5: A bilingual TDB by Nikoleta
6: A bilingual TDB by Alexandros
do what is portrayed in Figures 2,
3 and 6, take the following
Select all your text using your mouse /
keyboard shortcuts or go to Menu File, then
Edit, go down and click Select All [Read
more about selection and using keyboard
shortcuts in a tutorial regarding text
manipulation for translators] .
Move your mouse pointer to the toolbar,
which is on your screen, and drag the Hanging
Indent (or Left Indent - the lower pointer)
and indent it slightly. If the First Line
Indent (the upper pointer) moves along,
do not panic. Drag it and take it back to
'0' of the toolbar.
Release your mouse. The toolbar with the
First Line Indent and the Hanging Indent
will appear on your page as it is in Figure
Although simple in execution, this procedure
has the advantage to help the eyes of the
reader, especially when the TDB is an extensive
text. If the TDB becomes a working tool
for you who may be professionals (i.e. translators,
subject specialists, terminologists, lexicographers)
or other language users (i.e. ESP students
and teachers), the range of pages may vary
from 5-6 up to 200 or even more. Compare
the number of pages in Figures 1,
4, 5, 6 - which are
TDBs made by Geography students - with those
in Figures 2, 3 and 8 -
which are part of a larger project: a bilingual
(English: Greek) dictionary for Geography
It is up to you to italicise, underline
or write in bold face the terms.
You may want to use 'plain text' rather
'rich text.' If it is so, then indent your
text slightly so that the terms of your
TDB are visible without any difficulty.
Figure 8 is an example of this procedure.
7: A Sample.
8: A bilingual TDB by Ekaterini Nikolarea19.
Scrutinising your entries
this stage of Phase Three, you must
exercise your DISCRIMINATORY (COMPARATIVE
and CONTRASTIVE) SKILLS if
you wish your document to be clear and understandable.
To achieve that, consider the following
If two meanings (or target equivalents)
of an English term are exactly the same
or very close in meaning, either delete
one of them or rephrase the meaning of the
term in your own words.
If you are uncertain about the spelling
of the term or the explication of a definition,
write a question mark beside it (or any
other recognisable indicator) and consider:
SUGGESTION: If you come up with an answer
to your enquiry, go back to your entry and
insert the answer. If you do not, leave
the question mark (or whatever indicator
you may choose to insert in your document)
in your text as a reminder to do a further
search for this term. See 'Tablet:
(1) ???' in Figure 3 as an example.
ADVICE: When you start doing a TDB,
do it methodically and in small chunks.
Once a week insert in your TDB the English
terms and their TL equivalents that you
encounter in the subjects whose lectures
you have attended during the week. If you
do that consistently and methodically, never
will you be overwhelmed by the amount of
terminology you have collected and the time
you have to spend to type it up.
Four: How to manage your TDB
Creating Your Own TDB Filing System
Once you have created your first file of
TDB (as described in Phases Two and Three)
and saved it in your hard drive or in a
diskette, it is easy to create more TDBs.
However, before you create more TDBs, you
need to choose the folder, or location,
where you save the present file of your
TDB and the files you may create in the
future. A folder is a container in which
documents, program files, and other folders
are stored on your computer. A folder also
allows you to classify materials according
to their function or subject. You can create
more than one files and store them in one
or more folders, thus creating a computer
filing system to store all the files of
your TDBs electronically.
The structure of your electronic filing
system (or "folder hierarchy"
as it is called) is a matter of personal
preference. If you share your computer in
the home or office, your first step should
be to create a separate folder for each
user. Figure 9 is an example of how
I have created two different folders for
myself - Ekatnik and ekatnikDIC
- in a PC that I am sharing with other colleagues.
In the folder Ekatnik I save files
of general interest, whereas in ekatnikDIC
I save small- or large-sized files of
bilingual TDBs. The different naming of
the folders and the suffix DIC (:
Dictionary) to the second folder help me
remember in which folder I save my TDBs.
If you take a closer look at the ekatnikDIC
folder, you will see that there are files
with English and Greek abbreviated names;
sorted according to a specific rule; that
is, first come the files with English names
and then the files with Greek names. This
sorting is done automatically by the computer.
No matter what folder hierarchy you use,
what helps in the overall organisation and
management of different TDBs is how clear
and consistent you are in naming and storing
your files. Another tip in the organisation
and management of your TDBs is to have all
your TDBs in one folder. That makes it easier
to find them and make back up copies.
