Survey results - Favorite terminology resources 2015
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:25
Feb 3, 2015

Hi all,

We ran a quick survey on favorite terminology resources one day last week. Here are the (promised) results:

Sorry but I did not immediately find a convenient way to export comments.

Comments welcome here.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:25
Chinese to English
Thanks, Henry Feb 3, 2015

A few years ago I saw a comment that in telecoms the best tools are now the ones available to the public - iphones or equivalent. There are no longer specialist tools that businesses with the money use. The Blackberry was the last attempt.

It looks as though the same is true for our terminology tools. There are a couple of specialist tools in there, but fairly clearly the numbers 1 and 2 are Google and Wikipedia. Everyone uses them, and we don't have any better tools. I guess translators just know how to use them in a particular way for our particular purpose.


Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:25
I was surprised at the popularity of Linguee Feb 3, 2015

Thanks, Phil. I think you are right. At the same time I was struck by the fact that some tools remain useful enough to be ranked up there with those behemoths. term search we can explain in part by the demographic bias (the survey having been run at But Linguee must be doing something right for the data to be proving this useful to a significant portion of translators.


B D Finch  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Linguee and other resources Feb 3, 2015

I use Linguee a lot, but not in the way that a lot of translators misuse it, to judge by the way it is often cited as a reference in KudoZ answers. It is a tool that can lead one to a load of irrelevant stuff and it is dominated by bad translations; but it can also (sometimes) lead one to reliable bilingual source material for a particular term. I find it useful for just seeing some alternative ways of translating something, which can then break a block and lead me to either find something useful there or to think of something else.

I use a load of other paper, digital and online resources, many of which are only useful for FR>EN and many of which are for very specialised fields. They mainly don't appear in your survey. One generalist one for FR>EN that is very useful is Termium Plus.


Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:25
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Totally agree Feb 5, 2015

w/BD Finch, Linguee can be very painful, but used as a sort of thesaurus and - this is probably key to its popularity - as a very smart and forgiving search tool, I find it helpful and start a lot of my searches there. Context is king.

ProZ could use some work - both KudoZ and the BlueBoard are very picky when it comes to recognizing search terms/tolerating "wrong" endings, etc.

In the end, I rely on native, expert source materials.


AllegroTrans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:25
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Resources all need to be used cautiously Feb 7, 2015

As we (at least some of us) are constantly saying on the KudoZ forum - context, context, context. It's relatively simple to find translations on the Internet, but it takes experience and a thorough knowledge of one's subject area to filter out the relevant and correct translation within the context and the intended use of the translation.

I work almost exclusively in French to English legal and administrative text translation.

IATE is highly accurate for "fixed" terms such as the names of organisations and International agreements, but of very limited use for, say, wording used in terms and conditions of sale.

JuriTravail, whilst not a 2-language glossary, is an excellent resource for finding authoritative explanations, in French, of French legal terms and concepts.

EUdict is good for single terms, but with no contextual filtering. Linguee, as others have said, scores well, as terms can be seen within a paragraph (or so) of text and hence the context is usually apparent. The pity is, when you click on the link hoping to see the whole document it is often not available, has been deleted or viewable for restricted user access only. Linguee however, despite being a massive collection of "authoritative" texts, is full of bad translations, so has to be used wisely.

The same goes for KudoZ - as with Linguee, there is no quality process.

Nobody has been brave enough to mention Google Translate. It has its strong points, particularly in dealing with international legal/social/political matters. In French to English, I have had as high as 75% accuracy on whole texts. With similar texts in Spanish or German, it is below satisfactory. Again, a resource among others.


Henk Sanderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
IATE termbase import in your CAT tool simplified Feb 7, 2015

You forgot to mention an even simpler solution for consulting IATE: it is possible to import IATE language pairs directly in your CAT tool. By doing that, your CAT tool will always find terms available in the IATE termbase while it is not necessary for you to actively look for them.
Language pairs extracted from a cleaned-up database are offered on my website You can order all possible language pairs, split into separate files for the TB and the TM, complete with TB format specification files and installation instructions, for a very modest fee.

Files are available for direct import into the following CAT tools: SDL Trados 2011/2014, DVX2/3, CafeTran, memoQ, WordFast Classic/Pro, besides files in a general .csv format for import into other tools.


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Survey results - Favorite terminology resources 2015

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