MT

A scientific text:

Original Text

The new strain is of the species Cryptococcus gattii, an airborne fungus native to tropical and subtropical regions, including Papua NewGuinea,Australia, and parts of South America. An older strain of the fungus was frst detected in North America in British Columbia, Canada, in 1999.

No one knows how the species got to North America or how the fungus can thrive in a temperate region, experts say.

“The alarming thing is that it’s occurring in this region, it’s affecting healthy people, and geographically it’s been expanding,” said study co-author Edmond Byrnes, a graduate student at the Joseph Heitman Labat Duke University.

Google Translator’s Version

La nueva cepa es de la especie Cryptococcus gattii, un hongo en el aire nativo de las regiones tropicales y subtropicales, incluyendo Papua Nueva Guinea, Australia y partes de América del Sur. Una cepa del hongo mayores de esa edad se detectó primeras tribunas que en América del Norte en la Columbia Británica, Canadá, en 1999.
Nadie sabe cómo la especie llegó a América del Norte o cómo el hongo puede prosperar en una región templada, dicen los expertos.
“Lo alarmante es que eso esté ocurriendo en esta región, que está afectando a personas sanas, y se está expandiendo geográficamente sido”, dijo el coautor del estudio Edmond Byrnes, un estudiante graduado en el Joseph Heitman Labat la Universidad de Duke.

Lucy Translator’s Version

La nueva tensión es de la especie Cryptococcus gattii, un nativo de hongo del aire de regiones tropicales y subtropicales, incluyendoPapua New Guinea,Australia, y partes de Sudamérica. Una tensión más vieja del hongo era frst detectado en Norteamérica en British Columbia, Canadá, en 1999.
Nadie sabe cómo llegaba la especie a Norteamérica o cómo puede prosperar el hongo en una región templada, los expertos dicen.
“La cosa alarmante es que está ocurriendo en esta región, está afectando gente sana, y geográficamente” se ha estado “expandiendo”, decía el co author de estudioEdmond Byrnes, un universitario en la Universidad de Duque deJoseph Heitman Labat.

Human Translation

La nueva cepa es de la especie Cryptococus gatti, un hongo transportado por el aire originario de regiones tropicales y subtropicales, incluyendo Papua Nueva Guinea, Australia y partes de América del Sur. Una cepa más antigua del hongo fue detectada por primera vez en América del Norte, en Columbia Británica y Canadá en 1999. Nadie sabe cómo llegó la especie a América del Norte o cómo puede el hongo crecer en una región templada, dicen los expertos.

“Lo alarmante es que está teniendo lugar en esta región, que está afectando a personas sanas y que se ha estado expandiendo geográficamente,” dijo el co-autor del estudio Edmond Byrnes, un estudiante licenciado en el laboratorio Joseph Heitman de la Universidad de Duke.

Article from the yellow press:

Original Text 

Michael Lohan, the father of actress Lindsay Lohan, paid a visit to his daughter with police in tow this week.
Bringing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with him, Michael said he feared the safety of his younger daughter Ali, who is currently staying with Lindsay.
“I went to the police department concerned about Ali’s welfare,” Michael Lohan told Hollyscoop.com.

“I wanted to check on Ali. I want to make sure she’s okay. She’s 16 and she doesn’t belong there. She’s a minor.”
Once inside the apartment, Ali assured her father she was alright, saying: “I’m fine, daddy, I’m fine.”

Google Translator’s Version

Michael Lohan, padre de la actriz Lindsay Lohan, realizó una visita a su hija a cuestas con la policía esta semana.
Llevar el Departamento del Sheriff del Condado de Los Angeles con él, Michael dijo que temía que la seguridad de su hija menor, Ali, quien se encuentra en casa de Lindsay.
“Fui a la policía preocupados por el bienestar de Alí”, dijo Michael Lohan Hollyscoop.com.
“Quería comprobar Ali. Quiero asegurarme de que está bien. Tiene 16 años y ella no pertenecía a ese lugar. Ella es menor de edad.”
Una vez dentro del apartamento, Ali aseguró a su padre que estaba bien, diciendo: “Estoy bien, papá, estoy bien.”

