Does anyone use Collins Wordbank Corpus
Thread poster: Drew MacFadyen

Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF
Aug 20, 2009

Does anyone have any information or experience with http://www.collinslanguage.com/wordbanks/Default.aspx

I am curious to hear from any users that have subscribed, and whether or not they have felt the corpus valuable for their translation work. Thank you

Drew


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wordbank and BNC Aug 20, 2009

Drew MacFadyen wrote:

Does anyone have any information or experience with http://www.collinslanguage.com/wordbanks/Default.aspx

I am curious to hear from any users that have subscribed, and whether or not they have felt the corpus valuable for their translation work. Thank you

Drew


I've used it but haven't subscribed. This corpus is a general English corpus, so not suitable or useful for specialist translation using specialist lexis. For the latter you usually have to create tailor-made corpora, which you can build up as you go.

One thing this kind of corpus is useful for is checking usage patterns for strings when you're not sure or may doubt about the reliability of your instints (and it can also help non-native speakers, whose intuition is not as well developed as a native speaker's).

For example, I could try and assess patterns for "compare to" versus "compare with", or how "according" compares to "accordance" in terms of syntax and usage, or what the typical positionings of "however", "nonetheless" or "nevertheless" are in sentences.

An example of a recent use by myself was checking exactly how the word "laurels" was used - I simply drew a blank, possibly becuase I live in a non-English speaking country. The most frequently collocated verb was "rest", although "sit" also appeared.

Finally, just to comment:

A similar project in GB English is the British National Corpus (http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/). Browns, I believe, is the major US English general language corpus.

The sites usually enable you to access part of the corpus for free (instead of all the hits, you'll just get 50, although that's usually enough for checking patterns. The full corpora are used for lingusitic research, creating dictionaries and so on).

The sites usually allow you to at least concordance terms and also, in some cases, to locate collocates.


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urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:23
German to English
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more information Aug 21, 2009

Drew, what are you thinking of using a corpus for? (either the "Collings" corpora or others)

http://www.corpus-linguistics.de/ would be a good starting point for finding out about corpora that are commercially available, and how to exploit them.

Note that the materials in the Brown corpus of US English are from 1961 -- language usage has changed a bit since then.

The American National Corpus is more recent (post-1990): http://www.americannationalcorpus.org/

Many people are unaware that it is possible to enter quite complex Boolean search strings in Google to check things like the relative frequency of expressions in context. See http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861

See the Bibliography on the http://www.corpus-linguistics.de/ site for a list of books on corpus linguistics.


[Edited at 2009-08-21 07:21 GMT]


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