Thursday, 7 August 2008

Dictionaries

One big problem doing Chinese to English is that there is a chronic lack of good quality resources. I read an article somewhere that said that the average Chinese to English dictionary is something like 15% accurate. That's a lot of bad terms.

One of my technical dictionaries had awful terms such as "unwatering" for "water extraction" and things like that.

Since we have to cope with these resources it's much harder to produce a decent translation. Don't even get me started on the accuracy of internet resources.

Last month I was given a job where the client supplied their own list of terminology and guess what - it was awful!

Having said that, this also seems to present an opportunity for making some useful tools and forming standards. A small company could never compete against Longman or Cobuild or any big dictionary companies like that, but for Chinese to English technical translation there still seems to be tonnes of space around.

David

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