Lucy Translator’s Version

Michael Lohan, el padre de la actriz Lindsay Lohan, hacía una visita a su hija con policía de remolque esta semana.
Trayendo el Departamento del Gobernador de Condado de los Ángeles con él, Michaeldecía que temía la seguridad de su hija más joven Ali, que se está quedando actualmente con Lindsay.
“Iba al departamento de policía preocupado por el bienestar de Ali”, Michael Lohan decía Hollyscoop.com.
“Quería vigilar a Ali. Quiero asegurarme de que es|está correcta. Tiene 16 años y no es de allí. Es una menor de edad.”
Una vez dentro del apartamento, Ali aseguraba su padre que era bien, dicho: “Estoy bien, papá, estoy bien.”

Human Translation

Michael Lohan, padre de la actriz Lindsay Lohan, visitó a su hija acompañado por la policía esta semana.

Llevando el Departamento del Sheriff del Condado de los Ángeles con él, Michael dijo que temía por la seguridad de su hija menor Ali, quien está actualmente en casa de Lindsay.

“Fui al departamento de policía preocupado por el bienestar de Ali,” contó Michael Lohan a Hollyscoop.com.

“Quería vigilar a Ali. Quiero asegurarme de que está bien. Tiene 16 años y no pertenece a ese mundo. Es una menor.”

Una vez dentro del apartamento, Ali aseguró a su padre que estaba bien diciendo: “Estoy bien, papá, estoy bien.”

Literary Text:

Original Version by Juan Goytisolo

Introdujo la llave en la cerradura procurando no hacer ruido. La abuela tenía el sueño ligero y le molestaba la idea de despertarla. En la portería se había quitado las sandalias y se detuvo en el recibidor, al ver el cuarto de Ortega iluminado. Un rectángulo de luz seleccionaba en dos la entrada de la cueva y la mesita que servía de soporte al espejo. Imposible pasar por allí sin ser visto. Con las sandalias en la mano. Pipo avanzó por el pasillo y se detuvo ante el cuadrado luminoso sin atreverse a cruzar.

El profesor estaba inclinado sobre la mesa, mascullando por lo bajo algo ininteligible. En torno al cenicero había gran número de colillas y la atmósfera de la habitación era tan densa que parecía una neblina. La luz de la lámpara inventaba infinidad de arrugas en su rostro envejecido. Desde el pasillo, cobraba la apariencia de una máscara.

-No ha ido – percibió Pipo -, Mi amigo no lo vio por ningún lado.

La sorpresa le hizo adelantarse más de lo debido y Ortega le contempló lo mismo que a un fantasma. Estaba solo, más triste y desamparado que nunca y, al cambiar el brazo de posición, dibujó el ademán de abrazarlo, como si necesitase tocarlo para convencerse de que el mundo existía, que aquello era real, que no estaba soñando.

Google Translator’s Version

Put the key in the lock trying not to make noise. The grandmother was a light sleeper and was bothered by the idea of waking. In goal had taken off his shoes and stood in the hall, seeing the lighted room Ortega. A rectangle of light selected two of the cave entrance and the table that served as support in the mirror. Impossible to pass by unnoticed. With sandals in hand. Pipo walked down the aisle and stopped at the light square, not daring to cross.
The teacher was bending over the table, muttering something unintelligible under his breath. Around the ashtray had large numbers of cigarette butts and the atmosphere of the room was so thick it looked like a fog. The light from the lamp invented many wrinkles on your aging face. From the hall, took on the appearance of a mask.
“There has been – perceived Pipo – My friend did not see it anywhere.
The surprise him more than they anticipate and Ortega looked just like a ghost. He was alone, more sad and helpless than ever, changing the arm position, drew the gesture of embrace, as if he needed to touch it to convince the world that existed, that this was real, he was not dreaming.

