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What is the price of progress? (Are printed dictionaries being neglected?)
Thread poster: Narasimhan Raghavan

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
Sep 27, 2003

What with the emphasis on the online dictionaries and dictionaries on CD, I am getting the impression that dictionaries in the printed form get neglected. For example the series of Ernst dictionaries have not been updated for more than a decade. It is a scandal that the DeVries technical dictionaries dating 1965 or so are still being marketed. I am searching in vain for a French-English data communication dictionary on a niveau similar to the Brinkmann dictionary in German. What is happening? Dictionaries in the printed form are irreplaceable in my opinion. I would like to get the inputs from my Proz colleagues on this matter.
If someone out there is able to prove me wrong about the availability of such dictionaries in the printed form, I will be very thankful and I would request more information about the latest technical/commercial/legal/ data communication dictioaries in the language pairs French-English and German-English.
Regards,
Narasimhan Raghvan

[Edited at 2003-09-28 00:26]


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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:13
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
Try this link... Sep 27, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

What with the emphasis on the online dictionaries and dictionaries on CD, I am getting the impression that dictionaries in the printed form get neglected. For example the series of Ernst dictionaries have not been updated for more than a decade. It is a scandal that the DeVries technical dictionaries dating 1965 or so are still being marketed. I am searching in vain for a French - English data communication dictionary on a niveau similar to the Brinkmann dictionary in German. What is happening? Dictionaries in the printed form are irreplaceable in my opinion. I would like to get the inputs from my Proz colleagues on this matter.
If someone out there is able to prove me wrong about the availability of such dictionaries in the printed form, I will be very thankful and I would request more information about the latest technical/commercial/legal/ data communication dictionaries in the language pairs French-English and German-English.
Regards,
Narasimhan Raghvan


Hi Narasimhan,

I don't know the level of the Brinkmann dictionary in German, but you can try the very rich catalogue of the Maison du Dictionnaire :

http://www.lmdd.com

Hope this helps !

Ciao, Jean-Marie


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Victor Hugo Sep 28, 2003

Very kind of you to have given me a useful link. I have been very much accustomed to dictionaries in the printed form. In my career of more than 25 years as a freelance translator, I am using the computer only since February 2002. Hence you can appreciate my problem. Thanks again.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


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ckatsidonis  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:13
English to French
+ ...
Damn! Sep 29, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

Very kind of you to have given me a useful link. I have been very much accustomed to dictionaries in the printed form. In my career of more than 25 years as a freelance translator, I am using the computer only since February 2002. Hence you can appreciate my problem. Thanks again.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


Wow, how did you do that? Is it actually feasible, possible, thinkable and manyotherable?

I am actually one of those 100% computer-dependent translator, you know. Started using them in 1982... at seven (didn't translate professionally yet, though).

Welcome to the cyber-21st translating century. Anyway, terminology is evolving so fast in certain (technological) fields that a paper dictionary wouldn't keep up with the pace. I specialise in IT mainly and I don't even think about getting a paper dic. for it. I rely on paper dictionaries (I like collecting them) for more cultural matters, non professional ones.

Regards,

Charalambos


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 17:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, it is, or was, possible! Sep 29, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:
I have been very much accustomed to dictionaries in the printed form. In my career of more than 25 years as a freelance translator, I am using the computer only since February 2002. Hence you can appreciate my problem. Thanks again.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


Wow, how did you do that? Is it actually feasible, possible, thinkable and manyotherable?

I am actually one of those 100% computer-dependent translator, you know...
...Anyway, terminology is evolving so fast in certain (technological) fields that a paper dictionary wouldn't keep up with the pace. ...
Regards,
Charalambos[/quote]

I have only been translating professionally for a few years, but I have done it in connection with other jobs for about twenty years. I'm sure Mr. Raghavan will end up loving the new abilities the computer and Internet give him. However, I think he is also right that up-to-date print dictionaries have important advantages and that the present relative dearth of them is disadvantageous, especially to those not in the IT field.
I do mostly clinical research translations, as such, the Authority of the source is very important, and in fact helps to KEEP the terminology in any language standard (very important when your doctor is trying to learn how to do that new-fangled surgery you need -he can't just reboot). In addition, people who make the effort to write, compile, or print a dictionary are making a big commitment, and that (usually) means they make great efforts to be complete and accurate. When they accomplish that they get a reputation, and when they don't -they get a different reputation. On the web, in contrast, there is an awful lot of "here today, gone tomorrow," and even apparently reputable organizations may sometimes put something that is not well thought out onto their websites, since after all, if they've erred, they can correct it in 5 minutes.
Obviously, the medical/biotechnical field is advancing, no -flying, forward, and a Med translator (any translator)Must use the Internet for new terms and to compare usage of unknown or doubtful terms and language (and to consult with colleagues, of course!). But I couldn't tell you how many times I've spent an hour or more surfing for a term only to find it was in one of the dictionaries sitting on my desk. (Sound of translator kicking self)
Cheers!
Gerard "Michael" Burns


