« To understand and make oneself understood »

In 1931, the first edition of the "Road Dictionary" was published in six languages (Danish, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish). The World Road Association has continued working on terminology ever since. In 2007, the eight edition was released in five languages (English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish).

The multilingual terminology database can be accessed on-line for making term searches and searches per theme, and the results can be displayed simultaneously in three languages.

Responsibility of the Committee on Terminology

The maintenance and development of the Terminology database of the World Road Association are the responsibility of the Committee on Terminology, with inputs based on the expertise of the Technical Committees and with the help of National Committees and member countries for translations into other languages than English and French.

PIARC multilingual Terminology database

The multilingual Terminology database of the World Road Association comprises the Technical Dictionary of Road Terms, the Lexicon of Road and Traffic Engineering, and a number of specialized dictionaries in the field of roads and road transport.

You too
Can contribute on-line to upgrading and extending these dictionaries, by making your proposals for consideration by the Committee on Terminology.

PIARC Technical Dictionary of Road Terms

English and French, the official languages of the Association, are the two reference languages for the Technical Dictionary of Road Terms. This dictionary contains about 1,800 concepts. In 2012, it is available (or under development for certain language versions) on-line in twenty-one languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. However, some of these translations are only partial.

Synonyms used in other countries speaking French (Belgium, Canada, Switzerland), English (Canada, United States) or Spanish (Latin America) are also presented. Terms recommended by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or by Technical Committees of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) have been included as well.

The term and its definition (or reference to the main term for the concept concerned) are complemented by grammatical attributes (where necessary), synonyms and their geographic origins, a code for classification in the nomenclature and, sometimes, an illustration.

PIARC Lexicon of Road and Traffic Engineering

This lexicon contains about 15,000 concepts in French, English, and Dutch.

Specialized dictionaries

  • Dictionary on Winter Maintenance with about 170 concepts en Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish;
  • Dictionary on Road Transport Informatics (ITS) with nearly 500 concepts in Danish, English, French, German, Norwegian, and Swedish;
  • Dictionary on Weigh-in-Motion with nearly 800 concepts in English, French, and German;
  • Dictionary on Bridges with 350 concepts in English, Finnish, German, and Swedish;
  • Dictionary on Road Tunnel Operations with about 140 concepts in French, English, Greek, Italian, Korean, Slovene, and Spanish;
  • Dictionary on Sustainable Transport with about 100 concepts in English and French.


Technical Dictionary of Road Terms

Technical Dictionary of Road Terms avalaible in hard copy