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Poll: How often do you refer to paper-based reference materials?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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Aug 9, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you refer to paper-based reference materials?".

This poll was originally submitted by Paul Appleyard

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 12:03
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The original suggestion Aug 9, 2006

As usual, I edited Paul's suggestion to fit the poll in out "very short options" format and to ensure a whole set of options.

Paul's original suggestion was:


How often do you refer to paper-based reference materials?
Paul Appleyard
# every day
# a couple of times a week
# once a month
# less than once a month
# er, what is paper?


Regards,
Enrique


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:03
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Am I missing something, then? Aug 9, 2006

Such as, aren't normal dictionaries paper-based reference materials?

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Paul Appleyard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2004)
French to English
normal dictionaries? Aug 9, 2006

Parrot wrote:

Such as, aren't normal dictionaries paper-based reference materials?


In my opinion no, probably not. I would suggest that a "normal dictionary" these days is probably web based, but maybe that's just me


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paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:03
Member (2005)
No, really...what IS paper? Aug 9, 2006

I have all my books, dictionaries, etc. on all my computers. So I don't think I've used paper-based reference materials since, well, forever!

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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:03
German to English
Paper dictionaries are surely "paper-based reference materials" Aug 9, 2006

Parrot wrote:

Such as, aren't normal dictionaries paper-based reference materials?


and still far better than anything electronic, certainly for De-En finance and legal.

Plus all the text books and other specialist literature, of course, which mostly still appear only in good old paper.

Can't take the web with you to the loo, you know (at least I hope not).


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:03
About outages and age... Aug 9, 2006

RobinB wrote:
Can't take the web with you to the loo, you know (at least I hope not).


I, too, cannot live without my paper-based references (read dictionaries). I find web-based references excellent, but my heart is with the paper!

Also, paper-based materials are always there, even when the net is down our the power is out.

It mgiht be a question of age, after all; those of us who grew up before the Internet took off might feel more confortable with paper... subject for another poll?

[Edited at 2006-08-09 21:33]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:03
English to Spanish
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Have tons Aug 9, 2006

I have tons of paper references purchased before the Net days. Now I do occasionally use them, but with the Net they mostly collect dust.

If I took them to the loo, pages might start disappearing...

[Edited at 2006-08-09 22:17]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 11:03
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On skills and generations Aug 9, 2006

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

It might be a question of age, after all; those of us who grew up before the Internet took off might feel more confortable with paper... subject for another poll?


A thing I've noticed is that many youngsters these days (that counts me out ) are completely and utterly incapable of using a paper reference work, whether it's a dictionary, a text-book - or even the telephone directory!

Why? Because they've never learnt their alphabet properly and never learnt how to use a table of contents - and less still an index.

Today, if it ain't 'full text' they can't find anything.

For that reason, perhaps more than any other, I'm grateful that I finished all my formal education before the Internet was born. It's not that I'm 'anti-web' - on the contrary I use it daily - but I would be lost without my paper library and the skills needed to exploit it profitably.

MediaMatrix


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Missing option: Hourly Aug 10, 2006

I have a couple of hundred dictionaries and love them all. Some of my best references are not available in electronic form. I find that consulting the ones I do have online is no faster that reaching behind my desk, opening them up, and finding the word that I want. A good example of this is Dorland's Medical Dictionary. It takes me much longer to consult it online than to take it off my shelf. If I have to get up out of my chair, that's even better -- the time taken is the same or shorter, and I get some needed exercise.

Of course, I have to admit that there are online resources that are faster than Dorland.

But time issues aside, there's still the issue of resources that have never been digitized.


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
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Russian to English
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what is paper? Aug 10, 2006

I use only electronic/online resources these days...it's just a lot faster!

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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2010)
Italian to English
Dictionaries Aug 10, 2006

I completed my A-levels and degrees after the Internet had taken off and disagree with those who think the younger generation (I think I can just about still count myself as such) do not/are unable to use paper-based reference material. I couldn't do without my specialist paper-based dictionaries and I generally find that Internet-based dictionaries are not so exhaustive or so reliable. I also find it quicker to look something up in my paper-based dictinary first, only resorting to the Internet if I am unable to find what I am looking for or need to check it. I like having my dictionaries in front of me, whilst the translation I am working on is on the screen.
I'm not sure if this is just me, but I have always preferred working with paper-based reference materials - maybe this is just something to do with my love of books and libraries.
As I write, I have four dictionaries piled on my desk in front of me - I certainly wouldn't swop them for web-based dictionaries!


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:03
German to English
Books vs. bytes Aug 10, 2006

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
I have a couple of hundred dictionaries and love them all. Some of my best references are not available in electronic form.


Same here. In fact, there are very few dictionaries, glossaries, etc. in my language/subject combinations that are available electronically. Well, reliable ones anyway.

And what about all those weighty tomes on MT, CAT and terminology management? Can't see my bookshelves being dematerialised in the near future

I'm afraid to say that the Internet has made a lot of translators very soft in the head. The "if it's not available online, forget it" attitude is becoming increasingly prevalent. And sad to say, platforms like KudoZ only encourage this lazy, unprofessional mindset IMHO.

Of course there *are* some good resources available online, but they're far outweighed by the quality and quantity of print resources. Perhaps the structure and speed of the Internet simply doesn't encourage well-researched, peer-reviewed reference resources.

My next dictionary will certainly be available in print form.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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My Heart's With the Paper Aug 10, 2006

Rosa's comment inspired me to write a parody of Robert Burns' poem "My Heart's in the Highlands".

My heart’s with the paper, my heart is not here,
My heart’s with the paper forever, I fear.
A-chasing the wild word, and failing; and yet
My heart’s with the paper, and not with the Net.

Farewell to the paper, it's sad but it's true -
To the Websters, the Oxford, and Callaham’s too.
Hello to the Google, hello Multitran.
You have to find answers wherever you can.

Farewell to Larousse, and hello, Wikipedia.
There's all that you need on the Internet media.
Farewell to Britannica filling the shelf.
It’s all on the Web, you can find it yourself.

But my heart’s with the paper, I say it again.
My heart’s with the paper. It causes me pain
To abandon my lost loves, no more books to see.
My heart’s with the paper, and always will be!


[Edited at 2006-08-10 12:03]


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