Digital Resources at Prospective Translators' Service
At the present time a future translator is to learn how to work not only with dictionaries and traditional encyclopedias, but also to be an active user of the electronic and on-line resources.
Unfortunately, the printed materials often become obsolescent, since the development of scientific and technological progress lies in changing realities of language, new terms, that is why the science and technology require the language unit updating and lexicographers have no time to codify these new formations. Meanwhile, even usual words coin new terminological values, and the books do not codify them yet. An example of this is a "New English-Russian Dictionary", under the editorship by E. Mednikova that comprises approximately 250,000 entries, but before it was published in 1995, it had turned outdated at once at that time because of the significant changes in economy, politics and the rapid development of information technologies. Of course, for the study of the policies of a foreign language, this edition is suitable, but for the scientific and technical translation you should use reference books which reflect current realities. Thus, the electronic dictionaries and online directories come to the translator’s aid.
As all the reading-ups for the interpretation sessions and translations require not only quality but also promptness, the common book-like dictionaries yield to electronic the ones because using the latest saves your time very much.
2. Multitran http://www.multitran.ru/c/m.exe?a=1&SHL=2
3. Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus http://www.merriam-webster.com
4. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English http://www.ldoceonline.com
5. Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/
6. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
The first of these dictionaries is Lingvo developed by "Abby". You can use online version http://radugaslov.ru/abbyy.htm and stationary version which is installed on your computer. Dictionaries are distributed not only by languages (up to 10 - from English to Latin) but also accordingly to the narrow professional fields. Lingvo X5, the latest version, also comprises Colbud and Collins dictionaries. At present time Lingvo is one of the best stationary electronic dictionaries because information can be enriched and updated not only by its manufacturer, but also by the user. If there is lack of dictionary in the required field, the files from the web-page of the Lingvo Lexicographers Association (http://www.lingvoda.ru/dictionaries/index.asp) can be downloaded and converted into the shell of a stationary programme interface.
On-line dictionary Multitran http://www.multitran.ru/c/m.exe?a=1&SHL=2 is very popular among translators and it really surpasses Lingvo. Like Linvo, Multitran has four languages studied at the Translation Department: English, German, French and Spanish. But the translation quality of a highly specialized vocabulary is much higher than in Lingvo resourses, because the main sections cover more details and the signed-in users can add new words and their new meanings freely. In the forum you can also describe your problem and receive the answer.
http://www.merriam-webster.com is a popular electronic version of the Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus written in English without any translation into other languages. It is well-known that a translator should learn how to use a monolingual dictionary. Firstly, newly-coined realities and words may not be still codified in the bilingual dictionaries and in the dictionary, alike Webster’s, such a word and meaning can be represented and accordingly to it a relevant equivalent is to be found. Secondly, when translating into English, a translator should also specify where and when a particular word is to be used. Therefore, the importance of the explanatory dictionaries compiled in the foreign language, cannot be undervalued and they become an essential complement to bilingual dictionaries at the time.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English http://www.ldoceonline.com/ is a dictionary of basic lexicon of current English, which can be used during learning English both as a basic and the second or third foreign language as well. It is the online version of one of the most popular dictionary of the Longman Publishers, UK.
Special attention should be paid to the electronic version of the Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/, because the translator needs knowledge in different fields of science and technologies, because without understanding the technical and manufacturing processes the adequate translation is impossible. However, despite the accuracy of scientific data, this encyclopedia is not so popular because free use of its resources is limited with a trial period, and then it becomes commercial. That is why Wikipedia, the free multilingual online resource http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page is much more popular. Being written in many languages of the world, it allows the translator not only to become introduced with the scientific and technical information in foreign languages, but also to view the parallel pages in his or her mother tongue and expand the translator’s background knowledge in the fields of science and technology he or she works with.