Lucy Translator’s Version

He|She|It introduced the key in the lock trying not to do noise. The grandmother had the slight dream|sleep and upset the idea about arousing it|her for him|her. In the goal|porter’s lodge it|he|she had taken off the sandals and stopped in the hall, when seeing the illuminated quarter|room of Ortega. A rectangle of light selected in two the entry of the cave and the small table that acted as support to the mirror. Impossible to pass for there without being seen. With the sandals in the hand. Pipo advanced through the corridor and stopped in the face of the luminous square without daring to cross over.
The professor was inclined on the table, muttering for the under something unintelligible. About the ashtray there was great number of stubs and the atmosphere of the room was so dense that a mist seemed. The light of the lamp invented infinity of wrinkles in its|his|her|their aged face. From the corridor, he|she|it charged|gained the appearance of a mask.

-It|He|She has not gone -it|he|she perceived Pipo -, Wed friend did not see it for no side.
The surprise made him be advanced more of what had been owed and Ortega contemplated the same for him|her as to a ghost. It|He was alone, sadder and helpless that never and, when changing the arm of position, drew the gesture of embracing it, as if it|he|she needed to touch it to be convinced that the world existed, which that was real, that was not dreaming

Human Translation

He put the key into the lock trying not to make any noise. His grandmother was a light sleeper and he disliked the idea of waking her up. He had taken his sandals off in the porter’s lodge and stopped in the entrance hall when he saw Ortega’s room lit up. A rectangle of light divided the entrance of the cave in two and the bedside table which was good for standing the mirror. It was impossible to go past there without being seen. Sandals in hand, Pipo down the corridor and stopped in front of the lit up square without daring to cross.

The teacher was leaning over the table, muttering something unintelligible in low voice. There was a great number of cigarette butts round the ashtray and the air of the room was so dense that it seemed mist. The light from the lamp made up countless wrinkles in his aged face. From the corridor, his face became a mask.

“He hasn’t gone”  noticed Pipo, “my friend didn’t see him anywhere”.

Surprise made him step forward more than he should and Ortega gazed at him the same as at a ghost. He was alone, sadder and more unprotected than ever. When he changed the position of his arm, he made as if he wanted to embrace Pipo as if he needed to touch him in order to convince himself of the existence of the world, that that was real, that he was not dreaming.

Main problems found when translating from English into Spanish

The main problem that can be found when using the machine translator is that it makes several mistakes with the vocabulary. The machine is not able to translate the words accurately mainly because it does not take into account that words have several meanings depending on the context.

Refering to the first text, it can be appreciated that this problem emerges just at the beginning of the fragment when having to translate the word “airborne”. This word has two possible translations in this context: “transportado por el aire” or “aerotransportado”. I found more appropriate to use the first option in relation to the “fungus”. In contrast, the machine does not represent this idea of being carried by the air in the best way. Google translates it as “en el aire” and Lucy as “del aire”. Both versions seem to be slightly away from the original meaning.

The second problem is found just a word after in the same text. In this case, the translations offered by the tools have fallen into the problem of translating literarily. The word “native” has been translated as “nativo” in the case 0f Google Translate, and as “nativo de hongo” in the case of Lucy Translator. The first has translated “native” in the literal way while its best equivalent in Spanish would be “autóctono” or “originario” in this particular context. The second, however, does not only translate “native” literarily, but associates it to the “fungus” while the word is connected to “tropical and subtropical regions”, as it makes reference to the places where the fungus is native.

Furthermore, Lucy Translator does not translate the word “strain” as “cepa” (which the only possible translation for this word in the text) but as “tensión”. The translator instead of having into account all the possible meanings of the word “strain”, has opted for the first meaning which of course is not suitable in this context.

On the other hand, both translating systems have found important problems when translating the adjective “older”. Instead of taking into account that it does not only refer to “mayor” but also to “más atigüa”, both systems have translated it in the wrong way. Google has opted for “mayor de esa edad” and Lucy for “más vieja”. Both versions are not accurate enough.

Going further in the same text, it can be found that both Google and Lucy translate the verb “thrive” as “prosperar” and it is not wrong as that is one of the multiple meanings of the verb. However, as the text is referring to the fungus it would be more accurate to translate it as “grow” = “crecer”.

It is important to point out a serious mistake n the version made by the Lucy translator in relation to the general use of the word “thing”. While in this case the word should be translated by using the neutral article “lo”, Lucy translates it as “cosa” which is completely inappropriate in the text.

