Abbreviations and symbols. Abbreviations in a multilingual context

    The content of these guidelines is taken from the third edition of the Vives University Network’s Interuniversity Style Guide for Writing Institutional Texts, an interuniversity project in which the UPC participates with the support of the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia.


    Abbreviations in a multilingual context

    • Criteria for translating into English is the subject of Translation but there are two important points to be made about using abbreviations in our multilingual institutional context.

    • If you need to provide English versions of the full names of university offices or government institutions, do not translate their abbreviations. For example, the English name of a university office called the Oficina de Programes Internacionals (OPI) would be the Office for International Programmes (OPI). And the English names of the Diari Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the Diari Oficial de la Comunitat Valenciana and the Boletín Oficial del Estado would be the Official Gazette of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC), the Official Gazette of the Government of Valencia (DOCV) and the Official Gazette of the Government of Spain (BOE), respectively.

    • A number of very frequent abbreviations in Catalan-speaking universities come from common noun phrases that have no official English equivalent (PAS from personal d'administració i serveis, PDI from personal docent i investigador, SED from secretaria d'estudiants i docència and PAT from pla d'acció tutorial). This guide recommends explaining or paraphrasing the full term the first time it occurs in a text and then using only the Catalan abbreviation for the rest of the text. This way, English-language readers can be more effectively helped to understand their non-English institutional environment.

      Last year, our university's administrative and service staff (personal d'administració i serveis, or PAS) took advantage of the Erasmus programme to travel to over 20 different European destinations. A number of PAS members also completed courses in the US and in Canada.