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Off topic: What's your favorite dictionary?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:09
English to French
+ ...
May 21, 2007

I was wondering which dictionaries are most widely used, in any language pair. However, I would ask more about specialized dictionaries (which deal with a particular topic). We might be able to create a list of dictionaries here that will include the best dictionaries that translators use.

My favorite so far is Dictionnaire anglais-français de l'électronique et de l'électrotechnique by Pierre Rényi and Dominique Amrouni. Don't let the title fool you - other than the main suject, there are transport, railway, computer networking, physics, etc., terms in it. It is extremely complete. It is a brick, but then again, it only contains translations and synonyms, no definition and no explanation, no context. So, imagine just how many terms there are in there!

I love this dictionary also because it was made by users, which means these people would have liked to find such a dictionary themselves for their work, but found none, so they created their own. These are tradesmen writing the dictionary for their trade and not linguists. Needless to say, they add slang to their synonyms, which can help a lot with texts that weren't written by a technical writer. Another reason I like this is because it is the least expesive dictionary I ever bought - $8 on ebay! A steal, even for a mediocre dictionary, except this one's the BEST!

Let's see what others use, whichever subject it's about...

[Edited at 2007-05-21 02:22]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:09
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
You were lucky May 21, 2007

Hi Viktoria,
Guess you were really lucky with that dictionary... right now there's one used version for grabs at 368 + Dollars at Amazon and the price at http://www.editionstechnip.com/sources/Liste_Fiche.asp?CV=753 is 123 Euros.
Regards,
Ritu


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
German to English
Roget's Thesaurus May 21, 2007

I use several different dictionaries, both technical and general, but find Roget's Thesaurus one of the most useful reference works. I've been using it since school days and it's very helpful when looking for better expressions and avoiding literal translations.

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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:09
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Beigbeder May 21, 2007

Polytechnic Dictionary of Spanish and English languages

Federico Beigbeder


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
German to English
Roger's Profanisaurus May 21, 2007

by Roger Mellie
Fulchester University Press

http://www.viz.co.uk/

DB

(Occasionally mildly offensive)

[Edited at 2007-05-21 08:49]


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 23:09
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
www.ordbogen.dk May 21, 2007

I recently started translating Danish to English, and found this one. Actually I first found it on an illegal Russian site, but it has now been withdrawn after threat of legal proceedings! It is a really impressive, pleasant to use interface with excellent coverage. It also has a good range of example phrases and sentences on word use.

It costs 99 Danish kroner per year, but well worth it in my opinion.

Good topic, Viktoria!

Bill


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My cheapest dictionary May 21, 2007

I know, Ritu - isn't it amazing to spend so little on such a great dictionary? Ebay is great for this. Books in general are not what sells best on ebay and when we look particularly for specialized reference material, there seems to be only a tiny market on there, so the bidding is slow. For this book, I was the only bidder. I often go on ebay looking for dictionaries, it's much cheaper than Amazon, even though Amazon has good prices on some good dictonaries. I guess one has to look in places where the market is slow - on ebay, it often looks like theseller just wants to get rid of the thing as it's only collecting dust... Oh well!

I also use some more general dictionaries. One of the better ones is the Larousse Dictionnaire analogique - always comes in handy when translating, no matter what the topic is. However, I find it is most useful for marketing and financial texts and reports with well-structured sentences. I also use Dictionnaire combinatoire du français by Henri Zinglé and Marie-Louise Brobeck-Zinglé. It is very useful when you want to find an expression with a word but don't quite remember what the correct way of using the expression was. You can then look up the word and see all the expressions (well, not all, it would be quite impossible) that use the word. For example, when you look up "ours" (bear), you find comme un ours en cage (like a bear in a cage) which is explained to mean the action of coming and going in an impatient way. This one's also rather big, and for widely used words like mettre (to put), goût (taste) and état (state), there are several pages of expressions. It's also an interesting read just for the heck of learning to express yourself better. I sometimes read it just for fun!


