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Poll: Do you use public libraries as a resource for your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:09
SITE STAFF
Nov 2, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use public libraries as a resource for your translations?".

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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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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:09
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never (now) Nov 2, 2006

But I used to before the Internet



Cheers,
Andrea


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 01:09
Turkish to English
+ ...
I do not live close to a library Nov 2, 2006

I voted 'no' because there is not a decent public library within reasonable travelling distance of where I live. Several years ago I was freelancing in London and lived round the corner from a public library. I recall that once in a blue moon I would go to the library to check something up that I needed for a translation. Most of the time the Internet is the most convenient and fastest resource. The information you need may be contained in a book somewhere in the library but you might have to spend hours leafing through pages to find it. A search on google, however, frequently helps you to access precisely the information you require in a few seconds.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:09
English to French
+ ...
I don't spend time at the library Nov 2, 2006

I do go to the library and check out books on the subject of my translation. It's always nice to have a reference and books are still much more reliable than the internet when it comes to knowledge. I don't do it very often as I have my fields in which I am comfortable enough with just my paper dictionaries - I have an excellent one on electrical engineering - Google, online dictionaries and the (very) occasional KudoZ question

Libraries are a great resource that should not be overlooked. In particular, I have used library books on a project about bulding and home improvement and for an automotive text. In both cases, the images in the book were extremely helpful. Having a drawing of the different types of frameworks handy is really useful.

I sometimes still check out books on subjects I am proficient in - it helps to refresh the knowledge.

I answered "sometimes" to the survey question.


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Pundora  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:39
English to Hindi
+ ...
Never. Nov 2, 2006

Because it is much easier and convinient to search for the resources on internet really. At least, for those things where source language is English(My main language pair is English-Hindi).

Because I do not take up difficult projects in my other pair(Hindi to English), I hardly need to go to public libraries. I have a few selected paper dictionaries for this pair which take care of most terms. But yes, to my knowledge, internet is not of much help if you translate from Hindi to English.

Regards,
Pundora


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:09
Italian to English
+ ...
Online Reference Library Nov 2, 2006

My local library is only small but they can get hold of any book in the county on request, which is great. I've used the library here a couple of times for work, but the service I have found most useful is their online reference library, which allows access to the OED and many other reference sources just by logging in online using your library card.

Have a good day,
Amy

[Edited at 2006-11-02 08:36]

[Edited at 2006-11-02 08:38]


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Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - quite often Nov 2, 2006

However, I am fortunate in that I live in London and live quite near the British Library, which is excellent. Although some of the other smaller libraries have very little to offer. That said, the Internet is still the main resource that I use when researching subjects - much more convenient.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:09
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sadly, no Nov 2, 2006

I actually trained as an Information Scientist (which meant a technical librarian) in the days when the British Library, BLLD and university libraries were quite indispensible to anyone doing a job like translation, and I worked for a while at a Research Association that collected technical information and kept a library as an important part of its service. The training has proved really useful even now.

Great to see that Lisa Roberts stil benefits from them!

I also worked on converting some of the records to an on-line database... quite an ambitious project before there were monitors on the computers. People like me with dusty fingers from the stacks and print-outs were not in fact allowed anywhere near the computer (singular!!). Those were the days of blue-striped Leporello paper by the ton to proof read. I was in fact the spell-checker, would you believe!

But today our local library is a couple of miles out of town, and I can access what I need myself faster than the staff can get it for me!

I do go and look at the reference books occasionally and have bought one or two discarded ones - but Oxfam bookshops in university towns and other second hand bookshops are a better source of cheap and quite usable reference books. I don't get fined for not returning them on time either

If I lived in a university town I might go into the libraries more - if only for old times' sakes, but again, it means a day off work and I don't do it often.

That's progress really!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Last resort Nov 2, 2006

I live near the Spanish National Library, and my laptop is permanently registered as a research tool (bar coded and all). However, I can count the number of times I've had to do this on the fingers of one hand.

But - hey - where else can you find an Akkadian - German dictionary? (with the cuneiform script)


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 20:09
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Why bother? Nov 2, 2006

Anything I could ever hope to find in the way of research material is right here on the Internet. Why would I bother hassling with traffic, inclement weather and other factors when I have it all right at my fingertips?

I have reserved libraries and bookstores for pleasure reading. They are good for that.

Reed


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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:09
Member
English to Spanish
Never Nov 2, 2006

I never do now, but used to in pre-internet times

I still love going to a library; one of my dreams is getting lost in the British Lybrary.

Now, it is not only a question of time -or lack of it- but libraries are outdated and have no resources at all where I live.

Regards,

Silvina


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:09
French to English
+ ...
sometimes Nov 2, 2006

While my local library (Coventry) doesn't have many paper resources that are any more useful than those I have in my office, it does have free wi-fi, tables and chairs and people - so it's an excellent place to go with my laptop if I have a long job to plough through and want, not necessarily company, but the sound of human voices during the day

I sometimes go to the British Library when I'm in London and that is a fantastic resource - probably the most useful thing I've done, though, is to become a registered student again (the cheap way - doing one module in German) and gain access to the university library (at Warwick) along with the Athens online service ( www.athens.ac.uk ) which gives access to innumerable journals along with reference works such as the OED, Dictionary of National Biography, etc. There is an amazing range of information available that way.

[Edited at 2006-11-02 13:15]


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:09
German to English
I have better dictionaries than the university, sadly Nov 2, 2006

I live near a major American university with an excellent college of engineering. Although the engineering library has extensive resources for basic research as well as material reflecting more esoteric subject areas, the dictionary resources are terribly out of date. Most in my language combination, German>English are at least 30 years old, before the widespread application of microprocessors, robotics, etc. I have online access to some of the university databases which can be helpful at times, but for the most part I rely upon my own resources (dictionaries, reference works, publications).

[Edited at 2006-11-02 16:11]


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Denise DeVries  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
rural library Nov 2, 2006

The first time I went to the library in my small town, I asked for the foreign language section, and the librarian laughed!

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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:09
English to French
+ ...
Not possible Nov 2, 2006

I live in the USA and translate into French, which means that I would only find (english) explanations, pictures and drawings by going to the library. It wouldn't help me with texts in French. I use the library for my own pleasure and for the kids.

Denise, this also happenend to me, and I don't live in a small town:
Quote: "The first time I went to the library in my small town, I asked for the foreign language section, and the librarian laughed!"...

So thank you, internet!


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