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Both types of dictionary are indispensible! Sep 29, 2003

....people who make the effort to write, compile, or print a dictionary are making a big commitment, and that (usually) means they make great efforts to be complete and accurate. When they accomplish that they get a reputation, and when they don't -they get a different reputation. On the web, in contrast, there is an awful lot of "here today, gone tomorrow," and even apparently reputable organizations may sometimes put something that is not well thought out onto their websites, since after all, if they've erred, they can correct it in 5 minutes.
Obviously, the medical/biotechnical field is advancing, no -flying, forward, and a Med translator (any translator)Must use the Internet for new terms and to compare usage of unknown or doubtful terms and language (and to consult with colleagues, of course!). ... Gerard "Michael" Burns[/quote]

You're so right!

I have a total of seven on-line dictionaries installed. One I use very rarely, but the hard-copy was sold out when I did need it.

I just can't manage more, since in my main language, Danish, dictionaries come with a system called 'bookshelf' which only allows me to open one at a time. So you can easily get a 'mouse injury' clicking back and forth to compare and re-check... Two of my on-line dictionaries mercifully work without the 'bookshelf'.

For subjects where the language is more stable than medicine and IT (some engineering terms for instance, or even tourist descriptions of nice views and parking facilities...) I strongly prefer hard-copy. You can have as many as you need on the table, and I have a fine collection of postcards as markers when I need my fingers for other things.

Copyright is another issue. When I was commuting between night school, home and office, nobody worried if I put a book in my bag and used it at all three places. But if my employer paid for the CD at work, I was not allowed to use it at home, and if I bought it myself, I needed a different licence at work. Who can afford three copies of a dictionary you use once a month??

At the office we had a good collection of dictionaries that five of us shared, until they came on-line. Then suddenly updates were far too expensive because we needed a five-man licence ... and those who went to night school still had to wait until next day at the office to use the dictionary.

I know the producers have to make a living, but it is no more expensive to make a CD than a book, so why are they so much more expensive to buy? What really costs money is the time spent compiling them. Some work if you have the CD in the drive, and are strictly portable like a book, but the licensing laws are really hysterical in my opinion, and inhibit sales.

So please, let's keep the hard copies up to date - if they didn't exist and someone invented them tomorrow, they'd be hailed as a really brilliant invention!

Regards from a dinosaur...
CRAndersen


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Now I can be more open Sep 29, 2003

It is really heartening to see more persons sharing my view. I have been translating from 1975 onwards. For nearly 27 years I have been doing this without computer. In fact I didn't even know how to operate one. I used to deliver only handwritten copies. Can you imagine it? As a result of writing thousands of pages in long hand, my handwriting too improved.
Coming to the paper dictionaries, I have accumulated quite a big collection over more than 2 decades. Take for example civil engineering. I have got DeVries, Ernst as well as a dictionary of architecture and of cement technology. I surround myself with them and I feel supported. On the other hand there is one online dictionary at www.quickdic.org. The translation is given with a disclaimer "Use at your own risk". The brain is faster than computer in jumping from ideas to ideas and if I don't get my answer in certain pages I can try elsewhere in the same book. One more thing. How about the cost of browsing and how reliable is the internet connection? Laptop is ok and would you like to use your cellphone for internet connection?
I may be old fashioned. But old is gold.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
German to English
+ ...
Both Sep 30, 2003

I also use both. I have the Brinkmann on CD and love being able to perform fuzzy searches and get the context around a term. But I use many paper dictionaries as well. I have also started collecting old German dictionaries (some of which have actually come in handy in translations) because there is nothing that can compare to holding a book in your hand and leafing through it. It's an aesthetic experience as well as a practical one.

You might want to check www.katerverlag.de for good German dictionaries. They have a pretty extensive selection of scientific and technical works.


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