All the steps that I have just described
are based on the assumption that you know
how to create folders and files, how to
organise files within folders and how to
create your own filing system. If you are
of those people who are not very good at
word processing, refer to Self-Study Kits,
such as Windows
XP Step by Step and Word
2002 Step by Step.
9: A folder (ekatniDIC) and many
files of bilingual TDBs created by
Merging files into one so to create a longer
and more complete TDB: An Advanced Way
You may create many short TDBs according
to various subjects or sub-fields of your
discipline, such as those in the folder
ekatnikDIC, Figure 9. All these
TDBs are Word documents (files) named after
fields or sub-fields of a discipline; e.g.
foto, which stands for Photography,
is a file including terminology relevant
to 'Photography,' 'Photogrammetry' and 'Remote
I merged most of the files of the folder
ekatnikDIC into one long document,
which I named SPVOCFINAL20.
SPVOCFINAL is my current working file of
a bilingual dictionary that I have been
preparing for publication. This file, a
glimpse of which Figures 2 and 3
are providing, is 209 pages long and appears
in a zipped form in Figure 9, as well.
To make this merger, I followed two procedures.
PROCEDURE ONE: Creating a New Merged TDB
I chose the longer document at the time;
that is, SPVOC2 γενικό (: SPVOC2 general);
see Figures 8 and 9.
I saved it as SPVOCFINAL (: Special Vocabulary
I placed the pointer of the cursor at the
end of the document.
I opened one of the documents; e.g. GIS.
I selected and copied the entire GIS document.
I closed the GIS document.
I returned to the end of the SPVOCFINAL
document, where I had placed the pointer
of the cursor.
I pasted the selected and copied GIS document.
I repeated these steps as many times as
the documents I wanted to copy in the new
When I finished copying the old documents
into the new document (SPVOCFINAL), I selected
all the text of the new document and followed
the steps: Menu File ->Table-> Sort->
OK to sort the terms of the new document.
The terms of SPVOCFINAL, my new TDB document,
appeared in alphabetical order.
PROCEDURE TWO: Cleaning and organising the
new long TDB
As you can speculate, when you merge different
TDBs, there may be some or a good degree
of overlapping of terms. If it is so, you
have two options. You may either leave your
TDB as it is, without changing it, or 'clean'
it so that it is organised, clear and understandable
to you and to whoever wants to consult it.
If you choose to 'clean' your document,
you must be armed with 'P & P': Patience
and Persistence, especially if your TDB
is long and complex. You must also exercise
your DISCRIMINATORY SKILLS.
There are two fundamental principles that
you must take into consideration when doing
If the same term appears more than once
and its definitions are the same or very
similar, keep the most accurate one and
delete the rest or write the definition
in your own words in simple and clear language.
See and follow the instructions as described
in Phase Three 3.1., 7. c, 1.
If the same term appears more than once
but its definitions are different, then
enumerate (number) the different definitions;
e.g. (1) ... . (2) ... ; see Phase Three
3.1., 5. c, 2.
If the same headword appears more than once
and its definitions are the same but with
a different meaning (signification) in different
fields or sub-fields, follow the instructions
as described in Phase Three 3.1.,
5. c, 3.
If you see the question marks you had put
as reminders, keep them (do not delete them)
until you find the most accurate version
of the term; see Phase Three 3.1.,
7. c, 2.
Do this 'clean-up' in small chunks and in
a short, allocated time methodically, consistently
and persistently. For example, work on one
page for half an hour once or twice a week.
ADVICE: This is your personal TDB and
you can work on it in the way you find the
most appropriate to your character and schedule.
The quintessence of organising, managing
and maintaining an up-dated TDB is to work
on it methodically at regular times. Up-date
your TDB whenever you encounter a new term
or a new or a different definition to any
of the existing terms.
In the beginning, you may find it tiresome,
irritating, pointless and time-consuming
to organise, store and maintain a personal
TDB. Nevertheless, once you have created
it electronically, it is easy to retrieve
it, make any corrections you find necessary,
manage it and, of course, you can rely on
it when your memory fails you.
After I have been using the construction
of a bilingual TDB as one of the means of
teaching Translation, Terminology and Lexicography
to Translation students and English to Geography
students, I have concluded that a bilingual
TDB can become a powerful tool in teaching
Translation, Terminology, Lexicography and
English (or any other language).
TDB as a part of learning process
A TDB can develop and enhance learning.
Translators and other language users have
already acquired some knowledge that they
try to use in order to make sense of the
flow of new information. It follows from
this that a TDB can only be compiled, managed
and maintained only if translators
and other language users have the necessary
knowledge; that is, knowledge of their mother
tongue and one, at least, foreign language
(e.g. English), knowledge of library search
(research methodology), knowledge of PCs,
analytical and synthetic reasoning, knowledge
of exercising discriminatory skills.
