Much of the progress that has been made in the quantity and quality of online resources for translators is due to the efforts carried out by linguistic policies. These policies have encouraged the normalization process of Catalan as an independent language, as opposed to simply being considered a dialect of Spanish.
In this post, I will summarize the best online resources for Catalan translators, in the hopes of saving you time and work.
First, I will focus on dictionaries, considering both Catalan definition dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries, among others. Then, I will provide useful links to resources online that are aimed at helping translators.
Catalan definition dictionaries are easy to access and use. As a translator, you won’t have trouble finding a good dictionary for Catalan definitions. Bilingual dictionaries are excellent in the Castilian Spanish-Catalan format, but they might be deficient in other pairings (English-Catalan, for instance). However, as most Catalan translators are bilingual in Castilian Spanish, it might not that hard of an obstacle to overcome.
I recommend using resources from the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, a national institute that is a pillar of the Catalan language’s normalization process. You can find it for Catalan and also for the dialectal variations Valencian – Catalan – Balearic.
Lastly, the Enciclopèdia Catalana, which offers three interesting resources (a definition dictionary, an encyclopedia and a multilingual dictionary in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and German) is the other very useful tool.
It can be frustrating trying to find a good synonym in a thesaurus. Unfortunately, Catalan thesauruses tend to be poorly written, and few contain antonyms in addition to synonyms. I have found a few resources online that seem more complete than others I have come across previously.
First, there is an online thesaurus from the Larousse publishing house, which only contains synonyms. They also offer bilingual dictionaries.
Next, another synonym-only thesaurus is the OpenThesaurus, which is quite complete.
Lastly, there is a thesaurus for Catalan set phrases, which must be considered as a key linguistic resource because Catalan set phrases and their proper translations can make or break a translation.
Dictionaries of Terminology
A dictionary of terminological terms exists for any area of specialty. The main dictionary of this kind in Catalan is Termcat, which also has an interesting neologism dictionary. The Generalitat de Catalunya has quite a large compilation of dictionaries, in case you need a more specific one. Another great dictionary of terminology in Catalan is the one for Medicine, from the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
Finally, some universities in Barcelona have their own dictionaries of terminology, created by their scientific communities. For instance, you are able to check the dictionaries pertaining to the University of Barcelona, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and Pompeu Fabra University.
Other Useful Resources Online
As translators, we must be up to date on all the changes a language might experience, as well as keeping our grammar and vocabulary fresh. If you forget or don’t remember a complicated grammar structure, or the right way of using a pronoun, having these language portals on hand will become essential to your translation task.
One useful language portal is the Diccionari Pràctic i Complementari, where you will find information regarding grammar, orthography, and vocabulary, among other topics. The Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals also offers esAdir, another interesting language portal.
In summary, Catalan translators have available resources online to make their work easier, although they can be greatly expanded. Some are easier to find than others, but with enough time and digging online, you will be able to find what you need to complete projects in Catalan.