Presentation on theme: "Matti Vartiala, a young civil engineer, is reading an English text. Click onwards to see how he deals with some difficult words in the text…"— Presentation transcript:
Matti Vartiala, a young civil engineer, is reading an English text. Click onwards to see how he deals with some difficult words in the text…
Matti finds it difficult to understand the text because of its challenging words. First he decides to check the meaning of the words ‘bulk soil’. He already knows that ‘soil’ means ‘maa’, ‘maaperä’, or ‘multa’.
He consults an English –Finnish engineering dictionary, which should give the translation. See what the dictionary says about ‘bulk’…
The compound word ’bulk soil’ cannot be found as such. Matti tries ’bulk’ alone. He makes note of the different meanings and moves on to see what other meanings he can find…
Obviously the right translation is not ’ruumis’ in this context! But some meanings like ’irto-’ and ’suurina erinä’ come up many times. Matti decides to look up ’bulk soil’ in another dictionary.
This dictionary should include a lot of technical words…
But technical dictionaries sometimes fail in giving translations to compound words…
The word bulk, on its own, however, leads to a lot of different translations. They often refer to ’irto-’ again: soil that can be bought in bulk (’irtomaa’). But Matti doesn’t think that’s the right meaning in this context.
Matti doesn’t get any help from this dictionary, so he tries another online dictionary, an English-English dictionary…
Cambridge Dictionary cannot find the whole compound word, but offers definitions of the first word, bulk. Matti decides to focus on the first two meanings. Number 3 doesn’t seem to fit the context.
Matti knows now he has to use other means than dictionaries to find an exact description. What about search engines
Search engines and encyclopedias can help when you are looking for a word that is not listed in dictionaries. Still, you cannot count on finding everything there. Special vocabulary and spoken language is often not included in them. Matti still decides to use Google to find the meaning. He enters bulk soil as his search key, but later also words bulk soil and maakerros
The Google search results in thousands of web sites with the requested words. Matti takes a look at the most promising ones on the first page. Can you guess which one of these proves to be the most helpful one?
This site seems to be meant for gardeners. Here, you can get contact information of different material suppliers. It seems bulk soil is something you can buy, isn’t it? But this is all Matti finds on this site.
These are different types of bulk soil that are on sale. So, judging from this, bulk soil is used to mean soil that is sold in bulk. But is it the only meaning?
There was also a link to this website, which looks like a scientific paper. It deals with soil tests and planted soil – the same topic as Matti’s text -, so it could be very useful. Here, ’bulk soil’ means the soil of grapes that are grown in pots and especially in the area where there are no plant roots.
Now Matti knows that ‘bulk soil’ could mean at least two different things: 1)soil that can be bought in bulk or 2) a layer of soil in the ground.
So far, Matti hasn’t found what he is looking for – a translation or an exact description for bulk soil. If you were in his shoes, would you quit at this point? Click on the answer below. NoYes
How sure are you about the meaning of the word? What are your reasons for that? Would you want to check the meaning somewhere else or in some other way? Where? From whom? backforward
There are a lot of other options to search for the meaning of a word. Matti can look for glossaries (often just wordlists), use traditional paper versions of dictionaries (there are some quite extensive ones), ask a professional, a colleague, or some other person, for instance. If the word is really important for your work, you will need to continue looking for its meaning. Finally, you will have to make the final decision about the meaning of the word. Continue…
Now it’s your turn to practise! Find the meanings of the following words in online dictionaries! Click on…
Text sample: …[The first known cell-phone virus, Cabir, is entirely innocuous. All it does is sit in the phone and try to spread itself. Other cell-phone viruses, however, are not as harmless.]… Turn off Bluetooth discoverable mode. Set your phone to "hidden" so other phones can't detect it and send it the virus. You can do this on the Bluetooth options screen. Source: How cell-Phone Viruses Work by Julia Layton 1998 - 2005 HowStuffWorks, Inc. howstuffworks.com What’s the meaning of innocuous, sit and discoverable? See the full article here.
Text sample: …[ The first known cell-phone virus, Cabir, is entirely innocuous. All it does is sit in the phone and try to spread itself. Other cell-phone viruses, however, are not as harmless.]… Turn off Bluetooth discoverable mode. Set your phone to "hidden" so other phones can't detect it and send it the virus. You can do this on the Bluetooth options screen. Source: How cell-Phone Viruses Work by Julia Layton 1998 - 2005 HowStuffWorks, Inc. howstuffworks.com Infer the meaning of the highlighted words with the help of these questions. 1) Can you guess from the sentence? 2) Does the topic help you? 3) Does the word have a familiar prefix or suffix? 4) What could the stem of the word be? 5) Is it a noun, a verb, an adjective? 6) Is it the subject, the verb or the object of the sentence? 7) What does it look like? Does it resemble some other word? 8)What would it sound like? 9) What style is it? Formal/casual? The full article here.
Now, if you are not sure of the meaning of these words, look them up in a dictionary or some other source. See a presentation of an online dictionary on innocuous here. Click here to gethere to dictionary links. Go to tasksto tasks
Some links to dictionaries: http://dictionary.oed.com/entrance.dtl OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY (Eng-Eng) http://europa.eu.int/eurodicautom/http://europa.eu.int/eurodicautom/ EURODICAUTOM (e.g. Eng- Fin-Eng) http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htmhttp://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm MERRIAM-WEBSTER Dictionary (Eng-Eng) http://www.onelook.com/ OneLook Dictionaries http://www.wordsmyth.net/ WORDSMYTH: dictionary and other information on English words http://www.tsk.fi/tepa/ Tekniikan Sanastokeskuksen termipankki http://lipas.uwasa.fi/comm/termino/collect/ Terminology Collection: specialist dictionaries