A TDB is a thinking process. It is not
enough for translators and other language
users to have the necessary knowledge to
make things meaningful. They must also use
this knowledge. This carries two implications
for the methodology and the final creation
of a TDB:
Translators and other language users should
become aware of what they know and how they
can use it with the aid of other translators,
colleagues, teachers and other specialists.
Translators and other language users should
learn how to do a library search and how
to use a Word processor.
The creation of a TDB is an active process.
It should be apparent from principles 1
and 2 that translators and other language
users are seen as active participants in
their long-term learning process. The creation
of a TDB involves two kinds of activity:
(a) the psycho-motor activity (i.e. the
movement of hands, eyes); and (2) the processing
activity (i.e. the activity in the brain
whereby translators and other language users
try to make sense what they have seen, read,
heard or written). Both activities are equally
important in the creation of a TDB. If one
of these activities is lacking, then a TDB
cannot be realised.
The creation of a TDB involves making decisions
and exercising their discriminatory skills.
Since the creation of a TDB is a complex
learning experience (as described in Phases
One-Three), it follows that it triggers
translators' and other language users' active
thinking process during which they use existing
knowledge to make new information meaningful
and try to cope with new information by
classifying it. Throughout this process,
all language users make decisions, deciding
what is meaningful and what is not, exercise
their discriminatory skills, deciding which
term is relevant to the subject they study,
deciding which definition is correct and
what is not, which definition can stay or
is to be deleted. (Phase Three, 3.1.,
5. 1-3 and 3.1., 7. c, 1 and 2). It should
however be considered that all language
users, as decision-makers, cannot avoid
being uncertain or making mistakes. Therefore,
translators and other language users should
give themselves the opportunity to be right,
to be uncertain about a term by typing up
a question mark (?) beside it or the definition(s)
(see Phase Three, 3.1., 7. c, 2)
or even the opportunity to be wrong.
Creating a bilingual TDB is bringing a complex
conceptual and factual knowledge together
with linguistic knowledge. The role
of existing knowledge in creating a TDB
has been emphasised. It should however be
noted that it is not only knowledge of language
that enables translators and other language
users to learn and use a language. Translators
and other language users usually have got
a complex mass of conceptual and factual
knowledge. Nevertheless, the most fundamental
challenge for translators and other language
users is the mismatch between their cognitive/conceptual
capacities and their linguistic level. Frequently,
all language users have knowledge of the
subject matter that they cannot express
it linguistically either in a foreign language
or in their own mother tongue as eloquently
as they wish.
this point, a TDB can play an important
role in developing translators, and other
language users' general and specialist language
learning. It can help all language learners
because it can become a point of reference
- an electronic mnemonic to which they can
refer when their memory fails them. A TDB
can also motivate translators' and other
language users' general and specialist language
learning because it gives them a 'language
background' to build their self-confidence
TDB as a product
TDB can be a product and sign of personal
achievement for all language users.
A product of translators' and other language
users' effort and learning process.
We have already explained this process in
much detail in the previous section.
A product of knowledge in its very physical
sense. Small- or large-sized TDBs, as
shown in Figures 1-6 and 8, in a printed or
electronic form can become a point of reference,
a tool to which all language users can refer.
A TDB can help translators and other language
users recall difficult words or terms that
they have encountered. Thus, a TDB can become
an 'R & R' (Reference and Reinforcement)
tool, as it will be explained below.
An actual product of Research Methodology.
By constructing a TDB, translators and other
language users have learned how to find,
document, use and manage information and
knowledge that will become eventually essential
in learning more about their discipline
and advancing their career.
An actual product of drawing upon and pulling
together translators' and other language
users' general and specialist knowledge.
As they become confident in constructing
a TDB and their memory in learning vocabulary
and difficult terminology in the foreign
language is strengthened, translators and
other language users show two very positive
learning attitudes: (a) Overcoming their
shyness regarding difficult terminology
and (b) Willingness to share their knowledge
with other people.
their shyness with difficult terminology.
