Poll: How many times a dictionary you bought happened to be really bad?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:50
SITE STAFF
Mar 22, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many times a dictionary you bought happened to be really bad?".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Jakacka Márquez. View the poll results »



 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Never Mar 22, 2016

The price of imported books in Japan is astronomical. So, whenever I bought dictionaries or other books, I researched them thoroughly and made sure in advance that were of particular relevance to my work. Some sections would be more relevant than others, so I wouldn't say that any purchases were a mistake - just some were better than others, never bad.

This was in the pre-Internet days.

Now, I buy on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble for more specialist stuff. User reviews and ratings are generally provided, which is really useful, and I can 'test drive' the book by browsing Contents and sample pages so I know what I'm buying before I plonk down my spondoolicks. icon_smile.gif


 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:50
French to German
+ ...
Other Mar 22, 2016

I don't buy dictionaries since I usually find everything I'm looking for online. Besides, I don't even think that there are any useful dicitionaries in my working fields.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:50
Member (2006)
German to English
Morning Julian Mar 22, 2016

Other, define "bad" or even worse, "really bad"

 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:50
English to Russian
+ ...
I can hardly remember Mar 22, 2016

The last time I bought a dictionary (as I seem to remember) was in 1997

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Good evening, Michael Mar 22, 2016

Michael Harris wrote:

Other, define "bad" or even worse, "really bad"


bad = contrary to my expectations
really bad = totally unrelated to my work, therefore, unusable and a waste of money

Does this work for you?

Expanded definition of 'really bad'

[Edited at 2016-03-23 10:10 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never Mar 22, 2016

I "acquired" an ES-EN Beigbder Atienza technical dictionary (a friend lent to me about 20 years ago and I still have it - he has the other tome, EN-ES), which leaves much to be desired. I don't know if I would describe it as really bad, though. Just not very good or useful, and I rarely consult it nowadays.

The last time I bought a dictionary on paper was also over two decades ago, the Alcaraz Varó-Hughes Diccionario de Términos Jurídicos, for legal terms. I find it quite useful, and there don't seem to be many bilingual legal dictionaries available. Before that, I bought the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus, although I can't remember the last time I consulted it. They all sit on the shelf below my printer, will be taken out in the next week or so for dusting, if nothing else.


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:50
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rarely Mar 22, 2016

Dictionaries being so expensive, I tend to research first.

However, there are disappointing institutional products (by "institutional" I mean officially sanctioned dictionaries/terminology). And there are useful non-standard works, such as the Spanish Consumer Organization's dictionary of abbreviations doctors in Spain have used at one time or another (monolingual, but full-sized at that), which is available free of charge in the public interest.

icon_smile.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Really bad? Never! Mar 22, 2016

I’m kind of addicted to buying dictionaries and encyclopedias: I find it nearly impossible to enter a bookstore without buying something. The Internet age has had a positive influence on me and I’m feeling much better now thank you but I still have a good collection even if when I moved back to Lisbon I was forced to give away 10 big card boxes full of them…

 

Laura Orsal  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:50
English to French
+ ...
Never! Mar 22, 2016

Dictionaries are quite expensive, in particular "specialized" dictionaries, so I always do some research before buying one.

In some fields and working languages (Law - German/French), it is difficult to find a lot of dictionary resources so there are a few quality-renowned publishers so you cannot buy the wrong one...

Anyway, you always end up learning somethingicon_wink.gif


 

Petro Ebersöhn  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Never bought a bad dictionary Mar 22, 2016

... but noticed some digital dictionaries not meeting my expectations going around for free.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Mar 22, 2016

There is one publisher whose dictionaries contain quite a few mistakes. Years ago, even before I became a translator, I bought one of their books...never again.icon_smile.gif

 

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:50
Partial member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Not really Mar 22, 2016

I used to receive dictionaries, paper or e-book,
as an occasional gift from my family who are keen on books and learning.

I just chose one that most suited to my purpose. College teachers blamed some dictionary for letting students get wrong at the same point - I never bought one myself.

Later on I started to buy dictionary software but never had a bad one so far.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never Mar 23, 2016

Paper dictionaries are put together with a lot more care than the ones you find online. I love my dictionaries!

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:50
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dictionary? Mar 23, 2016

You mean paper dictionary? I haven't had one of those since I don't remember when.

 


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