| is this project dead, or what? || Dec 10, 2008 |
As a newly registered user (via the most exhausting registration process I've ever experienced!), I'm surprised that the subject of reference tools is:
a) only now being given a forum, after so many years of the site's existence, and
b) that 40+ days after the opening of he forum, not a single post has been submitted
I should add that I clicked on the "support request" to "volunteer" my participation in the project, only to find myself on another page with another "support request" tab.
Am I missing something? Is this a forum for discussion, or not?
To me the title suggests that this forum will discuss problems in using dictionaries and other translation reference tools. And that participants, when/if any show up, will compare notes, discuss features, and make recommendations to each other about such tools.
I'm afraid I don't have much to offer, except a whole raft of problems encountered with:
electronic pocket dictionaries (impossible to evaluate before purchase, mostly inadequate/unreliable, non-upgradeable)
commercial PC dictionary software (mostly non-existent since one firm bought all the rest and then discontinued the entire product line)
shareware dictionary software for PC (see pocket dictionaries)
Asian OCR (might be ok if you're fluent in Chinese/ ITese)
Some simple problems I hope to solve
1. I need to create a glossary of Canadian legal terminology : French-English and English French that I can access on a low-powered laptop (160MB RAM,Win98/Win2000/compatible Linux version)
2. ideally, I would like to have such a glossary integrated on the same platform with a regular (Canadian) French-English/English-French dictionary
3. on the same hardware/OS platform I would also like to create an English-German/German-English glossary of hunting and shooting terms, preferably integrated with a general English/German bilingual dictionary
I say "create" because I assume that no such glossaries are publicly available in digital form, and I will have to digitize print media or manually enter the glosses from the keyboard. (please tell me I'm mistaken!)
Although I have wanted to do (some of) the above for some years, I haven't proceeded because I don't know what sort of software platform to use. I'd prefer to take part in some sort of global project that would make the output available to the public. But if such a project exists, I haven't been able to find it.
A quick look at the glossaries available on ProZ.com confirmed my fears that very little progress has occurred in this area. Since I'm interested in hunting terminology, I looked at the German to English Sport glossary, and couldn't find a single German hunting term there.
Chinese OCR is of great interest to me, and I have run trial versions of all three commercial programs in the marketplace. Two of them IRIS and ABBYY were so poorly documented that I could never figure out how to do anything with them. The third, DanChing/MaxRead5, was so crippled that it was impossible to evaluate meaningfully.
As a casual would-be learner of Chinese for some decades, I've been searching for practical reference tools constantly, and been continually frustrated by the fact that they are generally marketed to native Chinese speakers, and only as an afterthought, if at all, to native speakers of other/target languages.
Coherent English menus, online help, and documentation are always a huge question mark. And customer service is a very bad joke when it comes to these issues. And this applies to software, firmware, and hardware products. So the input of anyone fluent in English and Chinese and with an interest in any of these areas would be most helpful in finding the tools I need.
If indeed the idea behind this announcement/project was to launch a community effort to identify, evaluate and/or create translation reference tools, I would suggest a look at the rudimentary "language localization" work being done in Puppy Linux (www.murga-linux.com). I'm hoping that better tools can be found or devised, at least for the major world languages.
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