When my students (novice translators and
Geography students) started working on the
construction of a TDB, they were afraid
of it because it was part of the assessment
of their course. During our class sessions
and as we were studying specialist texts
originally written in English, translators
and other language users overcame their
shyness with asking questions and associated
the information and knowledge they got in
our sessions with that they were acquiring
in their subject classes, which were conducted
totally in Greek.
to share their knowledge with other students
and people. As Translators and other
language users became more confident in
their newly acquired information and knowledge
and more relaxed about being assessed, they
stopped being reserved and competitive and
started sharing the information and knowledge
they had acquired with their fellow students
and with me, their instructor.
should however confess that convincing my
students sharing their knowledge with their
fellow students and other people - even
with me, their instructor - took me almost
a semester. I noticed that translators and
other language users stopped being competitive
among themselves only when did they
see me sharing my knowledge and my large
bilingual TDB (SPVOCFINAL) with them and
did they understand that my criteria of
the assessment of their TDB were the quality
and the creativity displayed in their
TDB. Eventually, they relaxed a little and
created TDBs which, although based on the
same Geographical texts, were creatively
different. For example, Charidimos Deverakis
(Figure 1) and Alexandros Nassiadis
(Figure 6) based their TDB on "Clean
Beaches- Using GIS to Help Remedy Shoreline
Contamination," an Internet text authored
by Daniel Reid et al, but their TDBs
(the final product) was qualitatively, quantitatively
and creatively different but equally good.
Similarly, Athina Kehajia (Figure 4)
and Nikoleta Karali (Figure 5) based
their TDB on the text "Introduction to Spatial
Data and S+SPATIALSTATS," an excerpt from
S+SPATIALSTATS by Kaluzny, Vega Cardoso
and Shelly (USA: Springer, 1998), but their
TDBs, though equally good, were of different
A product of independent thinking and interdependent
knowledge. During the construction of
their TDB, translators and other language
users gradually become independent learners
in that they learn where to find, how to
document, use their sources and manage the
information acquired in order to attain
their final purpose: the creation of an
understandable TDB. During this kind of
process, translators and other language
users soon realise that they need the help
of other people more knowledgeable (i.e.
librarians, their teachers and specialists)
than them as well as the sharing and exchanging
of knowledge with other language users and
professionals. Thus, they slowly become
aware that acquiring knowledge is always
an interdependent process and that it is
heavily based on interconnectivity of the
humans with the material, real and 'virtual'
TDB as a powerful tool for future reference,
use and management
TDB usually becomes a 'R & R' point for
translators and other language users; that
is, a Reference and Reinforcement point.
On the one hand, the TDB, as a Reference
point, becomes a physical and electronic
reality for translators and other language
users to refer to and consult with the different
meanings (semantics) of difficult words
and expressions as well as the semantics
of various terms. On the other hand, the
TDB, as a Reinforcement point, functions
as a 'friendly reminder' of translators'
and other language users' memory and makes
them feel more and more confident in their
learning of specialist vocabulary.
TDB as a means to strengthen all language
users' self-confidence and self-esteem
the TDB has been a proof of translators'
and other language users' personal achievement.
This achievement can be measured in terms
of (1) personal effort, (2) saving time
and effort (since they do not have to do
the same research over and again), (3) motivation
(to manage the TDB the best way they can)
and (4) a long-term use. For example, translators
and other language users can use their TDB
in a job that demands the knowledge and
use of specialist terminology or even when
they go for post-graduate studies in another
- going back to the library to carry
on more research;
- doing a search on the Internet;
- checking those notes or textbooks
which may be related to the term for
which you are looking; and
- asking other translators, specialists,
teachers, terminologists or lexicographers.
They may be able to give you an accurate
term in your native language.
REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
am concluding this paper where I started
from: the translator and any other language
user, who can find himself/herself in a
situation that terrifies him/her due to
the demands that a translation of a difficult
specialist text, the teaching or the use
of more than one languages may make on him/her.
translator, the teacher, the specialist
and any other language user can transcend
the difficult situation s/he is in and perform
his/her duty successfully, if s/he is willing
to become an explorer and a learner of his/her
new learning situation and environment.
S/He should not be afraid of learning from
other translators, teachers, colleagues
and other language users, when being in
a professional situation. In other words,
a translator and any other language user
can or must become a 'student' himself/herself
- experience some anxiety and risk of failure
- in order to perform his/her professional
duties better than s/he is doing now. The
philosophy and methodology underlying the
compilation of a bilingual TDB is one of
the most powerful methodological tools in
translators' and other language users' hands
to find, document, refer to and use information
and knowledge necessary for them. Thus,
a bilingual TDB can become a powerful teaching,
learning and professional tool for translators,
terminologists, lexicographers, specialists,
language teachers and students and any other
language users alike.
am also concluding this paper with the translator
and any other language users who are expected
to have good knowledge and know certain
methodological tools that will help him/her
accomplish his/her duties: transfer his/her
(specialist) knowledge to another language.
A bilingual TDB is one of these tools.
from one of her dictionaries
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London: Library Association Publishing.
[A very good book on how students can
use the Internet and an excellent source
of portals, especially in the UK].
© Copyright 2003 Translatum Journal
and the Author