In the translation made by Google, one more example of literal translation can be found. The word “graduate” should be translated as “licenciado” and not as “graduado”.

In reference to the second text, we can also find several problems with the vocabulary. The expression “with police in tow” should be interpreted as “acompañado por la policía” and not in the literal sense of the word “tow” as “con la policía de remolque” in the case of the Lucy Translator.

Beside the verb “bring” is not translated correctly. In this particular context “llevando” suits better than “trayendo”.

The word “minor” also gives some problems to Lucy as the best way of translating it would be “menor” (as Google Translate does) and not as “más joven”.

On the other hand, Google does not translate the full compund word “police department”. Instead of only saying “policía” this has to be translated as “departamento de policía”.

Moreover, “alright” is translated by Lucy as “correcta” which is impossible in order to make reference to a person’s state. That is why here is more suitable to use “bien”.

The same tool has confused the meaning of the verb “to be”. As it has two possible interpretations depending on the context, “ser” or “estar”, Lucy has translated the verb as “ser” (“era”) when it should be “estar” (“estaba”).

Apart from the amount of vocabulary problems, both translation systems found several grammatical problems.

The most common mistake related to the grammar is the wrong use of verb tenses. In the case of the first text, “it’s been expanding” is not translated correctly in the case of Google. The past perfect should be translated as “se ha estado expandiendo”, while the machine interprets it as “se está expandiendo”, the continuous form in the present.

On the other hand, Lucy translates the past simple form “got” as a continuous past form “llegaba” while is should be translated as “llegó”.

There are also some problems with the tenses in the second text. For instance, Google translates “bringing” as “llevar”, the infinitive form, while the form of the verb is referring to “llevando”.

In the case of the Lucy translator, it translates “went” as “iba” and not as “fui” which is the correct form. Furthermore, a similar mistake is found in “said” which is translated as “decía” rather than “dijo”.

The machine has also some problems with the usage of prepositions. Many of this problems have their source in the fact that the translations systems avoid them because in English in many cases they are not used when in Spanish they are necessary.

Fro example, in “it’s affecting healthy people” there is no preposition needed in English, but in Spanish the verb “affect” requires a preposition: “afectar a”.

The same happens with “feared the safety”. Even if in English the verb “fear” does not require a preposition, in Spanish it does need one: “temer por”.

Sources:

Advertisements

Oxford English Corpus & British National Corpus

A text corpus is a large and structured set of texts electronically stored and processed. The aim of such corpuses is to develop statistical analysis and hypothesis testing by checking occurrences.

There are two main types of corpus: a monolingual corpus or a multilingual corpus covering text data in multiple languages.

The Oxford English Corpus is an example of a text corpus centered only in the English language (monolingual corpus) which is used by the developers of theOxford English Dictionary and by Oxford University Press’s language reasearch programme.

The Oxford English Corpus is thought to be the largest corpus of its kind, containing over two billion words. The sources of the words offered in the corpus are different kind of writings in contrast to other databases which only offer examples taken from specific kinds of writings. It is based mainly on material collected from pages on the World Wide Web, and other online sources; it also uses some printed texts such as academic journals.

The corpus is divided into 20 major subject areas or subcorpora.

This corpus has a digital version formatted in XML and analysed with Sketch Engine Software.

