Research techniques for translators

With masses and masses of information available on the internet and the correct translation of any unknown term potentially only a few clicks away, translators in the 21st century are better equipped than ever to carry out the research they need to do to produce accurate translations of their source text documents. I’m pretty happy to make the assumption that any recent translation school graduates will be more than comfortable using the internet but I’m wondering to what extent specific research techniques – both online and offline – are taught as part of translation degree programmes these days and to what extent translation teachers, who do not and have not translated 9 to 5, are in a position to teach the most effective methods. In fact, it wasn’t until I was asked to help out a new freelance translator with a couple of difficult terms in her latest translation assignment and in preparation for discussing research techniques with her, that I actually consciously considered what it is that I actually do automatically when researching an unknown term. This week my blog will therefore be dedicated to research techniques.

Look out for the following posts:

Part 1 – Bilingual dictionaries and glossaries (online and offline)

Part 2 – Monolingual dictionaries and encyclopaedia (online and offline)

Part 3 – Multilingual websites – the fruits and the pitfalls

Part 4 – The secret power of search engines

Part 5 – Corpora and parallel texts


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