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Recommended dictionaries?

od Shawna, 9 sierpnia 2006

Wpisy: 14

Język: English

Shawna (Pokaż profil) 9 sierpnia 2006, 03:43:33

Now that I know a little Esperanto, I'm looking at more sites and wanting to start reading Esperanto literature.

However, we all know that "La Vortaro" on this site is, to put it charitably, a little limited.

I want to get a good Esperanto-English/English-Esperanto dictionary. The local bookstores don't carry squat on Esperanto.

I went on the ELNA site, and there are several to choose from. I don't know, though, how to tell which ones are the good ones, seeing as I can't pick them up and look through them. A lot of the ones ELNA carries also are rather old, and I don't know if that's good or bad. I think I'd feel better if I had a more up-to-date one. Amazon's not much help.

I am on a tight budget, so I can't spend, say, over $20 for right now. I was looking at the used book section on ELNA, but, again, the books are old, and I really don't know how good they are. The descriptions on the store site are a little vague for my use.

I'd really like to get some recommendations for a dictionary that can help me now as I learn, but I won't have to immediately get a brand new one once I'm reasonably competent.

Places to find inexpensive Esperanto books would be good, too.

Thanks!

Shawna

Talking Pie (Pokaż profil) 9 sierpnia 2006, 08:13:18

I would try the Esperanto Association of Britain's bookshop. They have quite a selection of dictionaries, most fairly cheap, and they do international deliveries too. I bought a couple of books from there the other day, and I was very pleased with the service. Also, have a look on eBay. I've bought a lot of Esperanto books (mainly directionaries) from there.

Mi provus la librobutiko de la Esperanto-Asocio de Britio. Ili havas grandan kolekton de vortaroj, kaj plej estas malmultekosta. Ili ankaŭ liveras al aliaj landoj. Mi lastatempe aĉetis du librojn el tie, kaj mi tre plaĉis pro la servo. Ankaŭ, serĉu je eBay. Mi aĉetis multajn de Esperanta-librojn (ĉefe vortaroj) el tie.

erinja (Pokaż profil) 9 sierpnia 2006, 16:46:20

Shawna:
I went on the ELNA site, and there are several to choose from. I don't know, though, how to tell which ones are the good ones, seeing as I can't pick them up and look through them. A lot of the ones ELNA carries also are rather old, and I don't know if that's good or bad. I think I'd feel better if I had a more up-to-date one. Amazon's not much help.
I can't think of any really up-to-date Esperanto-English dictionaries. I have the Butler dictionary, which is very well regarded for the Esperanto-English direction. There is Benson's dictionary, English-Esperanto, which is full of what my friends and I call "Bensonajxoj" - his own neologisms, which may or may not be understood in the wider community.

For a bi-directional dictionary I like the J.C. Wells. It's out of print now but you can find it on various used book sites online; I would just try to go with the newest edition possible. I think it's excellent for beginners, since it has a wonderfully helpful grammar guide with examples in the front. I still use it as my primary dictionary - I'm on my second copy, my first crumbled.

For inexpensive books, anything printed in China will be cheaper than things printed in the US and Europe. ELNA's catalog has some; I would just browse through and look for what's cheap.

But you can't do much better than the used book lists, for cheapness. ELNA has one and the UEA also has one (though you'd have to pay for shipping from Europe.)

http://katalogo.uea.org/katalogo.php?st=brok

Note that prices in that catalog are in Euros; add about 30% for the price in US dollars.

For the ELNA list of used books, remember that some of the same books might be found in a more modern (or simply non-used) edition in the regular catalog. If you see something that looks intriguing, try looking it up in the standard catalog to see if you can get a better description.

Erin

Shawna (Pokaż profil) 9 sierpnia 2006, 21:31:20

Thanks for both suggestions. I think the Esperanto association of Great Britain looks about right for me.

I also found some good priced used and new dictionaries at Powell's City of Books, the largest independent bookseller online.

Shawna

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 01:41:53

Well, I've downloaded the Gutenberg dictionary. It appears to be 100 years old, not 60. It is frankly out of date. For example, right at the start it has "Aberration = spiritvagado". Now, I quite like that translation, personally, but it originates from the days when "psychology" was something more true to its name (i.e. study of the spirit). These days many people think, rightly or wrongly, that there is no such thing as a spirit and that the mind is the same as the brain. Consequently, "Aberration = spiritvagado" simply won't do anymore. Not for general communication anyway.

Plus, if the dictionary by Wells is out of print and the Benson dictionary is full of neologisms, then where can we turn for a decent, comprehensive, accurate English to E-o dictionary?

I've been struggling with this problem today. I have been trying to translate a web page I wrote a while back. I couldn't find anywhere, a translation for "workability". In the end I decided on laborebleco and hoped that would communicate.

I also looked for "developed by" and decided on "evoluigita de", but various dictionaries gave all sorts possibilities for "develop".

And I still haven't worked out "selection". The 100 year old dictionary has "Selection = elektaro", which seems plausible. However, the Reta Vortaro doesn't seem to have "elektaro". It does have "selekti", which if I read the E-o definition correctly seems to be pretty much a synonym for "to select" in English. But it doesn't explicitly provide an English equivalent for even "selecti" and doesn't have anything like "selektaro" in the list of words formed from this root. Meanwhile, someone in this very thread has translated "selection" as "kolekto", which also seems plausible. And the vortaro here has no translation for "to select" at all.

All this makes for a lot of hard work just to look up a word and have some sort of confidence that you've chosen the correct translation that will communicate properly.

"Selection" is, perhaps, not a common word. But it is hardly obscure either.

So, is there, in print or on the net, a decent, up-to-date, trustworthy, comprehensive English to E-o dictionary? I am having trouble identifying one at the moment.....

Nick

erinja (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 02:34:58

nw2394:
Plus, if the dictionary by Wells is out of print and the Benson dictionary is full of neologisms, then where can we turn for a decent, comprehensive, accurate English to E-o dictionary?
I'm certainly no friend of Benson. But it has its uses, and so long as you avoid the 'bensonajxoj', you should be fine. He actually has a list of his own neologisms in the back, and I think they're marked with an asterisk or something in the text, so it's not that hard to avoid them.

Frankly though, used copies of Wells are usually available from various used booksellers online. Even a 30 year old copy of Wells will be fine; I think it hasn't really changed that much (and the internet-related words etc you won't find in even the most modern printing of it, so you'd be better off with an online glossary for those sorts of terms anyway)
I've been struggling with this problem today. I have been trying to translate a web page I wrote a while back. I couldn't find anywhere, a translation for "workability". In the end I decided on laborebleco and hoped that would communicate.
Ooh. That would depend on the context but I wouldn't translate it that way. By workability, do you mean the likelihood of being able to make something work, as in finding a workable solution? I would probably say funkciigeblo. ("ability to make something function"). Remember, the Eo-Eo dictionary is your friend ridulo.gif
I also looked for "developed by" and decided on "evoluigita de", but various dictionaries gave all sorts possibilities for "develop".
"Develop" is closely tied with context, but absent context, your translation seems fine to me. For example, a software developer would probably be called a "softvaristo" or something like this in Esperanto, so the word "develop" wouldn't even come into it. In some cases, I would use "desegni" or "ellabori" as a translation for develop; it's not a real translation for the word itself, but in some contexts it works best ("I developed a solution..." = Mi desegnis/ellaboris solvon...), depending on the nuances I'm looking for.[/quote]
And I still haven't worked out "selection". The 100 year old dictionary has "Selection = elektaro", which seems plausible. However, the Reta Vortaro doesn't seem to have "elektaro". It does have "selekti", which if I read the E-o definition correctly seems to be pretty much a synonym for "to select" in English. But it doesn't explicitly provide an English equivalent for even "selecti" and doesn't have anything like "selektaro" in the list of words formed from this root. Meanwhile, someone in this very thread has translated "selection" as "kolekto", which also seems plausible. And the vortaro here has no translation for "to select" at all.

All this makes for a lot of hard work just to look up a word and have some sort of confidence that you've chosen the correct translation that will communicate properly.
These words are difficult because there is rarely a one to one correspondence between words, as I'm sure you've guessed from learning languages before. Even with an excellent dictionary, it can be hard.

"Selection" has a variety of meanings in English; I would use "elekto" for the most simple meaning (a single thing that has been selected; "Please confirm your meal selection"). "Elektaro" would be a selection as in a collection of things that have been selected ("May I present you, madam, with a selection of seasonal fruits?")

"Selekti" is rare and I would not use it.

"Kolekto" has a somewhat similar meaning as "elektaro", only it would mean any combination, for example, of seasonal fruits, and wouldn't convey the idea that someone spent some time making choices for the collection of items. It would be akin to having a coin collection that you acquired by drawing coins randomly out of a hat, rather than choosing them carefully according to your taste and interests.
"Selection" is, perhaps, not a common word. But it is hardly obscure either.

So, is there, in print or on the net, a decent, up-to-date, trustworthy, comprehensive English to E-o dictionary? I am having trouble identifying one at the moment.....

Nick
The most common words can be the most difficult to translate; since they are used a lot, they tend to acquire multiple meanings. Words like "xenobiology" are easier to translate than words like "selection" because they don't depend nearly so much on context.

There are some inexpensive dictionaries coming out of India nowadays but I don't know about their quality, I have never seen them in person.

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 03:37:32

Thanks Erinja. You're an angel.

If Benson's book has his neologisms marked as you suggest, maybe I'll get a copy of that. Or see if I can find a copy of Wells.

I realise I didn't give context. I don't wish to be accused of using this forum for either advertising or getting on a soap box.

So, changing the context, but keeping the meaning of the words in question the same:

1) I like your plan, it has workability. The other ones don't or are too risky.

2) The techniques for making light bulbs were developed by Edison.

3) If you use a good search engine, you should find a selection of sites about... whatever.
Ooh. That would depend on the context but I wouldn't translate it that way. By workability, do you mean the likelihood of being able to make something work, as in finding a workable solution? I would probably say funkciigeblo. ("ability to make something function"). Remember, the Eo-Eo dictionary is your friend ridulo.gif
Yes, I realise that looking up a word in a proper Eo dictionary is the best way to learn what it means. However:

1) You have to know what it is you want to find there first. This is quite hard (to say the least) if the English word you want to translate in the first place is not in the English to E-o dictionary.

2) If one's vocabulary is limited, then an E-o dictionary can cause one to spend ages clearing up other words in the definition. Sometimes one can even end up going in circles and thus get nowhere at all. Either that or you accumulate so many new words that you have to clear up, that you end up overwhelmed with information.

3) funkciigeblo, for example, isn't in the dictionary (neither here nor the Reta Vortaro). Nor is laborebleco either. I had to invent laborebleco. And, unless you have access to dictionaries that I don't, then I think you probably coined funkciigeblo too.

Do you see the problem.... It is like groping in the dark.

Nick

RiotNrrd (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 04:56:29

I have the Benson dictionary, and, to tell you the truth, am very pleased with it. Yes, there are a bunch of neologisms in it, but they are listed again in the back and take up only 11 pages (out of a 607 page book). So, percentage-wise, there aren't really that many.

Personally, I've found it to be invaluable, especially for figuring out transitivities, and also for determining the right word (or phrase) based on colloquial English usage.

erinja (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 15:07:23

nw2394:
1) I like your plan, it has workability. The other ones don't or are too risky.
Although you could say "Mi sxatas vian planon, gxi havas funkciigeblon", that sounds a little strange to my ear. I prefer "Mi sxatas vian planon, gxi estas funkciigebla" (I like your plan, it is workable)
2) The techniques for making light bulbs were developed by Edison.
"La tekniko por krei lumglobojn ellaborigxis de Edison"

You could say "inventigxis" instead of "ellaborigxis", it sounds somewhat better to my ear, but perhaps only because I am used to speaking of Edison inventing a lightbulb rather than developing it.
3) If you use a good search engine, you should find a selection of sites about... whatever.
"Se vi trovos bonan sercxilon, vi devus trovi elektaron de retpagxoj pri... kio ajn."

Although in the search context, I don't personally speak of search engines returning a selection of sites. I usually speak of a list (listo) of sites returned.
3) funkciigeblo, for example, isn't in the dictionary (neither here nor the Reta Vortaro). Nor is laborebleco either. I had to invent laborebleco. And, unless you have access to dictionaries that I don't, then I think you probably coined funkciigeblo too.
I did coin funkciigeblo, but it's 100% based on Esperanto roots; funkci/ig/ebl/o. It's just like saying "farebla" (far/ebl/a - "doable"); you use Esperanto's word-building features to come up with something you need. It does take some time to get comfortable with the manner of thinking needed to build your own words. This is how it usually goes in my head - I think about the English word. What does it mean? Workability - the ability to make something work or function. So I would look up "work"; the first definition in the lernu dictionary is "funkcii". Then "laboro", then "funkciigi" (then some more). "Funkcii" seems a likely candidate based on its similarity to "function", so I look that up in the Eo-En dictionary, and find "function, run, operate, work". That sounds good to me, so I make "funkciigi", to make something work, then "funkciigeblo", the ability to make something work (using the well-established suffixes -ig- and -ebl-).

It takes a little time at first but if you think deeply into the meaning of a word, rather than the surface translation, it gets easier. It took me about 10 seconds to come up with "funkciigeblo", based on your word "workability". It's hard as a beginner, but eventually you'll be able to come up with new words more easily as well. It helps to become extremely familiar with the Esperanto system of affixes. They are your best friends, and it's a real plus to be able to instantly think of the appropriate suffix when you're trying to come up witha new word.

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 12 grudnia 2006, 15:23:21

Thanks Erinja. Also to RiotNrrd for the recommendation...

Nick

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