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Poll: While looking for a very specific and rare term, which source do you tend to trust the most?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:51
SITE STAFF
Aug 5, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "While looking for a very specific and rare term, which source do you tend to trust the most?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maciej Andrzejczak

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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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
Where's that elusive branch expert? Aug 5, 2006

Of course I would ask a branch expert - if I could - but where do you find branch experts when you need them?

"The Internet" of course is a very wide term - you can find specialised dictionaries on the internet, you can even find branch experts.

Although I could have chosen any of the other options, I went for "Kudoz glossaries". Not because they are infallible, but because the Kudoz questions which lead to the glossary entries, and the discussions which they provoke, can be very informative, esp when different contexts are discussed and references are provided.

As so often in these polls, the answer "it depends" would have been the most appropriate here.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:21
German to English
I don't rely on one source Aug 6, 2006

I voted "other" because I tend to look up such terms in several places, the Internet, specialised dictionaries and maybe the KudoZ glossary as well, before deciding on the best solution.

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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other... Aug 6, 2006

I would say, a combination of the above and, as Nesrin says, "it depends".

Seeing that, for now, Internet is on the lead, I think that more detailed information regarding what answerers understand as Internet.

Internet is an excellent tool, but the option needs to be be more specific to be able to answer.

Internet includes "googling" a hunch or wild guess and checking number of hits (not the most reliable or accurate system). But it also includes specialized dictionaries, academic papers, specialized texts, messenger lists and groups of professionals, on-line courses, textbooks, translator sites, etc. It is really a world of its own!!!

It would be interesting to know what different answerers do with Internet as a tool, not only to know that almost everyone uses it...


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
About "experts" Aug 6, 2006

Nesrin wrote:

Of course I would ask a branch expert - if I could - but where do you find branch experts when you need them?



In my experience, experts are not always the best source: I have seen that most of the time, the answer they give depends on how you phrase the question.

I recomend when consulting an expert, NEVER ASK "how do you say XXX in Spanish?" (which will usually result in a "why would you want to say it in Spanish ?" or in a cognate or an instant translation). Instead, try to elicit the answer by describing or defining in the target language the term you are looking for "what do you call the little handle that is used for....") That is the best chance of getting an answer you might be able to use, and will also give you terminology, verbs, collocations, etc... (though it not always works).

You need an expert that has been "educated" as to what you mean when you ask for terminology, who really uses the term in the target language (and doesn't just switch into English to say the term)...

I usually use the expert as the last resource, to pick which option he/she considers the best. After asking as described above, I will ask: "have you heard it called YYYY or WWWW?". Most of the time the answer will be "Yes, that is better than what I just told you!" or "I have never heard it called WWWW" or "YYYY is something else...."


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trust based on evidence, not source Aug 6, 2006

I base my confidence in the term not on the source where I found it, but on the supporting evidence accompanying it, such as references and context. I mean "context" here in the widest sense, encompassing who wrote or said it, when, why, what for, where, and what else was written or said in the text or speech where the term was used.

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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 07:51
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Two good dictionaries Aug 6, 2006

I have found that it is very hard to go wrong with the following two paper dictionaries (SpanishEnglish): "Glosario Internacional Para el Traductor" by Marina Orellana and "Diccionario de Términos Jurídicos" by Alcaraz Varó and Hughes.

The next place I look is in KudoZ glossaries. I think it is very important to take the time to read the original KudoZ question, comments and the answers provided. Sometimes the answer selected may not be the most suitable, which is why the searcher should consider the other answers, if any.

Reed


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, again... it depends!... Aug 6, 2006

Reed D. James wrote:

"Glosario Internacional Para el Traductor" by Marina Orellana



I LOVE this Glosario! There are certain words for which this is my first source. I say ... "Orellana will have it" (and she does!) For other words (and under certain circumstances), I go to KudoZ first (Hispanic Spanish stuff.) Some words need experts' help (Spanish speaking lawyers to translate Spanish legalese! ). Others require specific text books. For certain specific questions on the Spanish language (which are neither in the DRAE nor in the RAE's site, I go to Apuntes (a mailing list for linguists). Internet is a good help in other cases.

Au


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
Member (2003)
English to German
Branch experts are often more reliable than specialized dictionaries Aug 6, 2006

At least, that's my experience. In some industries, terms change over time, and if you have a dictionary that is a couple of years old, you will not be aware of those changes. What's more, even so-called specialist dictionaries don't get it right all the time. Coming from the marketing area, I own a couple of those dictionaries and I simply know from practising marketing and advertising that many terms that are listed there are not the right ones.

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Sam21
Qatar
Local time: 13:51
Arabic to English
+ ...
Hey, Kudoz is on the Internet too!! Aug 6, 2006

Kudoz is not offline I believe!!

I went for Internet. Specialized dictionaries are not usually helpful for 'very specific and rare terms'. And experts are not usually there for help.

Internet is the most helpful guide.

Sam


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes, but... Aug 6, 2006

Marion Schimmelpfennig wrote:

At least, that's my experience. In some industries, terms change over time, and if you have a dictionary that is a couple of years old, you will not be aware of those changes. What's more, even so-called specialist dictionaries don't get it right all the time. Coming from the marketing area, I own a couple of those dictionaries and I simply know from practising marketing and advertising that many terms that are listed there are not the right ones.



Sometimes an expert will give an answer understandable only to experts. If your translation is to be read by experts, OK, otherwise you must work a bit to rephrase the (in)famous "We zapped in a patch to cure a bug".


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hola Aug 6, 2006

Samir Sami wrote:

Kudoz is not offline I believe!!

Sam



Of course, but KudoZ is a specific place within Internet, while the Internet concept (at least as I see it) has to do with browsing the whole net looking for the difficult term in question, not just going to an already known site.

Hugs,

Au


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Hmmm... Aug 6, 2006

Interesting to see we don't "trust" the KudoZ glossaries all that much.

Pawel Skalinski


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marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:51
English to French
+ ...
No single source can be totally reliable Aug 6, 2006

I voted Other: The more specific and rare a term is, the more I tend to search all possible sources and check/double-check/triple-check any info

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:51
Flemish to English
+ ...
Branch expert Aug 6, 2006

Using a branch expert as provider of terminology is my standard procedure.
Often, (s)he does not concur with the lexica found on the web.


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