Which good electronic specialized dictionary would you recommend?
Thread poster: Adriana Johnston
Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 5, 2008

I am looking for a good portable dictionary or glossary for medical, insurance and legal terminology, are there any in particular that you can recommend?

Thanks to all of you for your contributions

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-05-05 08:17]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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For what purpose? May 5, 2008

adrijohns wrote:
I am looking for a good portable dictionary or glossary for medical, insurance and legal terminology, are there any in particular that you can recommend?


Unilingual or bilingual? Any particular flavour of Spanish... European, South American, Central American or North American? How small must the dictionary be before you regard it as "portable"?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interpreting May 5, 2008

I see Interpreting. Before each assignment what you need to do is gather all the materials you can pertaining to the assignment and work out the terminology beforehand and get it in your head. Also, when you are on the spot it is very good to be working with a partner who is top-notch and can provide help in an instant.

All of the above is often outside your control and may not be possible. So let's face it, there is no substitute for being very well prepared in general.

Often I would show up at interpreting assignments and see a colleague arriving with dictionary in hand. Inside I would laugh. That's like a security blanket, you think it may help psychologically, but when the weather starts getting rough it's not going to keep you warm, and when bullets start flying your way it won't stop a single one.

In view of this, your best bet is to limit yourself to assignments in which you know the subject matter quite well because you have done translations or other work in those areas before. Arriving a bit early can also be good because you can corner participants and pump their brains and get your hands on those materials no one supplied you with before the event.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 15:00
English to Hungarian
+ ...
dictionaries during interpreting May 5, 2008

Well, I am just finishing my training so I'm not what you'd call a seasoned veteran.

However, in part because of my age, I know full well that using dictionaries on the fly is not impossible at all. I'm assuming we're talking about simultaneous interpretation and a laptop here (the thread title does say electronic).
I do that all the time during simultaneous practice.

I have difficulty writing something down by hand during simultaneous interpreting but I can type reasonably well and have been known to look up a word before I actually got there in the sentence. A paper dictionary could obviously only get you the information for the second occurence, probably consulted by your partner.


As to the dictionaries you could use, I have nothing (but then you haven't named the language combination so it's impossible to help you anyway). There is an English monolingual medical dictionary in the MSDict mobile phone dictionary lineup but you're better off with something that runs on a PC, and bilingual.

If the site has wifi or you have mobile internet you could of course use an online resource as well. IATE etc. They are slower though, so offline is best if you can swing it.


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Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
English>Spanish May 12, 2008

I am actually looking for a good English>Spanish portable, electronic dictionary to use for quick reference for before or after assignments. I would prefer one that has grammar usage and that has specialized fields like medical.

Thank you all.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 15:00
English to Hungarian
+ ...
portable? May 16, 2008

What do you mean portable?
If it's electronic it's as portable as the piece of hardware you install it on. I think a 12" notebook is pretty portable.

Anyway, the MSDict line I mentioned happens to contain the Oxford Concise En-Es-En dictionary.
Other than that, no idea really. There are good online dictionaries (wordreference, yahoo, merriam-webster and diccionarios.com all have sp-en, most of them being digital versions of known paper dictionaries), but of the offline variety I only know the Oxford, the CALD and the Merriam-webster monolingual English and María Moliner in Spanish. All big names, you can't really find anything much better. No offline bilingual or medical dictionary comes to mind, though.


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