The important side of the Oxford English Corpus is that it keeps track of the changes in language. The spelling and usage of words suffer transformations with time that is why the aim of this corpus is to take into account those changes and introduce them into the corpus. It also keeps track of the informal usages of the language and the common mistakes that can be found on everyday writings such as emails.
Using the Corpus:
The Oxford English Corpus is aimed to be used in many different areas as a way of studying the English language.
  • When using the Corpus we appreciate that it is able to differentiate two words which have similar meanings by their occurrence. That is, words do not appear alone, they are associated to other words. Depending on to which words are connected they are differentiated from other words with similar meaning. As as example the web page of the Oxford English Corpus offers the difference between the words eccentric and quirky. Taking into account their collocational profile offered in a table consisting of three columns (the first column offers the list of adverbs modifying the word as “slightly eccentric”; the second shows nouns modified by the word such as “eccentric character”; and the third column indicates the adjectives co-occurring with the word) allow us to realize that these two words are slightly different: “Whereas eccentric is associated with being elderly, rich, or reclusive, quirky is most strongly associated with being humorous or youthful”.
  • The Corpus also shows the most used ways in which new words and expressions are coined, such as the suffixes -fest, -speak, -tastic, and -ville.
  • We will find that the Oxford English Corpus offers a list of which expressions are written together or as a two-word phrase, and it also makes difference between the usage in British English and in American English. Words such as someday, anymore and sometime are more used written as one word in American English than in British English. In fact, in American English it is more common to use fixed expressions than in British English.
  • When having a look at dictionary references, the Oxford English Corpus identifies new usages of words. As an example, the adjective edgy until 1999 had a single meaning:
edgy adj. tense, nervous, or irritable.
However, a second meaning has arisen recently and it is now offered:
edgy adj. 1 tense, nervous, or irritable. 2 informal, avant-garde and unconventional.

On the other hand, the British National Corpus (BNC) offers a wide range of samples of written and spoken English taken from different sources. This 100-million-word text corpus, is a sample of spoken and written British English as it covers a number of genres from the late twentieth century. Of course, this corpus renews its editions, the latest being the BNC XML Edition which appeared in 2007.

The project for building the corpus began in 1991 and it was finished in 1994. Since that time no new texts were added to the corpus but there were several revisions before the second edition was released in 2001: BNC World. Moreover, after the project was completed, two sub-corpora with material from the BNC were released. First, the BNC Sampler and second, the BNC Baby.

Among its written sources, the BNC takes samples from regional and national newspapers, specialist periodicals and journals which can be directed to all ages. It also includes among its sources academic books and popular fiction, letters, essays taken from schools and universities. The written part of the BNC covers the main part of the corpus, 90%.

The spoken part, being smaller (10%), includes orthographic transcriptions of unscripted informal conversations, radio recordings and a number of different sources.

What type of corpus is the BNC?

  • Monolingual: It deals with modern British English, not other languages used in Britain. However non-British English and foreign language words do occur in the corpus.
  • Synchronic: It covers British English of the late twentieth century, rather than the historical development which produced it.
  • General: It includes many different styles and varieties, and is not limited to any particular subject field, genre or register. In particular, it contains examples of both spoken and written language.
  • Sample: For written sources, samples of 45,000 words are taken from various parts of single-author texts. Shorter texts up to a maximum of 45,000 words, or multi-author texts such as magazines and newspapers, are included in full. Sampling allows for a wider coverage of texts within the 100 million limit, and avoids over-representing idiosyncratic texts.

Background:

The BNC project was carried out and is managed by the BNC Consortium, an industrial/academic consortium led by Oxford University Press, of which the other members are major dictionary publishers Addison-Wesley Longman and Larousse Kingfisher Chambers; academic research centres at Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS), the University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL) at Lancaster University, and the British Library’s Research and Innovation Centre. The project was funded by the commercial partners, the Science and Engineering Council (now EPSRC) and the DTI under the Joint Framework for Information Technology (JFIT) programme. Additional support was provided by the British Library and them British Academy.

How to use the Corpus:

The BNC offers a very easy to use Search option. We will find the Simple Search Box in the main page of the Corpus. This type of search allows looking up a word very quickly and easily by just typing the word on the search box and clicking OK. Automatically we will be directed to a page showing a list with up to 50 randomly selected instances. It also offers thefrequency of the search string and the possibility of checking the source of each example by just clicking the code which appears before the example. Let’s see a common search example:

The BNC also allows making more complex searchings. For instance, instead of searching for a single word, if we use the _ symbol we will be matching the word to any other word. As an example, if we search football_match, the Corpus shows five solutions for the query; five examples where the two words appear:

On the other hand, the = character allows restricting the search depending on the part of speech. If we search out=AVP we will be restricting the search to the examples where out is used as an adverb. There are several part of speech codes available in the homepage of the British National Corpus.

