Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
The end of printed dictionaries?
Thread poster: Pablo Bouvier

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
German to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 9, 2009

Source: Corriere della Sera (Italy)

Google has initiated a new dictionary service that offers definitions of introduced words, as well as synonymous or examples of use, as it would do any dictionary. The results it shows come from the proper Google definitions database and from other academic sources, like Wikipedia between others.

You can check it here

[Editado a las 2009-12-09 00:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
The end of printed dictionaries? Dec 9, 2009

Hi Pablo

printed dictionaries are already dead to me, as I used only CD-ROMs for years, but this new Google service is worrying, to me

i.e., currently they can put in printed dictionaries words, but in the future, who will be disposed to add stuff for free?
I'm afraid no one, or even worse only second-rate linguists ...

collaborative work is a great thing, ideally, but one can't apply the same method to groceries or petrol stations, so I predict bad times ...

may be this is the reason why publishing houses don't exactly like Google ...


Claudio


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The end of off-line dictionaries? Dec 9, 2009

Claudio Porcellana wrote:

Hi Pablo

printed dictionaries are already dead to me, as I used only CD-ROMs for years, but this new Google service is worrying, to me

i.e., currently they can put in printed dictionaries words, but in the future, who will be disposed to add stuff for free?
I'm afraid no one, or even worse only second-rate linguists ...

collaborative work is a great thing, ideally, but one can't apply the same method to groceries or petrol stations, so I predict bad times ...

may be this is the reason why publishing houses don't exactly like Google ...


Claudio


Hi Claudio: I am not sure, if I have understood you well. In no place I have read that Google's dictionary service would be the result of a collaborative work in the future. Perhaps, I should have titled the topic as The end of off-line dictionaries?

[Editado a las 2009-12-09 01:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not impressed Dec 9, 2009

I tried these terms from a current project on the ENSP dictionary, I was quite underwhelmed:

imager > imágenes
half space > mitad de espacio
stakeholder > tenedor de apuestas
hazard assessment > evaluación de los peligros
strike-slip fault > strike-slip culpa
breaker zone > zona de interruptor
data logger > registrador de datos
normal fault > falla normal
tsunami-generating earthquake > tsunami de generación de terremotos
community outreach > extensión a la comunidad

The definitions that are shown are generally quite good, but the translations are not. I know, these are specialized terms, but for a professional, this service is not very useful, and specialized dictionaries, printed or on-line, are still going to be important tools for a long time.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Dec 9, 2009

No service of product dies as long as there are customers for it. Maybe we will see a decline in the range of dictionaries we will be able to find and peruse in the bookshop as the logistic side of book selling is expensive, but we will still be able to order and receive a wide range of dictionaries online.

The difference might be that our dictionaries are printed on demand, i.e. when we place our order. This happens already with many books, and I think it might happen with dictionaries soon.

By no means are paper dictionaries dead. I don't trust online dictionaries like the one you describe. As for the CD-ROM version of many dictionaries I use, I would use them but personally think it is better to have to stand up, go get the dictionary, and look for the word manually: first it forces you to move a bit, which is good in our profession, and second it gives you some seconds off-computer which in many cases help you devise a better approach to the translation challenge.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Command "define:" yielded the same results already Dec 9, 2009

David Russi wrote:
The definitions that are shown are generally quite good, but the translations are not.

Indeed the results feel more like a thesaurus. As for the definitions, we already had that in Google with the command "define:"...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Not likely... Dec 9, 2009

...unless the publisher of the electronic-media dictionary (in the case of CD-ROM's or licensed software) can guarantee that they will work with every hardware configuration, OS, and OS update that might come down the line while it is owned, that they won't go out of business when I need to get a new copy after my computer crashes or my CD cracks, etc.

Nobody knows how long a burned optical disk will actually last, but their reliability is questionable after about 10 years. My printed dictionaries, on the other hand, will survive many more decades and probably get passed on to my children.

Also note that most translator accreditation exams still don't allow anything but hard copy resources.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The end of off-line dictionaries? Dec 9, 2009

Hi Tomas and all colleagues: I am neither very impressed. Results are often unspecific and many quite usual pairs of languages are missing. But, I was neither impressed to Google's mail beginning, until users comments and suggestions gradually turned it in what it is today: The biggest free e-mail service in the world...

As for the paper dictionaries, since these are relatively expensive and anyhow they are created on computer supports, I guess that they will follow the French Robert'a dictionary way: Asking for an annual fee to be able to check it online. This would have also the additional advantage of preventing the copyright from being infringed.

May be with paper dictionaries something similar to what happens today with printers will happen. For the price of two to five cartridges, you can buy the whole printer, because the business does not reside in the printer, but in the continued cartridges consumption

[Editado a las 2009-12-09 08:18 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:37
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Shift of balance Dec 9, 2009

I believe that electronic dictionaries will be used more and more widely possibly eliminating eventually almost eliminating printed ones. It's just a question of convenience of use, cost of distribution and ease of updating.

Still if that happens it is very unlikely that it will be due to Google. It's not enough that you can find a word in a dictionary - it's crucial whether you may trust its translation. I am afraid that Google's dictionary will put much greater stress on quantity than on quality.

