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What encyclopedia in English?
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Sep 16, 2008

Recently I had in my hands a volume of the Colliers encyclopedia from the 1960s. It was simply fantastic. I read that it was a 24-book edition. I felt the urge to purchase an updated encyclopedia in English, my main source language.

So my dear colleagues: What printed encyclopedia in English would you recommend as a fellow translator?

Checking Amazon's "Encyclopedias" genre I see things like "The Doctor Who Encyclopedia" or "The Judith Blacklock Encyclopedia of Flower Design"... probably not a great classification, huh?


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Daniel García
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Britannica, what else? Sep 16, 2008

Hi, Tomás,

While I was studying we used the Encyclopaedia Britannica at University and since them it has remained my favourite, compared to other subscription online sources.

I wish I had the money and the space to have it at home.

They used to have an offer which bundled the current edition and a facsimil of the first edition (from the 18th century). This first edition (three tomes) makes a fascinating reading too.

Daniel


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elherrera  Identity Verified
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Encyclopedia Britannica Sep 16, 2008

Encyclopedia Britannica is always a good bet.

Could supplement that with several others like an encyclopedia of the English language and an encyclopedia of African-American English, the multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary might be a good thing to look into also, a good dictionary of quotations, etc. for example as well as several others you might find for more specialized or technical areas.

Yes, nothing compares to the feel of real paper & the weight of a nice, illustrated volume in your hands. But still need online versions + the web.

Good luck!


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
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Britannica Sep 16, 2008

I rely on the Britannica. While entries in Wikipedia are usually fuller, the Britannica gets to the point more quickly. It often inspires more confidence.

By the way, you can usually buy last year's Britannica on places like eBay for next to nothing. I paid fifteen British pounds for my 2007 Deluxe edition with dictionary and thesaurus and world atlas and so on.

Fantastic value.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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32 volumes for 15 pounds? Sep 16, 2008

John Rawlins wrote:
By the way, you can usually buy last year's Britannica on places like eBay for next to nothing. I paid fifteen British pounds for my 2007 Deluxe edition with dictionary and thesaurus and world atlas and so on.
Fantastic value.


Thanks John! Great advice.

Do you mean the 32 volumes cost you 15 pounds? I can't believe it!


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
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Britannica on CD Sep 16, 2008

On CD - three CDs in fact.

No browsing through silky printed pages - but it's much quicker if you are looking for something.

Here it is for less than 15 pounds at amazon.co.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopaedia-Britannica-2007-Deluxe-Mac/dp/1593393113/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1221560702&sr=11-1

Good luck!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Wanted it on paper... Sep 16, 2008

John Rawlins wrote:
On CD - three CDs in fact.
No browsing through silky printed pages - but it's much quicker if you are looking for something.


Yes John. I agree that it makes it easier to search... as long as your PC supports it. With paper you don't have that problem. You don't need electricity or a computer to be able to read whatever you like.

Yes, I know, I know... The old paper/electronic discussion...

Thanks a million for the hint!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Thanks Edward! Sep 16, 2008

Edward Herrera wrote:
Encyclopedia Britannica is always a good bet.


OK! I think I will look into that then. Thanks for the advice!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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Nothing beats a good book Sep 16, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:
Recently I had in my hands a volume of the Colliers encyclopedia from the 1960s. It was simply fantastic. I read that it was a 24-book edition. I felt the urge to purchase an updated encyclopedia in English, my main source language.


You can get encyclopedias on CD ROM these days, for a fraction of the cost of the books, but... nothing beats a good, heavy book. They make for great reading. I have a ten volume encyclopedia on my shelf dating from 1944. It is fascinating! The entry on WWII is half a page long. The entry on WWI spans over 50 pages.

Every house needs at least a general encyclopedia, an animal encyclopedia, and a geographic (nations and countries) encyclopedia. I have an animal encyclopedia with 60 volumes (roughly 1995), another animal one of 20 volumes (roughly 1975), a 10 volume children's gazetteer (roughly 1965) with folk tales from each country, and a 10 volume geographic encyclopedia (roughly 1990). And some others too.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Smashing Sep 16, 2008

dgmaga wrote:
They used to have an offer which bundled the current edition and a facsimil of the first edition (from the 18th century). This first edition (three tomes) makes a fascinating reading too.


Hm... I don't think they are offering it now. It would have been some smashing reading! Thanks for the note Daniel.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
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Britannica Sep 16, 2008

Britannica, if you can afford it and have the space! I 'inherited' one, along with a consignment of dictionaries and a custom-made bookcase, from a family friend who can't see well enough to read it any more. It's the 1985 edition so not great if you need up-to-the-minute information about modern medical advances and the like, but fabulous for the older body of knowledge. There is a more recent edition available, as I recall.

I'm all for electronic resources but I do like to step away from the computer from time to time.

[Edited at 2008-09-16 11:04]

[Edited at 2008-09-16 11:06]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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"Set in stone" Sep 16, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
You can get encyclopedias on CD ROM these days, for a fraction of the cost of the books, but... nothing beats a good, heavy book. They make for great reading. I have a ten volume encyclopedia on my shelf dating from 1944. It is fascinating! The entry on WWII is half a page long. The entry on WWI spans over 50 pages.


Yes, my main concern with electronic means is that they are so easily altered... by their editors. A book is less prone to "political correctness"... at least once you have purchased it. I think a printed reference book is far more trustworthy than a CD-ROM which can be altered and "manipulated" with every new edition, the same way Wikipedia can be so easily manipulated to be politically correct depending on who is ruling.

Let's protect our children from a 1984-like world! Books on paper are a must.


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Nicolette Scholte  Identity Verified
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Wow! Sep 16, 2008

Every house needs at least a general encyclopedia, an animal encyclopedia, and a geographic (nations and countries) encyclopedia. I have an animal encyclopedia with 60 volumes (roughly 1995), another animal one of 20 volumes (roughly 1975), a 10 volume children's gazetteer (roughly 1965) with folk tales from each country, and a 10 volume geographic encyclopedia (roughly 1990). And some others too.



Oh wow! How I wish to have that many encyclopedia! I just love browsing through them (my mum had a 20 volume Dutch encyclopedia) but I guess it will take time just gathering them together. Oh a girl can wish...

To Tomás:
I don't have a specific encyclopedia on paper, but I would go for the Britannica one, I have it on CD and already love it, so the paper one must be even better!

Edited due to spelling mistake.



[Bijgewerkt op 2008-09-16 11:35]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Lucky you!! Sep 16, 2008

Angela Dickson wrote:
Britannica, if you can afford it! I 'inherited' one, along with a consignment of dictionaries, from a family friend who can't see well enough to read it any more.


Lucky you Angela!! Yes, indeed it's quite an investment. But I think it will be worth the money when I have a chance.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
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The Penguin Encyclopedia Sep 16, 2008

I have the Penguin Encyclopedia "New Edition - The World at your Fingertips", first published in 2002, price (then) £30.
It's quite a hefty book, obviously nothing like as hefty as the complete Britannica, but it is extremely useful and, as Samuel says, makes an excellent read when you can't get to sleep or any other time.
Regards,
Jenny


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