Moreover, we can enclose a regular expression by using braces: { }. We can search the different forms of a verb with this option. For instance, if we search the verb drink, we will find the forms drink, drank and drunk:

Furthermore, the BNC also allows making more complex queries but those have to be made by using XAIRA (XML Aware Indexing and Retrieval Architecture). XAIRA gives the chance of looking for the spelling of a word and more possibilites. This XML search engine can be installed in our computer from the main page of the British National Corpus (installing XAIRA).

Sources:

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English is a very useful monolingual dictionary available on the net. I came across this language resource when one of the English teachers recommended it at the beginning of the course. This tool is not only helpful in order to find many words that are not understood when reading, but it is also appropriate for translation tasks as it offers very accurate definitions and examples. Even if the LDOCE is thought for non native English speakers, it may also be interesting for native speakers as it offers a full range of features.

Background:

The website of the dictionary is owned and operated by Pearson Education which is part of the global media and education group Pearson and has different English language publishing programmes all over the world. Moreover, the LDOCE is powered by IDM (XML Content Management Software) a French company which provides software development services to electronic information users and suppliers.

The dictionary, as all Longman dictionaries, is compiled using the Longman Corpus Network which offers a huge database of 330 million words taken from a wide range of sources from the real life.

But, which is the main benefit of being based on this Corpus? In many cases, it is difficult to know which words are used together (collocations). In consequence of being based in such Corpus, the LDOCE offers a variety of word combinations which is very useful when having to write an essay or even read an article. Another advantage that the dictionary offers is the fact that as it takes into account many words from students’ essays or exams, it avoids common mistakes.

How to use the Longman Dictionary Online:

The online version of the Longman dictionary offers around 207000 words and their meaning, as well as 7000 references to either people, or places etc. On the following lines, I will introduce a short usage of the tool.

1. Looking up a word 

This version is very useful and easy to use. By typing the word in the search box and clicking OK we will be instantly directed to a page where all the definitions for the word are listed.

There may appear more than one option if the word is used as more than one part of speech. To make things easier, the word shown first is the most used.

2. How to hear the pronunciation of a certain word

It also offers the pronunciation of the word which is useful to understand the International Phonetic Alphabet’s symbols. In order to listen to the pronunciation, we just have to click on the speaker buttons which appear next to the example sentences to hear them. Moreover, by clicking on the speaker button at the top of the entry we will be directed to a new window. There we can hear the headword pronounced either in British English or American English, and also all the example sentences for that entry.

What happens if the word we want to check does not appear? The online dictionary offers a spellchecker which will suggest different options similar to the one typed.

3. Searching by topic

It is also important to point out that the online version has recently made available the possibility of looking up a word by clicking on topic label (what they have called “Topic Dictionary”). This is how the dictionary creates a kind of net between words which is really useful for the user in order to follow the connections between words very easily. Even if we are searching for a specific word, it can interest us to see similar words, or compounds, etc. This may be particularly useful when writing an essay as we might be using words related to the same topic as in the following example. We might be using words related to motor vehicles, or words connected with technology.

4. Pictures

Before that, the dictionary also added the chance to see pictures of words through its “Dictionary pictures”. It has been suggested in many cases that the best way to learn and remember the meaning of a word is by pictures. It is not only highly recommended for teaching kids, but also for adults. Our memory tends to remember more easily the image of a certain word rather than the whole explanation, that is why I found really interesting that the dictionary is adjuncting to the meaning the picture of the word.

Practical examples:

  • Nouns:

As it can be seen in this example of a noun search, the dictionary first of all specifies if the word is countable or uncountable between brackets and in agreen colour next to the word. As previously mentioned, the dictionary also offers in some cases the picture which will appear to the right. Some words have several different meanings which are organized by their usage. The most used or most common meaning appears first next to the number in red. In this example, the second meaning is accompanied by a similar word or a synonym which is shown between brackets and next to a symbol of equality in blue. Each meaning is followed by several examples where the word can be used, and each of those examples is preceded by a symbol which allows listening to the pronunciation. Moreover, at the end of each meaning, if possible, the dictionary suggests in strong blue next to a row different words which are related to the word we have searched.

