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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Which dictionary format do you prefer?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:25
SITE STAFF
Nov 18, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which dictionary format do you prefer?".

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A combination Nov 18, 2011

This option is missing in the poll.

I still (love to) use my paper dictionaries along with online dictionaries and those on CD.
So I'm using the combined "power" of all options provided here.


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Leon Ivanihin  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:25
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Neither of listed variants Nov 18, 2011

That's hard to answer adequately, as neither of listed variants matches my way.
I use desktop version of vocabularies of ABBYY company. It is not CD, as it is already installed on my computer and not online, asit does not require internet connection.
It is really helpful tool. Though some of special terms I seacrh online at multitran.ru website.


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xxxinge van dri
Local time: 12:25
German to Dutch
+ ...
Other Nov 18, 2011

I voted other: dictionaries on CD (VanDale) entirely loaded in my PC. I have two of them.
And paper dictionaries of course, as internet gives a distorted view (more Flemish than Dutch, whereas Dutch is the standard language).

[Edited at 2011-11-18 08:27 GMT]


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Adam Jarczyk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:25
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Definitely a combination... Nov 18, 2011

... of specialist compilations in print, plus online versions, plus some reference dictionaries on CD/installed on my machine.

It all depends in what field and for what purpose.

Adam


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
Member (2011)
Hebrew to English
Printed....all the way Nov 18, 2011

Online dictionaries are great, but you can't beat a printed book. I like looking up the odd word in my printed dictionaries. Not quite the same satisfaction in finding a word when you just have to click a button and wait 0.0005 seconds.

Similarly, I don't like e-books either though, I can't see myself buying a kindle or its ilk anytime soon.

In addition, at least in my language pair, the vast majority of quality dictionaries are only available in a printed format. Even with the decent-ish online dictionaries in my language, they're still quite unimpressive when compared with their printed counterparts.

If we're talking specialized dictionaries (legal, medical, technical) then the same situation applies, the only good ones are printed; if you do find an online one, it's usually quite rudimentary.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 12:25
English to French
+ ...
Said online Nov 18, 2011

... but I probably should have said other as dictionaries are not my main tool, far from.

Texts/documentation on the subject(s) in source and target language, preferably genuine, not translations, or official published translated versions of international treaties and legislation for instance. That's what I use most and I do find a lot online.


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Dictionaries Nov 18, 2011

I had about 70 paper dictionaries when I was living in Toronto. I left Canada last summer to travel around the world. I hired the services of a commercial printing/scanning company to scan all the crucial dictionaries that I use everyday (German: Siemens, Wylidahl, Hamblock/Wessels, etc. plus the Ernst for Spanish and French, plus expensive ones on aviation, medicine, banking, finance, legal and engineering). It took the company 2 months to do it but I now have all of them in searchable PDF and Word formats, all on my laptop.

If anyone wants a copy, we could negotiate an affordable price. For people on the go like myself, buying a paper dictionary is completely out of the question. I'll buy the cd, dvd or downloadable version (like Multitran for Russian). Some very rare out-of-print dictionaries, however, exist only in paper form. If I get hold of those, I simply mail them to that very same Canadian scanning company, and I get the searchable PDF format in about 2 weeks.

Marcus


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 18, 2011

Originally a librarian, and I trained back in the days when there was no screen on the computer, only blue-striped printouts ALL IN CAPS ... I love my paper dictionaries.
They are reliable, and the benefits from 'browsing' or thumbing back and forth and reading odd entries one stumbles on are far greater than the Net, as well as being less dangerous!

I keep a couple of old postcards or attractive birthday cards as markers in most of them, as I never have enough fingers.

However, I am lucky, because I can subscribe to two packages of really good online dictionaries in my main language pair, and have some there than I do not have on my shelves. There are also a couple of medical dictionaries that are well worth the expense. Equivalents simply do not exist in all language pairs.

These save me many kilos of paper if I travel, and along with some good CDs, they make it possible to take work with me on my laptop.

And I can in principle use any library anywhere in the world!
Which do I like best?
Anything, as long as it is reliable.


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jacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A combination Nov 18, 2011


Thayenga wrote:

This option is missing in the poll.



Black's Law Dictionary is not available on line and its print format is perfectly suited to exploring the different meanings and uses of legal terms.

Actually, I love it when the online dictionaries don't analyze a term deeply enough, or don't have it, so I have to stand up and take Black's from the shelf.

Have a great day everyone!



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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Online or CD Nov 18, 2011

When working, I don't mind about paper books, rather about how fast I can find the term I am looking for.
And I find rather more pleasurable reading a novel or an essay than a dictionary.


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 12:25
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Combination Nov 18, 2011

Although if I have to choose one format over others it would currently be the CDs, because I might want to translate without internet access (it does happen, usually at the most inconvenient times!).

However, I recently found that the ones I most use are not available in Windows 7 format. I got round this by installing XP on a virtual OS on one laptop in case I need to use my dictionaries and other "not broken" softwares similarly "fixed" by the Gates gang.

Books are always nice to have, but are mainly further down the list because of their physical bulk.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:25
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Voted online use a lot of paper Nov 18, 2011

I voted I prefer online dictionaries but I use quite a few paper ones (particularly for specialized fields), however I do this because currently there is no comparison (at least in my experience) between printed and online dictionaries. Online dictionaries are mostly quite basic you can't beat the details of a paper dictionary.

But I prefer the ease of use of online dictionaries (which have an advantage over ones installed in your computer in that they can be constantly updated) I guess if you don't have Internet access that could be a problem, but I really can't remember the last time I was somewhere and didn't have Internet access.

I guess publishers are scared of the Internet (piracy and all that) but hopefully eventually they will come around and issue at least e-copies of their printed materials, though I would prefer online access.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
English to French
+ ...
online Nov 18, 2011


Interlangue wrote:

... but I probably should have said other as dictionaries are not my main tool, far from.

Texts/documentation on the subject(s) in source and target language, preferably genuine, not translations, or official published translated versions of international treaties and legislation for instance. That's what I use most and I do find a lot online.


same here + 1


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artyan
United States
Local time: 03:25
English to Russian
+ ...
I make sure that I understand the author Nov 18, 2011


Interlangue wrote:

... but I probably should have said other as dictionaries are not my main tool, far from.

Texts/documentation on the subject(s) in source and target language, preferably genuine, not translations, or official published translated versions of international treaties and legislation for instance. That's what I use most and I do find a lot online.


Something similar is true for me.

I prefer to do my own research, whether it has to be brief or lengthy. This mostly happens with technical subjects. I won't start translating/interpreting unless I'm comfortable. Often, if I don't understand something, I find that the author is the best reference, so it's good when they are available for a quick call or email. Then I try to see how the thing in question is handled in the target. And it's not important where the the terms have to come from, whether it's some book, an online reference, a dictionary, ... It's vital that the sources are genuine. After all, it's ideas and not words.

If I do my research and find that hard as I try I just don't get it (again, it's normally something highly technical), then I will simply acknowledge that.


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