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Poll: When did you last consult a dictionary? (paper / online)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:39
SITE STAFF
May 29, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When did you last consult a dictionary? (paper / online)".

This poll was originally submitted by ryancolm

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 03:39
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Slow but sweet May 29, 2008

I love the feel of paper pages between my fingers and the weight of books. I also like browsing on paper. I am quick to add the paper dictionary entries to Lingo so that I don't have to go back to the paper dictionary to look up entries I have already checked.

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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:39
Portuguese to English
I voted other... May 29, 2008

...because I can't remember. I don't make a record of these things. Somebody tell me why this matters in the cosmic scale of things.

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S_Angel  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:39
German to Italian
+ ...
Maybe it doesn't matter in the cosmic scale... May 29, 2008

... but that doesn't mean that an interesting discussion cannot arise even from an apparently trivial poll, don't you think?


lexical wrote:

...because I can't remember. I don't make a record of these things. Somebody tell me why this matters in the cosmic scale of things.


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Martina Höppner  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:39
English to German
+ ...
Yesterday May 29, 2008

… but only because I haven't started translating yet today!
And it even was a paper dictionary. I don't use those every day, the online ones for sure though.
Cheers,
Martina


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
Poll would have been more interesting... May 29, 2008

...if it had been confined to paper dictionaries (to see how much they're still in use).

I'm sure every translator consults some sort of online dictionary/glossaries etc on some regular basis. Personally, I prefer paper dictionaries, as long as I can trust them to be up-to-date.


Martina Höppner wrote:
Yesterday
… but only because I haven't started translating yet today!


Same here.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Other... May 29, 2008

...because, more than dictionaries, I prefer to just search on the Internet with some specific keys (like a German word into an Italian search engine). This gives me often more results than a simple dictionary, paper or electronic.

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Erith Desenaldo  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to Indonesian
Still need it May 30, 2008

Have a dream to be 24 hrs on-line... but it is impossible. Dictionaries can help anytime I need it. Sometimes they do not lead me 100% to what I am looking for... at least I got the basic idea to explore to other sources.

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Krzysztof Łesyk  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 15:39
Japanese to English
+ ...
My (bad?) habit. May 30, 2008

If the job isn't very urgent (and in my case most of them aren't), I like to constantly consult all sorts of dictionaries (most of the time online/electronic), even for terms I'm almost sure I'm translating correctly. Then, I'll often also go through a thesaurus for my target language and see if other possibilities sound nicer, more natural, just better. It takes time, obviously, but I find it helps me to increase my vocabulary in both source and target language. Works wonders for language flexibility too - I used to be much too literal in my translations and I like to think this helps to alleviate that flaw.

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Sundar Gopalakrishnan
India
Local time: 12:09
English to Tamil
+ ...
Regarding satisfaction May 30, 2008

I prefer paper dictionaries. I love them too! Only when I don't find a specific word in the paper dictionary, I consult online dictionaries. Also, somehow I don't get satisfaction when I consult online dictionaries. This is nothing to do with the quality of online dictionaries. They are wonderful, no doubt. My feeling is purely psychological. I wonder whether other translators also feel the same way.

Paper dictionaries always excite me. I feel bored when I consult an online dictionary.


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Colin Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:39
Italian to English
+ ...
It doesn't matter! May 30, 2008

lexical wrote:

...because I can't remember. I don't make a record of these things. Somebody tell me why this matters in the cosmic scale of things.


Hi lexical,
It doesn't matter, in the cosmic scheme of things. I was simply curious about it (hence I submitted the poll), because I noticed recently that a whole day might go by without my consulting a dictionary. The interesting consequence, for me, is that I use paper dictionaries more often than I used to. In the past I had my dictionary software, websites etc. open in the background constantly, but now I don't and it's easier to reach for my Oxford-Paravia than to go online. So, electronic dictionaries were more useful to me when I was starting out, but now I've moved almost exclusively to paper.
Colm


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:39
Italian to English
+ ...
yesterday May 30, 2008

because so far this morning I've only done a couple of tiny jobs which didn't need it. I use both paper and online dictinaries regularly.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I use a dictionary for options I might not have thought of May 30, 2008

Most of all, I consult my old paper dictionaries for stylistic options - i.e., for possible alternative translations of words I already know. For Spanish-English, I use a 1958 Martinez Amador dictionary that is celebrated for its vast array of choices. It helps me pick up peripheral meanings of the word that might be translated differently in English.

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LinguaLab.net
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:39
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Yesterday May 30, 2008

Martina Höppner wrote:

Yesterday

… but only because I haven't started translating yet today!


Same here! ;o)

Nina Elin Brevik
www.lingualab.net


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not every day, because... May 30, 2008

...in most translations we do, we are in one of the following two situations:
1. We already have researched the terminology in the past and the terms are recorded and explained in our termbase.

2. Terms are too specific to trust a dictionary with no or little context information. We end up looking for specific websites about the matter in Spanish (i.e. Spanish universities, manufacturers or distributors in that field) and take the terms from their context.

Of course sometimes we need the dictionaries as a starting point to find the right term in the ocean of information available over the Web about anything imaginable.

And yes, dictionaries on paper are still necessary, if this is what the question means!!


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