  • Verbs:

In contrast to the example of the noun search, when searching a verb, the dictionary goes directly to the first meaning. This is when as with the noun, it offers the specification of whether it is a transitive or intransitive verb. This is shown after the number of the meaning (in red) between brackets and ingreen. In the case of verbs it also gives words that seem to be synonyms in blue and also between brackets. It can also be appreciated that there are some cases when the dictionary specifies when it is used in British English or in American English in purple italics. It also makes clear when it is a phrasal verbnext to the usage in light grey. Of course, the pronunciation of each example is available by clicking to the pronunciation icon which appears before it.

  • Adjectives:

With adjectives, the dictionary goes straight into the meanings also ordered depending their usage and after their corresponding number in red. In the previous two cases, the tool offered similar words or synonyms next to each meaning (if there are synonyms). However, in the case of adjectives, it shows the possible antonyms or words with the opposed meaning. They are specified between brackets in blue and after a crossed symbol of equality. It has to be pointed out that at the end of the entry, the dictionary offers words formed with the adjectives; in the example it shows that from polite we can formpolitely by adding the suffix -ly indicating an adverb, or we can also get the noun politeness by adding the suffix -ness. It also offers several examples with their corresponding pronunciations.

  • Adverbs:

This final example shows the search for an adverb. It does not show any other new feature that has not been mentioned in the previous examples. The meanings are ordered by the usages and all the examples offer the possibility of listening to them.

Comparing the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English with the Urban Dictionary:

First of all, it has to be pointed out that these two dictionaries are completely different as we will appreciate when we first get into their web page.

The appearance of each online dictionary is completely opposed. The LDOCE appears to be more clear, more organized, in other words, moresophisticated. Even if it has some advertisements they are very well put together with the content of the dictionary so that it does not disturb when using the tool; they are left aside on the right or left very well organized in columns and with a subtle frame marking the ad. Moreover, the page makes your view go straight into the searching box so that there is no possibility to get lost. The searching box appears in the upper part of the page in the middle and with a bigger size. The tool also offers a specific tab inside the page with specifications of the usage and very useful examples as well as common questions.

In contrast, the Urban Dictionary at a first sight is more like a chaos. It is full of advertisements in different formats (colours, size, etc.), and the first page does not show the dictionary itself, but a page with a list of the words of the day (which is also a bit confusing). In order to access the dictionary there are some tab at the top and we have to click in the tab “dictionary”. That way we will be directed to a page where for looking up a word we have to search in thealphabet or in a small searching box in the upper part to the right. This is not a very clear, organized and easy usage of a dictionary and it does not even offer a page with keys for using it nor any kind of explanation.

In reference to the content, the Urban Dictionary is very useful for slang or daily words that may not be found in the LDOCE. Let’s have a look at some examples:

  • Nouns:

As it can be appreciated, the Urban Dictionary first of all offers several words which are related to the word we are looking up. They appear one after the other in small blue boxes. Then it shows the list of meanings for the word ordered depending on the day they were published which appears at the end of each meaning after the name of the person who has published the entry. Each meaning is rated in favour or against by the users. Apart from the meaning it also offers some example sentences of how the word is used in context.

  • Verbs:

When searching a verb the same happens, first we are offered a list of words connected to the word we are looking for and then the list of meaningsordered all in the same way. However, in this case, it can be appreciated that the meaning given by the Urban Dictionary and the meaning that the LDOCE gives have nothing to do with each other. The one given by the Urban Dictionary refers to an Australian saying while the one given by the LDOCE is more connected to the generalized use of the verb shout. There is also an example sentence to help the user realize in which context is the word used.

Adjectives:

In the case of the adjective, the tool also includes the already cited list of related words in blue small boxes at the top and then the possible meanings for the word, each of them rated by the users. In this particular case, even if the meaning is referring to the same idea that the LDOCE is suggesting, it is slightly different. It can be noticed that the Urban Dictionary’s definition is not as accurate as the one given by the LDOCE which is more complete, more formal and it is better explained. Furthermore, the examples given are very simple and not very helpful.

Adverbs:

Finally, the search for the adverb shows the same features as in the previous cases. However, there is a tiny difference in this case, in contrast to the previous examples this entry shows a specification of what type of word it is (adverb). And instead of giving an example sentence it offers a conversation where the word is used.

*Resources: