French-English bilingual dictionary recommendation
Thread poster: diana T

diana T
Local time: 09:31
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Dec 19, 2007

I need to buy a paper bilingual dictionary (french/english) and I need to chose between: Le Grand Robert & Collins and Harraps Unabridged. I'm studying translation. Which do you think it's best?


Diana T

[Título editado por el personal o un moderador 2007-12-19 18:28]

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Tony M  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:31
French to English
+ ...
Robert + Collins gets my vote! Dec 19, 2007

I was faced with the same choice, and after examining both, I opted for the R+C, which I have since bought on CD-ROM (highly recommended!)

Initially, I found a slight preference for the typography of the R+C, and frequent use has confirmed my initial feeling. The print is small, and so requires some effort to read, but overall, I have found its discrete typography clear and restful to use.

I found that the Harrap's lacked one or two odd definitions that could be found in the R+C, and more importantly, I found the R+C's definitions (in EN at least) were often more natural, more like 'real language' — and just occasionally even, dare I say it, were more accurate too!

Lots of my friends use the Harrap's, and many of them come and double-check things in my R+C.

I should say that when I came to replace my older, worn-out edition, I opted for the 2-volume set — simply for the ergonomics of it! As I work exclusively in the FR > EN direction, I have less often the occasion to use the EN > FR volume!

I certainly wouldn't consider anything less than the 'Super Senior' version, if you mean to take translation seriously.

However, even one volume has proved a little heavy for me (I have chronic back problems), and so I was delighted to move onto the CD-ROM version — it has its own problems of ergonomics (and you really do need to make sure you get at least version 1.2), but overall is a real boon.

Good luck in your eventual choice!

[Edited at 2007-12-19 19:21]

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