Is merrian Websters spanish-english the best
Thread poster: Diana L. Ramirez

Diana L. Ramirez
United States
Local time: 20:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 11, 2007

I am trying to find out if this is the best translation dictionary, I am getting ready to take the certification exam....and want to bring the best tools...I have other dictionaries...but need to get some more, they don't allow us to use the internet, what a shame...
thanks for your help
Diana L. Ramirez


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Context, sample sentences, number of terms Jan 12, 2007

One of the most useful features in a translation dictionary is a breakdown of the many ways one word can be used, preferably with sample sentences. And obviously, a dictionary with many entries is better than a shorter one with fewer entries.

I'm very fond of the HarperCollins (aka Collins) Spanish Unabridged Dictionary and the Gran Diccionario Oxford, both of which are excellent. My vague recollection of the Merriam-Webster Spanish dictionaries is that they were okay, but not the best option.

It's good to go into the exam with a supply of specialized dictionaries as well - medical, business, technical, legal, etc. - so you'll be ready for anything they throw at you.

Typically, I walk into ATA exams with a rolling suitcase containing eight to twenty dictionaries and glossaries. That's probably overkill, but I wind up using them. (And I've done well on the exams.)

Good luck!

[Edited at 2007-01-12 09:27]


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xxxGabi Ancarol
Italy
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
agree with Steven Jan 12, 2007

the dictionaries he mentions are great options!

I also agree about the rolling suitcase.
I used to take it with me to the University when sitting for translation exams... the picture of me, walking down the corridors of the school with the trolley came to my mind all of a sudden.

...Good old times!


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
useful: oldie but good!!!! Jan 12, 2007

I agree with Stephen:

For language dictionaries, I love Harper Collins, because it gives you sentences, examples, phrasal verbs, expressions... And is more modern. It is particularly useful and works best when translating from Spanish into English.

and... Simon and Shuster. Although you only have reprintings of the old edition (the one I use was my father's and he died 20 years ago...), I still find it very useful.

at home, I work with both these dictionaries together, and will check S&S first...

Nevertheless, you also need your whole library of specialized bilingual and monolingual dictionaries... Good we have those suitcases with wheels!!!

good luck!

[Edited at 2007-01-12 17:01]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:37
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Collins Jan 12, 2007

Out of the dozens of reference books on my shelves I consider Collins Español-Inglés English-Spanish Dictionary to be my best friend. It gives me the feeling of a security blanket, of a trustworthy pal. It has been there time and time again when I have found myself in a jam.

It´s not perfect though.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Collins Jan 13, 2007

Edward Potter wrote:
It´s not perfect though.


The main thing translators here in the Americas should know before buying the Collins Unabridged is this: Although the definitions and entries cover both European and American Spanish (and American and British English), the sample sentences on the English-Spanish side skew very much toward European Spanish.

The Gran diccionario Oxford, by contrast, often gives multiple versions of the same sample sentence, marked for different national variants of English or Spanish.

I consider both books invaluable. I sometimes wish they didn't weigh so much when I stick them in a suitcase.


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Diana L. Ramirez
United States
Local time: 20:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Than you very much for your help on this research about dictionaries Mar 1, 2007

Sorry that I have replied this late, but I am still unfamiliar with these forums...and I found these answers suddenly when I was checking the best dictionaries....funny ha?
THANKS SO MUCH
DIANA LYDIA RAMIREZ

Steven Capsuto wrote:

One of the most useful features in a translation dictionary is a breakdown of the many ways one word can be used, preferably with sample sentences. And obviously, a dictionary with many entries is better than a shorter one with fewer entries.

I'm very fond of the HarperCollins (aka Collins) Spanish Unabridged Dictionary and the Gran Diccionario Oxford, both of which are excellent. My vague recollection of the Merriam-Webster Spanish dictionaries is that they were okay, but not the best option.

It's good to go into the exam with a supply of specialized dictionaries as well - medical, business, technical, legal, etc. - so you'll be ready for anything they throw at you.

Typically, I walk into ATA exams with a rolling suitcase containing eight to twenty dictionaries and glossaries. That's probably overkill, but I wind up using them. (And I've done well on the exams.)

Good luck!

[Edited at 2007-01-12 09:27]


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 22:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Diccionario Larousse Mar 6, 2007

Hi, Diana. I hope your exam went well

Sorry I'm so late to reply, but I missed this topic. However, as no one has mentioned it, I'd like to recommend the dictionary I use daily:

Diccionario Larousse Español-Inglés/English-Spanish
ISBN: 970-607-993-9
http://www.terminometro.info/ancien/b35/es/larousse_es.htm

One of the most useful features, in my opinion, is the little gray boxes that warn you when a term has a false cognate. And it has sections about grammar, etc.

As for Collins, I used to visit www.wordreference.com daily, back when it was sponsored by Collins (i.e., it used Collins' databases), and it was very good. However, since Collins withdrew its sponsorship, I find the quality a bit lacking. - I might follow Steven's advice and buy a Collins dictionary soon -


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