Terms pointed out more than 10 corona glossaries (in 2021 that list covered more than 40!). In 2020, the article did, however, not contain any in German, and the glossaries that were available in German so far had only been issued by journalists.
The above mentioned is how the idea for the Pandemology project was born – a database similar to the TAUS project that featured terminology from different sources that can be accessed and discussed by any user and downloaded in different formats for free. Additionally, the participating students were, and future students might be, able to practice their project management skills as a requirement of their course of study.