Just my 2 cents

Btw. I use printed dictionaries almost only when it is not possible to obtain alternative electronic ones.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 20:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Good riddance Dec 9, 2009

Electronic dictionaries are so much more convenient to use that I won't really miss paper dictionaries. Of course, they won't die out entirely in the next decade or so, but they will gradually fade into the background.
As with anything (printed newspapers etc) the question is whether the model is sustainable for the long term. If people get used to using free online dictionaries they will be reluctant to pay for dictionaries. Who will invest a fortune in making new ones then?

Google's dictionary is not what will kill printed dictionaries though; it's just a (mediocre) part of the wave of newish electronic dictionaries. Google's main English monolingual entries come (mostly?) from the cobuild dictionary which I could consult directly at http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/ if I really wanted to... and I still prefer Answers.com as a dictionary/encyclopedia aggregator.
Can't comment on the English-to-other functionality as it doesn't include Hungarian.

BTW David, you tested google translate with your two-word expressions, not google dictionary. The dictionary defaults to google translate if it can't find the search term in the actual dictionary data. That's a pretty smart move, but it should go without saying that such results are to be taken with a truckload of salt.

At the moment, I don't see how the Google dictionary is better than the wiktionary - which you can freely download in its entirety and use offline with wikitaxi or import/convert into any format you prefer. That said, I'm sure Google will push it further and perhaps convince me about its worth.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does it come to you when you call its name? Dec 9, 2009

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
As for the paper dictionaries, since these are relatively expensive and anyhow they are created on computer supports, I guess that they will follow the French Robert'a dictionary way: Asking for an annual fee to be able to check it online. This would have also the additional advantage of preventing the copyright from being infringed.

OK, but I would never use the service and would purchase a competitive version on paper. It's the editor's decision, but my decision also matters. If you want me to buy dictionaries... make them on paper as well.

As Rudolf mentioned, we can use our dictionaries on paper anywhere, any time, no electricity needed, no computer or mobile phone needed, no recharging, no Internet, no further damage to the environment after printing, other than the fuel consumed transporting them during their life.

Producing one piece of a dictionary on paper is far more energy efficient and clean (with today's highly environment-friendly pulp and paper plants and printing shops) than manufacturing and using electronic devices as references.

A dictionary is just wood fibre, some harmless mineral fillers, some grams of ink, some grams of glue, some thread... Throw a dictionary on paper in the middle of nature and it will have vanished in a few years time, just decomposing naturally with rain, sun, and the action of insects. Try to do the same with your portable electronic dictionary or your mobile phone!

When I don't need them anymore or when I die, they will be useful to other people for an unlimited time, with the sole limit of the existence of the language in question and the state of preservation of the books. Can you say the same of electronic dictionaries? We have problems today using dictionaries that were made only 10 years ago...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cheap and nasty Dec 9, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:
As with anything (printed newspapers etc) the question is whether the model is sustainable for the long term. If people get used to using free online dictionaries they will be reluctant to pay for dictionaries. Who will invest a fortune in making new ones then?

Exactly. We increasingly grow with the idea that any reference information should be free, should be a right instead of a resource you get in exchange of a payment. The result is that an increasing proportion of information out there is already cheap in all senses, and very little use to the professional translator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Glossary "translator"? Dec 9, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Indeed the results feel more like a thesaurus. As for the definitions, we already had that in Google with the command "define:"...


I was really struck by these two results:

strike-slip fault > strike-slip culpa
tsunami-generating earthquake > tsunami de generación de terremotos

They almost seem to betray the fact that rather than offering up a compiled list of "trusted" terms, somehow this service is attempting to translate.

Anyway, I do still use the many paper dictionaries I have, they still give me good results.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
The end of printed dictionaries? Dec 9, 2009

you haven't read that, but I'm afraid Google would be very happy if it was true ...

and I think they are moving in that direction: google translator, for example, but google wave too, may be ?

anyway, if this new Google service will not be revised by some good authority, its value will be very poor, as it seems to be ...

Claudio

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
In no place I have read that Google's dictionary service would be the result of a collaborative work in the future.

[Modificato alle 2009-12-09 13:24 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 20:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Google translate Dec 9, 2009

David Russi wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Indeed the results feel more like a thesaurus. As for the definitions, we already had that in Google with the command "define:"...


I was really struck by these two results:

strike-slip fault > strike-slip culpa
tsunami-generating earthquake > tsunami de generación de terremotos

They almost seem to betray the fact that rather than offering up a compiled list of "trusted" terms, somehow this service is attempting to translate.

Anyway, I do still use the many paper dictionaries I have, they still give me good results.


If you take a better look at those results, I'm sure you will see they came from google translate. I.e. they are machine translations, not dictionary entries.
Google tries to help you out by offering up some sort of a result if the search term is not in the dictionary... it's not their fault if you can't parse their output. By the way, would you expect a general dictionary to contain "strike-slip fault"?

Again, google's main English source is the Collins Cobuild. I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that their main En-Es source is a newer edition of your paper dictionary which you could query online through google about 50 times faster than you can leaf through your own copy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The end of printed dictionaries?

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search