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:09
DE-EN technical May 21, 2007

"Langenscheidt Fachwörterbuch Technik und angewandte Wissenschaften" - try saying that after a few pints

I inherited it a couple of years ago from a translator colleague who gave up translation to go and teach English in Italy.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 16:09
Spanish
+ ...
Polytechnic Dictionary May 21, 2007

Yaotl Altan wrote:

Polytechnic Dictionary of Spanish and English languages

Federico Beigbeder


Ditto.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:09
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Excellent idea, Viktoria May 21, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I was wondering which dictionaries are most widely used, in any language pair. However, I would ask more about specialized dictionaries (which deal with a particular topic). We might be able to create a list of dictionaries here that will include the best dictionaries that translators use.

My favorite so far is Dictionnaire anglais-français de l'électronique et de l'électrotechnique by Pierre Rényi and Dominique Amrouni. Don't let the title fool you - other than the main suject, there are transport, railway, computer networking, physics, etc., terms in it. It is extremely complete. It is a brick, but then again, it only contains translations and synonyms, no definition and no explanation, no context. So, imagine just how many terms there are in there!

I love this dictionary also because it was made by users, which means these people would have liked to find such a dictionary themselves for their work, but found none, so they created their own. These are tradesmen writing the dictionary for their trade and not linguists. Needless to say, they add slang to their synonyms, which can help a lot with texts that weren't written by a technical writer. Another reason I like this is because it is the least expesive dictionary I ever bought - $8 on ebay! A steal, even for a mediocre dictionary, except this one's the BEST!

Let's see what others use, whichever subject it's about...

[Edited at 2007-05-21 02:22]


What an excellent idea for ProZ to create a list of specialised dictionaries!
Three that I find brilliant in my special fields are:
1. The Council of Europe's French-English-French Legal Dictionary by F. H. S. Bridge. Almost never lets me down.
2. Diccionario Inglés-Españl-Inglés de Informes Financieros, Coopers & Lybrand, published by Deusto. Ditto.
3. Dictionnaire de l'Anglais Economique et Juridique, published by Le Livre de Poche. Pretty reliable.
I bought all these from Grant & Cutler in Great Marlborough Street, London W.1. (just off Regent Street - turn off at Liberty's) - a marvellous bookshop for linguists. You can order by email now, I believe.
I could do with your wonderful electronic dictionary right now, Viktoria, as you might guess from my recent frantic technical Kudoz questions (there'll be more!). I'd buy it if I could get it for $8 - but not for $385!
Kind regards
Jenny.


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Marianela Melleda  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Technical Dictionary by Javier L. Collazo May 21, 2007

I love the English-Spanish part of the "Diccionario Enciclopédico de Términos Técnicos" by Javier L. Collazo. It is very complete, specially for mechanics, electricity, electronics and mining. The Spanish-English side is quite limited.

Marianela


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vicksy nurhayati  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:09
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Alan M Stevens Ind>Eng Dictionary is the best! May 22, 2007

For my indonesian>english language pair, Ind>Eng dictionary written by Mr. Alan M. Stevens is really a cool one and very helpful tool.

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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:09
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Wordreference, grande dictionnaire terminologique, IATE, Termium May 22, 2007

Well, these are just online resources and I have many offline dictionaries including Collins Robert French Dictionary and Prabhat Advanced English-Hindi dictionary.

And for specialised terminology there is a website that offers free glossaries (subject wise) to its members (sorry can't mention its name as it is another translation site) and I've found these quite helpful though I think one should always cross-check these terms before using.

Regards,

Ritu


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xxxJenns
Local time: 15:09
English to French
+ ...
Dictionary May 23, 2007

I really like to use WordReference online because it gives you synonyms and full meanings.

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Amanda Grey  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:09
French to English
Troodle May 23, 2007

Recently, I've been testing Troodle - not a dictionary as such, but a search engine for multilingual resources.
http://www.troodle.com


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