Found in Translation
Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 03:23 AM EDT
Babylon Â www.babylon.com) is a well known program which gives users
access to innumerous monolingual and bilingual dictionaries in many languages.
My usual tendency not long ago was to think of Babylon as a superfluous tool,
especially for those who have already invested in electronic dictionaries such
as Duden RAE, Aurelio, Houaiss and other specialized dictionaries.
However, on a second thought, having to juggle many dictionary windows on my
computer screen while working on a translation project, and having these
accumulated on my computer, not only requires memory resources from my
PCâ€™s hard disc, but it can also be time-consuming and a little
counter-productive. Babylon eliminates this problem of having too many windows
It is true that Babylon depends on having Internet connection, but it is also
possible to have some of their dictionaries working offline as well.
For preliminary and simple researches, Babylon tool is perfect. Granted, their
translation is not always the best or the most in-depth information source, but
in my experience they very often indicate a path of research which can be
followed using other research tools. Another interesting factor is that their
platform enables research in many languages.
Furthermore, the research tool of Babylon can include - for a fee - many
leading dictionaries worldwide such as Aurelio, Oxford, Langenscheidt and
All in all, as a professional translator and dictionary aficionado, I
canâ€™t be a total friend of Babylon, but neither am I its worst foe.
Although in my opinion Babylon fails at some levels, their dictionaries can be
of great assistance to professional translators, especially having the premium
So far, of course, I have mentioned here the paid license of Babylon. However,
they also offer online free translation services - a great example of those,
and very much used by me, are their German to English translation
tool - such as multilingual online dictionaries and online text translators are
available online for any user.
This article originally appeared on Dictionary blog.