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Poll: When I find a difficult term to translate, I first...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:05
SITE STAFF
Jun 16, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When I find a difficult term to translate, I first...".

This poll was originally submitted by Sheila Wilson

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


 

marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:05
English to French
+ ...
I voted other Jun 16, 2009

as there is no simple answer: it depends on the term/context. For some terms, I will use a paper/online dictionnary, for others I'll run an Internet search straightaway. If I remember seeing the term asked recently in Kudoz, I might consult Kudoz term search. I might also ask a KudoZ question or post a question on a mailing list (a similar choice to asking several colleagues).
And how do I decide what I'll do first? Experience I guess. To be honest, I'll add that some days I tend to use one option over the others, depending maybe on the specific text I'm translating but maybe also on sheer habit...

[Edited at 2009-06-16 12:25 GMT]


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
English to French
Other Jun 16, 2009

A bit of everything (but almost never "ask a colleague") generally - but not always - in the following order: paper and online dictionaries, then kudoz archive and Internet search. If no result I leave the term for later and only if I don't find anything afterwards I ask a KudoZ...

Stéphanie

[Edited at 2009-06-16 12:46 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:05
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Same here: it depends Jun 16, 2009

Any of the above, depending on the term!

I know my paper dictionaries and reference books are reliable and I will probably find certain things there.

Recently I have been able to subscribe to good online dictionaries, so quite often one of them will be my first port of call.

If the term is context-sensitive, or it sounds like a buzz-word, I may start with an Internet search to see how others use it and what reactions it draws.

If it looks highly specialised, I ask a colleague or get the PM to ask the client, but that is not usually the first thing I do.

I try not to leave it for later, but I do read the rest of the text, and look at earlier work or the concordance if I have one, or search the client's website for clues. Surprisingly often the pieces of the puzzle then fall into place and I find the answer.

KudoZ is supposed to be a last resort, but I do not always spend a lot of time searching as above if I do not expect to find the answer. As a rule I do search the glossaries before posting a question.


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2009

Usually one of three options: electronic dictionary installed on my computer, Google or Proz term search. Frankly it depends on where I expect to find the right answer in the shortest time. When it turns out to be more complicated than I expected I refer to other sources and verify results in Google.

Cheers
S


 

Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:05
Italian to English
+ ...
Simultaneously/it depends Jun 16, 2009

Depends on where I think I'll be most likely to find it first (which comes with experience, I guess). I also like to canvas several opinions, and so search two or three dictionaries and ProZ at the same time (typing/pasting into the slowest one first, which tends to be ProZ, it's certainly slower than IATE), so that I can compare the various answers all together.

 

Stephanie Geiges  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 13:05
English to German
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2009

I usually use the electronic dictionary installed on my computer and/or online or paper dictionaries first.

 

gad
United States
Local time: 06:05
Member
French to English
Consult online AND paper dictionaries AND do a ProZ.com Term search Jun 16, 2009

I'm surprized that "run an Internet search" is what most people do, since the Internet is full of poor translations. I do research online this way, too, but this would not be my first step in researching a term.

I consider a ProZ.com Term search as part of my online research.

I consider a KudoZ question as last on that list, but it's pretty much one in the same as asking a colleague, it's just asking a community of colleagues.

I guess I could also say that if/when I ask a KudoZ question, that sometimes I move on and leave the term for later. In the meantime I put in my best guess and highlight it so I know where to go back should I need to change it.


 

NMR (X)
France
Local time: 12:05
French to Dutch
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2009

1) I do a context search (in Wordfast) (called Concordance in other programs)
2) I look on my own disk with Copernic (in all multilingual, bilingual and monolingual files)
3) I consult the electronic bilingual dictionary
4) I do an internet search

In this order. And I do cross-checks if I'm not sure.


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
English to Arabic
+ ...
I love Proz term search Jun 16, 2009

It may not always be my first point of call - as others pointed above it depends on the kind of difficulty - but I have found the Proz term search extremely helpful over the years. Provided the context is similar, it offers alternative translation suggestions, plus discussions among linguists, plus references - what more could I need?

 

Julia Ober  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:05
German to Russian
+ ...
Other: Electronic dictionary Jun 16, 2009

I usually look it up in the electronic dictionary installed on my computer (the latest ABBYY Lingvo with dozens of additional dictionaries), then run a ProZ.com Term search, and turn to Wikipedia when it seems sensible to do so.

For a context search, I may also use other search engines, apart from Google (Yandex.ru and de.Yahoo.com, mostly).

If still in doubt, I ask a KudoZ.


 

Catherine Shepherd  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
...panic?! Jun 16, 2009

Just kiddingicon_wink.gif

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
German to English
Others: depends on what I am looking for Jun 16, 2009

Depends which word I am looking for, sometimes ProZ first and sometime Google... all depends

 

RichardDeegan
Local time: 05:05
Spanish to English
Depends Jun 16, 2009

Collins for single word or common phrase, or area-specific dictionaries (Robb, Bossini, mosby, etc) as needed. If no soap, then Term Search, focusing on questions and their context, discussions and all answers, not necessarily the "right" answer.
Spmtimes Gloss (depending on user).
Next comes DRAE (single word) or Google (phrase) to fully understand source and see other contexts.
This latter usually gives me enough information for an intelligent Google search for an acceptable English phrase.


 

Jean-Louis S.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
English to French
+ ...
Most of the above Jun 16, 2009

When I work, I usually have several tabs opened and I choose first what I feel would be most useful for that term. My most common tabs are online source monolingual dictionary, online bilingual dictionary, GDT, ProZ term search, Google, terminologiecismef.chu-rouen.fr and target language Google (mostly to "verify" usage). If all that fails, I get back to my good old paper dictionary, which, more often than not, has the answer and I should have started with if I was not so "addicted" to my screen and keyboard...

[Edited at 2009-06-16 15:43 GMT]


 
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