Translators' Resources -- General Reference





Translation Journal
Caught in the Web

Web Surfing for Fun and Profit

General Reference

by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
The Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online. Worth a look.
"The World Digital Library makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world." An ongoing project. Journals, manuscripts, maps, photos, books, sound recordings, even some short films. Nice for browsing.
Matthew Schlecht says this site lets you find full text expressions for English abbreviations, and also abbreviations for words or phrases. Also defines words. Allegedly does Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Latin, German, Turkish, and Hebrew also.

Paul Frank suggests this collection of online encyclopedias:
Jewish Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia
Meyers Konversationslexikon
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Columbia Encyclopedia
Context-Online. Robert Stoll found this pile of dictionaries, searchable all in one spot. Click on the icons and see what you get.Franc Smrke suggests this handy tip for determining whether a person is male or female from their first names: "Enter the name in Google and search Images."
Pandora is "a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you'll love. It's powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we'll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the music universe. " Free subscription on registration for ad-supported version, paid subscriptions for ad-free version.
Michael Röhrig found this "definitive list of artistic professions (en,de,fr,it,es)."
Paul Gallagher points out this resource "if you want to know the name of a country, capital, major city, etc. in a different language, using the native script of that language."
Salvador Virgen found this collection: "Geographic names, members of the cabinet, an other international info." Look for a city (latitude and longitude provided) and click on the country name, and get a look at the map for it plus other info.
Margaret Schroeder suggests this site "if you need to convert longitude/latitude coordinates between decimal degrees and degrees-minutes-seconds."
Paul Gallagher found this searchable collection of "seven million Russian surnames" (in Cyrillic). Also downloadable at second link.
Mirella Soffio found this truly huge "treasure-trove of useful & useless links, trivia, facts and factoids.... highly addictive!". Great for browsing.
Omar Johnson points out these two pages about "usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English" as well as real errors. We may have to change the name of this column, however, since Omar also points out: "'Channel-surfing' developed as an ironic term to denote the very unathletic activity of randomly changing channels on a television set with a remote control... casual clicking on Web links was naturally quickly compared to channel-surfing, so the expression 'surfing the Web' was a natural extension of the earlier expression....It makes no sense to refer to targeted, purposeful searches for information as 'surfing'; for that reason I call my classes on Internet research techniques 'scuba-diving the Internet.'"
Online resources from the Smithsonian Institution: history, the arts, science and technology, etc. Guides in many languages.
Veronica Lambert Hall found the CIA Factbook online. Some other folk on Lantra pointed out a few oddities due to the source's worldview, but otherwise it can be a useful resource.
Michelle Asselin recommends this site for links to online classic literature, poems, study guides, etc.
Ben Sib also suggests Project Gutenberg for free online books. They also have links to free audio books (MP3 format and others).
ReferenceDesk, suggested by Steve Dyson.
Steve Dyson also recommends Webencyclo, an on-line encyclopedia in French.

From Susan Rials (SR), a nice selection of general reference sites:
Martindale’s The Reference Desk is a favorite source of links to research topics.”—SR
“The Internet Public Library is another good starting point.”—SR
Definitely good for browsing. Includes online magazines/newspapers/journals plus downloadable texts in various areas. For instance, starting from this site I found quite a few detailed articles on metrology in Quality Magazine that were useful in a translation dealing with intercomparison of length standards.
“Encyberpedia has a nice collection of links to online glossaries in many subjects.”—SR

These are all provided by Susan Rials (SR).
Romance Languages Resource Page (University of Chicago)
“ As the title suggests, a glossary on firearms and ammunition. (I included a more limited glossary in my talk at the ¹95 ATA meeting.)”—DD
This is a site where you can search for the expansions of acronyms OR the acronym for which you know a word in the expansion. You also can submit new acronyms or submit queries about puzzling ones, although Denzel says not to expect any speedy responses to queries.
Robin Stocks recommends this "large collection of links to online technical glossaries, both monolingual and multilingual, and definitely worth a couple of hours¹ browsing.”
St. Jude Medical maintains this very useful Pacing Glossary intended for cardiac rhythm management. I found it useful when translating material on electrocardiograms. It includes tracings of ECGs, drawings of devices, and clear definitions.
Carsten Kuckuk points out this “... huge web site covering everything concerning Jewish life and culture ... It covers news, Jewish culture, Hebrew and Yiddish language, music and a lot of other things.” There is a German and English entrance.
Eric's Treasure Troves of Science (searchable). Definitely worth a look, his archives of "tidbits" and clear explanations cover chemistry, physics, mathematics, music, rocketry, and some others. The mathematics section has been published as the CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics and the physics section is being prepared for publication in hardcopy.
Gabe Bokor suggests this site for countries, currencies, nouns & adjectives in 9 languages.
Large collection of legal links.
The SH3 ( Fall 1999 Transletter pointed out this site for free download of the Euro symbol. Adobe provides both Mac and Windows versions, bless their little hearts.
David Sheridan suggested this site for free fonts in response to a query about Cyrillic fonts, but they have many other non-English fonts. For Mac and Windows. Even has a Klingon font.... and a Romulan one!
Tim Nicholson says these are "for anyone who's ever scratched their head over the name of a church dedicated to some obscure saint, or spent hours trying to find out just whose patron saint's day is celebrated on January 26th". Search by name or keyword. Tim also tells us that "Saint Isidore of Seville (c.560 - 636) is the patron of Internet Users."
Rubens Alarcon points out this Political Database of the Americas in Portuguese, French, English, and Spanish at Georgetown University.
Claire Liu suggests this site for Encyclopaedia of the Orient, which says it is "a one-stop online resource which covers all countries and cultures between Mauritania in the west and Iran in the east, Turkey in the north and Sudan in south."