DipTrans - how many dictionaries?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:28
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jul 16, 2010

I am getting ready to sign up for the DipTrans of 2011 and would like to know what is the ideal number of dictionaries to take. Is there any limit on this or can you take as many as you can carry? Must they all fit on the desk?

I would think of the following - is this correct?

1 General Dictionary between the two languages concerned
1 General Dictionary in the source language
1 General Dictionary in the target language
1 Medical Dictionary (or whatever specialised subject I choose)
1 Legal Dictionary (or whatever specialised subject I choose)
1 Book of English Usage (would this be allowed?)

Possibly some people who have already taken the exam could shed some light on this? I must take dictionaries as use of the Internet is not allowed, but do not want to take either too many or too few.


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:28
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
is that allowed? Jul 16, 2010

I asked them, but they never replied.

 

John Farebrother  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Take as many as you need Jul 16, 2010

There's some information about it on the website, but I would take everything you mentioned, plus publications/textbooks on those subjects in both languages. Also your personal glossary. I took the financial times with me, which was helpful for checking some collocations right.
They seem to be getting worried about tutors giving candidates tips to help them pass, so they insisted on examing my glossary last time, but they were happy with it.
Re space, I put my main books on the desk and just kept my 'reserve' material in my bag on the floor. It's always better to have more than you need, than less.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
As many as you wish Jul 16, 2010

I dragged two rolling suitcases of dictionaries to my exam. You can carry as many as you wish. In my case, given the weight of the books, I prepared the suitcases in advance and carried them to the exam site the day before, so that I did not waste energy just carrying the books in the morning.

As for the dictionaries, apart from making sure that your monolingual dictionaries are very good ones (in the case of English, I strongly recommend the Chambers dictionary or the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary), I would add the following if you have them (buying them might also be a good investment):
- A dictionary of idioms in the source language and another one in the target language
- A dictionary of English phrasal verbs (your monolingual dictionary contains this information, but it might take some time to find it; a dictionary of phrasal verbs will help you find things in a much shorter time)
- A bilingual technical dictionary
- A dictionary/reference book of spelling in your language (maybe this does not apply to your native language, but in Spanish spelling is a true labyrinth sometimes)
- A dictionary/reference book of grammar in your language

These are the ones that jump to my mind as very advisable materials, even if you happen not to use them at all.

One tip I got in the preparation course is not to become obsessed with reference materials, since time is rather short at the exam and it's best to produce a good translation overall than getting obsessed with hitting the nail in each and every term.


 

Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English to French
and some more ideas Jul 16, 2010

I will add:

A thesaurus in each language, but especially in the target language, to find that specific word...

A one volume encyclopedia in the target language... I work into French and I took a book called "Quid" with me, which proved very useful for the business paper, as the vocabulary I needed was there.

Your own glossaries.... I was nervous about anything to do with new technologies, so I made up my own glossary, which I didn't use, of course...


Carole


 

eesegura  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kindle? Jul 16, 2010

I am planning on sitting this exam at some point in the future. I know that currently bringing one's laptop pc is not allowed, but how about a Kindle or other brand of reader, loaded with dictionaries and other reference material? Has anyone tried this?

Liz


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Read the rules Jul 16, 2010

eesegura wrote:
I am planning on sitting this exam at some point in the future. I know that currently bringing one's laptop pc is not allowed, but how about a Kindle or other brand of reader, loaded with dictionaries and other reference material? Has anyone tried this?

Hm... You might want to read the rules, but as far as I am aware no user's own electronic devices are allowed. You might be able to use a plain computer (with no Internet connection) offered in some exam centres, but no other device.

[Edited at 2010-07-16 15:17 GMT]


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:28
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It gets trickier everyday Jul 16, 2010

People in Brazil have to sit it at the British Council. The person at the Council told me we're not allowed to take ANYTHING, she is probably wrong but getting information from the IoL is an ordeal (they don't reply to 99% of the emails and when they do, they just copy and paste something from the website that hasn't got much to do with what you've been asking).

 


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