Difference between source, resource and tool
Thread poster: tsimard

tsimard
Local time: 16:45
English to French
Jul 11, 2013

In general as well as in the context of professional translation, what is the difference between a resource, a source and a tool? And in which category would paper dictionaries, terminology data banks and concordancers (and parallel corpus) fit?

Personal opinions and/or articles on the subject would be appreciated.

Thank you!


 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 15:45
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
The meaning Jul 11, 2013

Resource: a source of supply or support ( always used in plural)
Source: a point of origin or procurement
Tool: something used in the practice of a vocation or profession
When in doubt I refer to Merriam-Webster dictionary and the above are from there.

Dictionary/data banks are resources,
wordfast is a tool
while proz is a source for translation service


 

tsimard
Local time: 16:45
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting lead... Jul 11, 2013

Srini, I think the Merriam-Webster's definitions are ok in a general context, but I would tend to disagree that dictionaries/data banks are resources. Personally, I would consider them sources (i.e. sources of information). I would also consider wordfast a tool, but would consider the corpora retrieved by the tool a source.

I also found this definition (in Alcina, A., in press, Translation Technologies: Scope, tools and Resources, Target: International Journal on Translation Studies.):

The word "tool" refers to computer programs that enable translators to carry out a series of functions or tasks with a set of data that they have prepared and, at the same time, allows a particular kind of results to be obtained. Thus, translators use the word processor to write out their translations, their translations can be created and stored with assisted translation software, and terminology database management software can be used to store the
terminology that has been collected throughout the translation process.

By "resources" we refer to all sets of data that are organised in a particular manner
and which can be looked up or used in the course of some phase of processing. For
example, dictionaries or corpora, available either online or on CD ROM, are sets of data that can be accessed in different ways. They normally constitute closed data sets that cannot be expanded by information from the user.

But I'm not quite sure I agree with it.


 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 15:45
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
some more Jul 11, 2013

When I saw that you were one hour ahead, I guessed you must be in NY or some other Eastern time zone. On digging deeper, find that you were somewhere near Ottawa.
This is exactly the same thing - what I thought resource is source for you. So it is all a matter of perceptions and assumptions.


 

Steven Segaert
Estonia
Local time: 23:45
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Context context context Jul 12, 2013

All depends on the context you want to use the terms for.

When I am translating, a dictionary is a resource (and so are reference texts). The text I am translating is a source, and the CAT (which helps me get information out of the resource(s) and helps me to translate the source) is a tool.

When I am translating the dictionary, the dictionary becomes the source in this context.

When I am talking in general, outside of the context of me translating using a CAT, a dictionary can be called a source (of information), or a tool, or a resource.

And so on.

You can't just grab a word, attach a meaning to it and expect others to think exactly alike without adding context. Context is everything; it creates semantic interoperability. That's why dictionaries have different definitions for a word, depending on context.

So however you want to use the words and whatever for, make sure you are consistent and explain what you meanicon_wink.gif.


 


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