Termium vs. le grand dictionnaire
Thread poster: Joan Berglund

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
French to English
Mar 3, 2008

I was wondering if other people were finding Termium to be much more useful than le grand dictionnaire. I specialize in life science, but I sometimes foolishly agree to do IT/computer science work since there is so much of it out there, so it would be mostly in these two fields that I would be needing terminology. Is Termium worth the subscription price?

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:29
English to French
+ ...
Why not try it? Mar 3, 2008

There is a 7-day free trial for Termium. You just need to request it and if you do so before EOB, they will most likely give you your temporary logon today.

I can't compare the two - they function in two totally different ways and they are maintained by two completely different organizations who don't have the same mandate. I find there are more matches in Termium in certain fields, but they are not as easy to verify and sometimes the details are missing. But Termium is a really good tool. Unfortunately, I don't search for terms in the same fields you do, so I can't tell how good Termium is with IT, but if I remember corretly, they have a good life sciences base.


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Andrew Levine  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Recommended. Mar 4, 2008

Termium is an excellent tool that is well worth the cost. I can't even count the number of times it has saved me on obscure engineering/industrial terms. They usually provide sources for each term, which is another considerable advantage over GDT. I can confirm that their life sciences base is very good; I rarely take biology-related texts, but on the occasions where I have had to look up a plant/animal name or agricultural term, Termium has given me a quick answer with a reference about 80%-90% of the time. I've rarely had to go into their IT base, but a few quick searches for common but non-obvious terms turns up fruitful results.

It is inconvenient that Termium won't return more than 200 results at a time (and even worse that on about one search out of 10 will just produce a completely blank screen instead of results, though this may just be a Firefox problem), and that you can't search a specific category without first doing a general search and then narrowing down the results. However, I find Termium to be extremely worthwhile overall.

It should also be pointed out that with a Termium subscription you also get access to occasionally helpful resources like The Canadian Style, which is indispensable if you ever do translations for Canadian clients, and Word Tailoring.


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Marie-Andree Dionne  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:29
English to French
Not always reliable - Try it first Mar 4, 2008

Andrew Levine wrote:

Termium is an excellent tool that is well worth the cost.


Hi!

Andrew is doing French to English translation and that may may Termium a reliable tool. The reverse is not so obvious. English to French translations offered by Termium are not alway all that reliable.

So your language pair will make a difference.

Also, as a rule, I personally like to have MORE than one source for terminology. I prefer to combine AT LEAST 2-3 general tools (Termium and LGDT are ok) plus at least one specialized resource.

But then I'm a perfectionnist

Serioiusly though, as far as French-English translation is concerned I've found terrible things in Termium but also great answers. As for LGDT, sometimes their answers are technically correct but not really connected to common usage.

Good Luck


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your opinions Mar 4, 2008

Thanks
I am doing the trial right now, but I don't have anything particularly tricky to work on, naturally. I need it mostly for those moments when I cannot find a field-specific definition anywhere in my paper dictionaries or online, which doesn't happen that often, but it makes me crazy when it does. Hopefully a particularly miserable job will come in before my trial is up!


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:29
English to French
+ ...
Go to Google Scholar Mar 5, 2008

If you do a Google Scholar search on the subjects you would like to test Termium with, you will find some texts there that will be great for the purpose. Of course, no need to translate them, just read the papers and look up terms when you come across them. A hint: most results on Google lead to articles you have to purchase (they are expensive, too) - if you want the free ones, type filetype:pdf in the search field in Google Scholar after your search string. This will yield mostly PDF documents that are available free of charge.

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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
good idea Mar 5, 2008

Thanks, that is a good idea. I actually still have a university affiliation for another couple months so I can get most articles free through their subscriptions, but I did not know what I was going to do after that, this is good to know. I've been so sad about losing all my free online journal subscriptions that I have actually been contemplating another degree - it seems cheaper than actually paying for info! I actually did dig up an article to work on for my sample translation, so this should give me some practice with Termium, although naturally I did pick something I was pretty familiar with.

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ChrisGT  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:29
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
I don't think it's worth the cost... Mar 6, 2008

But then again I translate mostly from English to French. If I don't find what I want in GDT and my technical and scientific books, I go on the net and can always find my answer in a scientific paper somewhere.

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