Technical Dictionaries and KudoZ questions
Thread poster: Ruxi

Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
May 25, 2004

Hello everybody,

I need your opinion in a matter of dictionaries.
Lately I have surprises with KudoZ answers and I wonder if my dictionaries are wrong.
I put the correct answer according to my dictionaries and many times I add some sources from Internet too.
My answers seem not to be appreciated. They are correct, but many people come with other versions, more or less suitable.
My question is:
Do dictionary become old? I mean the technical ones. I am sure they get more and more rich because of the new fields and technologies, but the classic terms are the same, they do not change. Or am I wrong?
I know the terms in this dictionaries, I also learned many things at school or University, so I know that they are correct.
I would understand these things happening with literar translations where everything is up to the imagination of the translator (and even there basic terms don't change), but technical, very precise terms...It's strange.
Should I through away everything I learned and my old dictionaries just because Ernst or I don't know which of the thousands of dictionaries in the world are more apreciated here?
I think new dictionaries are based on the old ones, just adding some new fields, machines or technologies. The most hard work has been done by the old dictionary authors.

Please tell me your opinion.
Thank you,

Ruxi


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:33
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
If its in a dictionary it should not be on Kudoz May 26, 2004

Proper kudoz-questions are about meanings, which are not covered by the dictionaries. To arrive at the answer it is not enough to look it up in the dictionary, this the asker should have done in the first place.
Dictionaries are for cases, when you kind of know the answer but it just does not come to your mind, but when the term is unknown dictionaries are of not much help.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:33
German to English
+ ...
Technical Dictionaries and KudoZ questions May 26, 2004

"Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none and the best cannot be expected to go quite true."

(Samuel Johnson)


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:33
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
There are no "proper KudoZ questions" May 26, 2004

All sources can be used in order to provide a good suggestion. There is no censorship here.

The poster's questions are too general to get sensible answers.

Please specify with examples (Author, edition, print year etc)
and I am sure you will get some good answers

Best regards

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/pro/1749
(Proz.com moderator, deu>swe, Swedish)
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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:33
German to English
Proper KudoZ questions May 26, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Proper kudoz-questions are about meanings, which are not covered by the dictionaries. To arrive at the answer it is not enough to look it up in the dictionary, this the asker should have done in the first place.
Dictionaries are for cases, when you kind of know the answer but it just does not come to your mind, but when the term is unknown dictionaries are of not much help.


I\'d say the official ProZ.com position is expressed here:

KudoZ rules:
1.1 - Use KudoZ to ask for a translation only after you have consulted dictionaries, the Internet and the ProZ.com glossaries (KudoZ >Search Glossaries in the menu). If you have found translations elsewhere but still want to ask, include an explanation of what you have found--and why you are asking anyway--with your question.

Pro - question for professional translators or specialists
Easy - question for language learners


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:33
German to English
The value of dictionaries May 26, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Proper kudoz-questions are about meanings, which are not covered by the dictionaries. To arrive at the answer it is not enough to look it up in the dictionary, this the asker should have done in the first place.
Dictionaries are for cases, when you kind of know the answer but it just does not come to your mind, but when the term is unknown dictionaries are of not much help.


Heinrich, I think you've made some good points about the value of dictionaries for translation, and I think you've provided some good advice to beginning translators and the things they should beware of.

I also understand what you mean by a "proper" KudoZ question when it comes to Pro-level questions. Answerers should generally assume that the asker is a linguist and has all the necessary dicos and has consulted them before asking the question. It's the asker's responsibility, though, to let everyone know he has done so.

If an answerer ignores this information or is just in too big a hurry to get an answer in without reading the question carefully in the first place and simply enters a dico translation, he has insulted the intelligence of the asker and his peers.

But I think there's a good case for answers straight out the dictionary in some cases. And I also know the pitfalls of such an answer if, as the translator, I don't understand the subject in the first place.

I translate a lot of contracts and steer clear of most highly technical/engineering-related or IT texts, but sometimes I get stuck with a section that is highly technical and can't find a specific term in any of my technical dicos or online glossaries. If someone has a good dico and can give me the term I need, and I can see from the text I'm translating that the term can't have a lot of different meanings, I am grateful for the help.

[Edited at 2004-05-26 20:00]


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Allow me to disagree May 26, 2004

Mr. Pesch and Mr. Metzger pointed here an aspect wich is not correct.
The asker has to consult or sources available for him, but the reason for KudoZ questions is that a term is not found anywhere, or there are more possibilities and you can not choose.
If you show me those rules then I will ask you where should an answerer know a term if it does not exist anywhere and how can he proof? He is supposed to use some resources too.
There are a lot of terms which God knows where they come from, used in original texts and they don't have a translation in a specific language, either it does not exist in that world yet, or it is to old.
There are a lot of dictionaries in this world, at least for some language pairs.Some have a sort of terms some don't.
I will give you two examples:
1."unermüdlich" can be translated in more ways in English. In my dictionary I have "tireless" and "indefatiguable". The last one sounds more like a neologism originated in French, so I wrote tireless.
There where 8 different answers, what ever people could find.My dictionary provided only 2 alternatives.
Still my answer was not appreciated,everybody else have got at least an "agree". Does it mean my term is wrong?
2. for a Romanian term I found the German translation "Stoßmaschine". I got 3 "agrees". Another person wrote some other alternatives "Stemmmaschine" and I don't remember what else. She was not even sure (rated with 3).
The asker has choosen that answer, "Stemmmaschine", which in my dictionary does not exist. There is only "Stemmer" (as an operator for another type of mechanical operation).
I am an enginer and learned about all this stuff,about Stoßmaschine, but I never heard about "Stemmen" (the other person said it is something for wood or leather).The asker wanted a machine for metal.
Now I asked you because I wanted to understand wether my dictionaries are really not good enough.
Somebody here was right, a bad dictionary is better than none, but here there seems to be another policy, I am out of circulation.

