The need for “the same language” spoken within NATO was identified immediately after creation of this international entity. Lessons learnt during WWII led the Alliance to create offices solely devoted to development of the proper terminology, internationally recognized and understood. The first body to deal with the terminology standardization was the Military Agency for Standardization (MAS) established in London in January 1951. Through the transformation process it achieved
AAP-6 – NATO glossary of terms and definitions
its current state, where the responsibility for the co-ordination of standardization activities within NATO was delegated to the NATO Standardization Agency (NSA), with its charter approved in August 20011.
Even with the concept of standardization having been widely approved at the beginning of NATO existence, it took four decades to develop proper mechanisms for new terminology management. Previously, different NATO offices very often created documents containing lexical inconsistencies, therefore the need for creation of supervising body was identified and The NATO Terminology Office (NTO) was brought to life. That is how NTO explains the reasons for this recent initiative:
NATO has long recognized the need for its members and partners to be able to communicate clearly and unambiguously with each other, since misunderstandings in its political and military activities can lead to inefficiency and may even have more serious consequences.
Almost right from NATO’s establishment in 1949, many of its specialist communities (“senior committees” or “tasking authorities”) considered it worthwhile to lay down their terminology in all manner of lists, lexicons, glossaries, dictionaries, etc. Unfortunately, there was little consistency among the terminology adopted in this way or coordination among the bodies concerned. Continue reading “Lingua franca – AAP-6” »
I have already discussed military reports on many occasions here. Some examples have been shown to you as well. So today, I decided to take into other forms of writing you may be required to write during exams or your everyday work. If you are a staff officer, most probably you deal with memoranda as often as with reports. A Memorandum, also called a memo, is a frequent piece of writing used in business communication too. Memos are used mainly to communicate some important issues to subordinate staff. They can also be used to persuade somebody to take actions, give feedback on something or react to previous concerns, documents or issues discussed.
Memorandum – structure
A memo will be usually addressed to your co-workers or people who you had worked with before. Anyway, do not assume that they have all the contact data and provide it in a clear, visible form. It’s good to follow an effective format of any memo which contains subsequent sections called “to,” “from,” subject,” “date.” Those text markers along with other talking headings will make your memorandum orderly and reader-friendly.
Since memoranda (watch the plural form – it’s from Latin!) may be distributed freely, you can receive a document which is not relevant for you. Likewise, your memos (this time regular plural form!) may reach the addressees who are not interested in it at all. Therefore it is a common practice to make a clear purpose statement at the beginning of our memo. This statement will clearly define the purpose of the paper; it should be concise and direct.
First, I have finally sold my game “The patrol”, so from now on it’s not available on my website, however, I would be more than happy to help you develop your own versions of any teaching aids you want to use in the military.
Second, and more important news is that due to recent BOT attacks on the website, registering on stanag6001.com won’t be possible any longer. Those authors who want to contribute to the site content still can propose articles and send them directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will add them manually on the condition they are in line with the main content. Those who had registered prior to this change will not be able to log in. Your accounts were removed from the data base.
Sorry for any inconvenience: “better save than sorry.”
The idea for this article popped up when I was investigating the topic of military euphemisms. When I took into some current names the enemy in Afghanistan is called by, I decided to develop that subject and analyze the linguistic changes affecting ‘the enemy‘. Tracking down the contemporary changes back in time led me to the idea of some exercises extending military jargon we use. If we add some usual collocations related to the enemy we can have a sound base for any written or oral production where the enemy is starring.
Today, some more thoughts about different approaches to military language courses and exams.
Since STANAG6001 does not enforce any criteria, nor standards in teaching, the military in each country have developed their own way of reaching the given language proficiency. All countries have developed centralized language education centres which provide the military students with full-time courses in a given facility. Some others offer on-line courses and mobile teaching teams as well.
In Poland, teaching foreign languages was strictly regulated by Minister’s of National Defence Decision #501/MON, dated 29th of December, 2010. According to this document only several military-owned language centres can organize language courses and exams. In particular situations, where education in the centres is not possible (e.g. too many or too few candidates), military units can Continue reading “Different teaching standards” »