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Poll: When you encounter an unknown word, what is the source of information that you consult first?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:47
SITE STAFF
Nov 2, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When you encounter an unknown word, what is the source of information that you consult first?".

This poll was originally submitted by Viviane Moreno Matowanyika. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member
German to English
+ ...
Other Nov 2, 2012

I'd consult my TM first, then any customer glossaries, then search online.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Nov 2, 2012

Seeing as it is not in my TM, I would google first and double check with KudoZ - KudoZ is not bad, it is just annoying that some translators making repeated attempts to make entries in fields and languages where they do not have a clue about, their answers are always being marked as negative, and they just keep on putting their rubbish in the system

[Edited at 2012-11-02 08:31 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:47
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other: online databases Nov 2, 2012

Now that these resources are available, I always prefer to see if the term has already been translated in context before I bother with dictionaries.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Online dictionaries and databases Nov 2, 2012

I use online dictionaries and databases exclusively. Hard copy dictionaries simply can't keep up to date fast enough in the fields of science I translate.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Google Nov 2, 2012

The fastest option IMO.

Moreover, I find it hard to believe that most respondents use online dictionaries as their first choice (the fact that a word is "unknown" doesn't mean that it is a dictionary or semantic issue IMO) and suspect that many are too embarrassed to admit googling. Come on people, own up!


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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:47
English to Czech
+ ...
Other: TMs and my electronic dictionary Nov 2, 2012

First, I start with my Trados TM and then check my electronic - not an online! - dictionary (sw installed on my computer), if necessary. It surprised me the poll does not mention this type of source. If an unkwnown word is not in my electronic dictionary, I check my online sources.

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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:47
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
agree Nov 2, 2012

Jana Kinská wrote:

First, I start with my Trados TM and then check my electronic - not an online! - dictionary (sw installed on my computer), if necessary. It surprised me the poll does not mention this type of source. If an unkwnown word is not in my electronic dictionary, I check my online sources.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Italian to English
Other Nov 2, 2012

A CD version of a hard copy dictionary, followed by online dictionaries and / or ProZ.com Term Search and / or my own TMs, according to my gut feeling as to the most likely source of the best answer(s).

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:47
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on the word Nov 2, 2012

and on the subject: for EU affairs, I will go directly to site:europa.eu or IATE, for medicine, I prefer hard copy and online dictionaries, for journalism/politics and economy, I will go directly to Google... I may also get assistance from trusted sources such as my former colleagues (specially two terminologists) whom I can turn to if necessary.

[Edited at 2012-11-02 11:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-11-02 17:35 GMT]


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KKastenhuber  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 05:47
Russian to German
+ ...
depends Nov 2, 2012

neilmac wrote:

The fastest option IMO.

Moreover, I find it hard to believe that most respondents use online dictionaries as their first choice (the fact that a word is "unknown" doesn't mean that it is a dictionary or semantic issue IMO) and suspect that many are too embarrassed to admit googling. Come on people, own up!


Why "too embarrassed to admit" googling? As far as I'm concerned, consulting a dictionary and googling a term are just different search procedures that are used in different situations and that give different results. If I want to know what the word stands for/what context it is used in/what the denominated thing looks like, I google. If I want to know how the word is said in another language, I consult a dictionary. Depending on the text that I'm translating, I might need one or the other more often.

[Edited at 2012-11-02 11:32 GMT]


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xxxchristela
Other Nov 2, 2012

Jana Kinská wrote:

First, I start with my Trados TM and then check my electronic - not an online! - dictionary (sw installed on my computer), if necessary. It surprised me the poll does not mention this type of source. If an unkwnown word is not in my electronic dictionary, I check my online sources.


Same here. I charged my electronic dictionary on my computer, so it's always available.

I use the information in the following order:
1) client TM
2) client information (documentation, websites) and competitor information
3) electronic dictionary
4) other information on my hard drive, using Copernic
5) other monolingual online resources


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:47
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
I'm amazed Nov 2, 2012

at the 2.5% voters chosing KudoZ.
This is probably why KudoZ has become filled with stupid questions.


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maryblack  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:47
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
depends on language Nov 2, 2012

If I'm translating from Spanish, I don't even have a paper dictionary anymore as the online dictionaries are many and complete.
But if I'm translating from Catalan, I go to my trusty dog-eared coverless paper dictionary first, as I find it generally more complete than any of the online bilingual dictionaries, which I suspect of having lost funding as they haven't seemed to develop much further in recent years and are, in my opinion, still in their infant stages.

[Edited at 2012-11-02 11:55 GMT]


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:47
German to English
+ ...
If the word is unknown to me... Nov 2, 2012

...it will not be in my TM.

I check:
1. Client's glossary, term base or TM, if applicable.
2. Online bilingual dictionaries
3. Online SL monolingual dictionaries
4. Google search SL term, for word in context
5. Google search TL term, to weed out weird hyphenations, capitalisations, and discover possible modes of expression.
6. Run "TL term" through bilingual online dictionary and see what SL terms pop up.
7.. If still not satisfied, I might look in one of my paper-based dictionaries at what might be the "root" word of the new term. I run my TL guesses through Google search.
8. At this stage, I may run the source text through Google Translate. This can be helpful, and lead you closer to the answer.
9. If still clueless, I check KudoZ.
10. If still clueless, I ask a KudoZ question.
11. Bingo! Someone usually knows precisely what I have been searching for.
11. Depending on the client, I may ask the client, if I still feel uneasy after the above eleven steps. This sometimes does bring enlightenment.

Obviously, I do not do this for every term I do not know. Often, the first five steps are enough.


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