ETIM NA Releases First Round of American English Translation of ETIM Model

After many hours and great collaboration, ETIM North America is ready to release its first round of American English translation of the ETIM model to the general public.

With the help of the members who are actively participating in our working groups, we have carefully reviewed and either approved or modified the terminology for their products to match the grammar and nomenclature we use in North America.

They have covered an impressive 6,286 “elements”—or individual pieces of data—including 194 Classes; 1,333 Features; and 4,754 Values—for product areas like wire/cable, conduit/fittings, residential lighting controls and industrial switches, sensors, circuit breakers, receptacles/plugs, wiring devices and power distribution, to name a few.

Here’s a quick reminder on what these elements are:


A product class in ETIM denotes similar product types, and bundles “like” products from different manufacturers or suppliers.

Example: “Wire & Cable”


Features are unique ways to specify technical characteristics of products in a given product class or category.

Example: “Color” or “Length”


Values are distinct variations possible for the Features within a given product class or category.

Example: “Red” or “12 feet”


The product areas currently under review are wire management, cable trays/ladders/duct, fasteners, transformers, and enclosures, in addition to other power distribution products like fuses and relays, terminal blocks, motors, and drives. We’ve also begun identifying missing features/values for the completed classes, to have them added to the model to better represent our needs in North America.

If your products fall in any of these areas, or the completed classes, but you have not been participating, we highly encourage you become actively involved, or find someone within your company who is a product expert who can fill that role. The more expertise we have involved, the faster we will get through the remaining electrical products.


As membership grows, with product experts from other product areas, like lighting lamps & luminaires, signaling, measuring & testing equipment, hand tools, and datacom, we will review those additional classes.

ETIM is and always has been created by product experts, to ensure the accuracy of the product descriptors. Following that same philosophy, ETIM North America will not review product areas where we have no expertise, so it’s crucial that the whole industry in North America get involved.

Participants must be experts for the products they make, purchase, or sell.  This is not a role for data or IT people, as it needs to be people who know the product, what it does, how it works, and how it’s searched for. Those are the people who will know the right terminology and what features and/or values they need to communicate for their products.

You can download the “American English” translation here where you will be asked to provide your contact information to gain access to the download. The download will include the elements that we have approved or changed to North American terminology, as well as the ETIM English that we have not changed yet.

As a reminder, the ETIM model is open for anyone to use, as is our North American translation, but manufacturers and distributors must be Direct Members to influence the model, to participate in our translating efforts, and to request changes/additions to the model.