Thank you all,
Ruxi


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:33
German to English
Technical dictionaries May 26, 2004



[Edited at 2004-05-26 19:43]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:33
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Dear Ruxi May 26, 2004

I hesitate to say it, but maybe the problem is not in your dictionaries? And maybe you ought to check more closely the context which askers provide? Or maybe you should not rely on dictionaries in all cases? Or maybe any answer you did not win is not yet a reason to claim that askers and peers behave strange..?

[Edited at 2004-05-26 19:50]


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 12:33
German to Romanian
+ ...
... May 26, 2004

Kirill Semenov wrote:

I hesitate to say it, but maybe the problem is not in your dictionaries? And maybe you ought to check more closely the context which askers provide? Or maybe you should not rely on dictionaries in all cases? Or maybe any answer you did not win is not yet a reason to claim that askers and peers behave strange..?

[Edited at 2004-05-26 19:50]


I think you hit the nail on the head.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:33
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Why get offended by Kudoz-results? May 27, 2004

Mostly when I put forward a question on Kudoz its because I do not understand the source term in its context, and any dictionary entries seem completely off the mark. Generally I recieve only one answer or none, as Finnish linguists do not seem to like to give any answers in public. So the problem Ruxi discribed hardly ever occurs with my questions.
Still about dictionaries: many entries are out of date and do not come up on searching on the net, though they look quite reasonable and understandable. Meanings change very fast nowadays. Someone invents a new device and calls it with an old term in the source language, but the translator has the problem, that there is no prior translation for the new context and the straight translation looks rediculous when applied to the new device.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:33
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Do not judge - help people! May 27, 2004

Kim Metzger wrote:
I also understand what you mean by a "proper" KudoZ question when it comes to Pro-level questions. Answerers should generally assume that the asker is a linguist and has all the necessary dicos and has consulted them before asking the question. It's the asker's responsibility, though, to let everyone know he has done so.
If an answerer ignores this information or is just in too big a hurry to get an answer in without reading the question carefully in the first place and simply enters a dico translation, he has insulted the intelligence of the asker and his peers.


These are judgemental assumption on assumptions.

"...should generally assume.."
They should assume nothing.
The object of the exercise is to focus on the question, try to understands its content, its context etc and provide as godd an answer as possible.
It is totally immaterial if the asker has this or that dictionary, has checked this or that source, is native or not native, has a certain exam, is beatiful or has dandruff etc etc.
You should concentrate on the question, nothing else.

"...and simply enters a dico translation, he has insulted the intelligence of the asker and his peers..."
This is really carrying judgement into the extreme.
Many, many questions contain answers based on dictionaries (I do not have statistics but I have answered 9160 questions) and many of them would never have been answered if your 'insult' contention had been observed.

"...It's the asker's responsibility, though, to let everyone know he has done so..."
There is no such obligation at all. Help should be the focus, not judgement.

Live and let live!


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:03
English to Tamil
+ ...
The reason for your not getting agrees may be on account of lack of research May 27, 2004

As for the question concerning the term "unermüdlich", I am sure you are referring to http://www.proz.com/kudoz/719656
As soon as I saw the term, the meaning "untiring" came promptly to my mind. I just put this term in Google search and got about 96,800 hits. I had no difficulty in selecting the hit that I displayed. In the bargain, I could add one valuable site to my favorites. And I got 5 agrees as well as the KudoZ points.

In your case however, you just put in the term "tireless", with a terse reference "English dictionary". But tireless had already been included in my synonyms. Hence your not getting any agrees.

As for the others, they all gave some new points and got their agrees.

I too used to give just dictionary meanings in the beginning. In those days I was not aware of the possibilities provided by Google. Dictionaries are still useful but they are not sufficient. If necessary, they have to be backed up by more research and the fact of your researching should come out clearly in your entries.

Here is wishing you a good kudoZing.

Regards,
N.Raghavan

Ruxi wrote:
There are a lot of dictionaries in this world, at least for some language pairs.Some have a sort of terms some don't.
I will give you two examples:
1."unermüdlich" can be translated in more ways in English. In my dictionary I have "tireless" and "indefatiguable". The last one sounds more like a neologism originated in French, so I wrote tireless.
There where 8 different answers, what ever people could find.My dictionary provided only 2 alternatives.
Still my answer was not appreciated,everybody else have got at least an "agree". Does it mean my term is wrong?


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