Online vs. downloadable dictionary: Which is better?
Thread poster: Danielle Crouch

Danielle Crouch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2019)
German to English
+ ...
May 25

Hi everyone, I'm considering buying a license for the Siemens Dictionary of Electrical Engineering, Power Engineering and Automation and I can't decide if I should go for the online version with a yearly subscription fee or the downloadable digital version for one-time purchase. There are various pros and cons to both and I don't have a clear preference either way at this point.

So my question is: Do you prefer online over download or vice versa, and why? It doesn't have to relate s
... See more
Hi everyone, I'm considering buying a license for the Siemens Dictionary of Electrical Engineering, Power Engineering and Automation and I can't decide if I should go for the online version with a yearly subscription fee or the downloadable digital version for one-time purchase. There are various pros and cons to both and I don't have a clear preference either way at this point.

So my question is: Do you prefer online over download or vice versa, and why? It doesn't have to relate specifically to the Siemens dictionary, just dictionaries in general.

Thanks in advance!

[Edited at 2020-05-25 15:42 GMT]
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Online May 25

Danielle Crouch wrote:

Hi everyone, I'm considering buying a license for the Siemens Dictionary of Electrical Engineering, Power Engineering and Automation and I can't decide if I should go for the online version with a yearly subscription fee or the downloadable version. There are various pros and cons to both and I don't have a clear preference either way at this point.

So my question is: Do you prefer online over download or vice versa, and why? It doesn't have to relate specifically to the Siemens dictionary, just dictionaries in general.

Thanks in advance!


Online, for four reasons:

1. Updates are (presumably) more frequent and automatic, and you don't have to buy a new print edition to stay up to date.
2. It's faster to look up a word on your screen than it is to leaf through a large dictionary.
3. A printed dictionary takes up space on your desktop.
4. You're saving trees by not needing a printed dictionary, and you're reducing consumption of petrochemicals and of air pollution by not having a physical dictionary delivered to you.



[Edited at 2020-05-25 15:31 GMT]


 

Danielle Crouch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2019)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And what about a download (offline but still digital) option? May 25

Tom in London wrote:

Online, for four reasons:

1. Updates are (presumably) more frequent and automatic, and you don't have to buy a new print edition to stay up to date.
2. It's faster to look up a word on your screen than it is to leaf through a large dictionary.
3. A printed dictionary takes up space on your desktop.
4. You're saving trees by not needing a printed dictionary, and you're reducing consumption of petrochemicals and of air pollution by not having a physical dictionary delivered to you.



Hi Tom, thanks for the input! I agree that the print version definitely has some major drawbacks compared to other options. The two options I'm considering are the online version (browser and internet connection required) and the download version that is also used on the computer but offline and without automatic updates. Any thoughts on the latter?


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Online if the price is right May 25

I agree with Tom's arguments 1–3, but you do need to compare the prices for the two options. You also need to check that the online version doesn't require a lengthy authentication procedure each time and that its user interface and response times are acceptable.

The primary downside of online dictionaries is that they can occasionally be offline due to migrations or technical difficulties. Some providers are more reliable than others. IATE is not unknown to be unavailable, for ex
... See more
I agree with Tom's arguments 1–3, but you do need to compare the prices for the two options. You also need to check that the online version doesn't require a lengthy authentication procedure each time and that its user interface and response times are acceptable.

The primary downside of online dictionaries is that they can occasionally be offline due to migrations or technical difficulties. Some providers are more reliable than others. IATE is not unknown to be unavailable, for example.

As for the environmental impact, yes, you do save some paper, but using online dictionaries consumes electricity and requires computer and networking hardware, so I'm not sure which option would win if an environmental study were to be conducted. I would leave this out of my considerations, as it's negligible for either option. Paper can be recycled, by the way.
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Christine Andersen
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Availability May 25

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
The primary downside of online dictionaries is that they can occasionally be offline due to migrations or technical difficulties.


To a certain extent, this holds true for downloadable content as well, as I've been experiencing for the last couple of weeks: Since I migrated to a new OS, I can't use any of my numerous downloadable Langenscheidt dictionaries anymore. Support confirmed a bug ("we're working on it"). I'm rather annoyed.

Might be worth considering as well.


Thomas T. Frost
 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:09
German to English
Acolada dictionaries? May 25

Danielle,

If you're talking about Acolada dictionaries, I'd recommend the download version. You can then combine it with other Acolada dictionaries and view them all in the Unilex Pro interface. Very much recommended. As a rule, buying the download version also gives you a discount on future updates to the dictionary in question. The only Acolada dictionary I have an online suscription for is Dietl/Lorenz. Once the new De-En edition finally appears, I'll switch to the download versi
... See more
Danielle,

If you're talking about Acolada dictionaries, I'd recommend the download version. You can then combine it with other Acolada dictionaries and view them all in the Unilex Pro interface. Very much recommended. As a rule, buying the download version also gives you a discount on future updates to the dictionary in question. The only Acolada dictionary I have an online suscription for is Dietl/Lorenz. Once the new De-En edition finally appears, I'll switch to the download version.

The great thing about having them on your hard drive (and let's face it, space shouldn't be a problem nowadays) is that they're also available when you don't have internet access/reliable internet access. And, as I said, you can view all your Acolada dictionaries in a single interface (that's the case at least for the several dictionaries I have).
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Dan Lucas
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Danielle May 25

Danielle Crouch wrote:
Hi everyone, I'm considering buying a license for the Siemens Dictionary of Electrical Engineering, Power Engineering and Automation and I can't decide if I should go for the online version with a yearly subscription fee or the downloadable digital version for one-time purchase.


Do you mean these two?
https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-e-technik/Woerterbuch-Elektrotechnik--Energie--und-Automatisierungstechnik-Siemens-DOWNLOAD-DE-EN--EN-DE.html (EUR 170, 2011 edition, UniLex IDS)
https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-e-technik/Woerterbuch-Elektrotechnik--Energie--und-Automatisierungstechnik-Siemens-DE-EN--EN-DE-ONLINE.html (EUR 43, 2011 edition, UniLex IDS)

I don't have these, but I can comment on the issue. It doesn't appear as if the online version is continuously updated compared to the installed version. The advantage of an installed version is that it may be quicker to search it and you can search it even when there is no internet, but the advantage of an online version (or an installed version) is that you can use it anywhere. It appears that you can send an e-mail and request a trial for both versions. I suggest you try it.


[Edited at 2020-05-25 20:59 GMT]


 

Danielle Crouch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2019)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes and yes May 26



Yes, those are the ones I'm choosing between. Thanks for the tip regarding the continuous updates (or lack thereof), that was one of the possible pros of getting the online one. I'll definitely check out the free trials of both, that will probably be my best option for really figuring out which one I like using the best. Then the only remaining question will be price.

RobinB wrote:

If you're talking about Acolada dictionaries, I'd recommend the download version. You can then combine it with other Acolada dictionaries and view them all in the Unilex Pro interface.



Yes, the Siemens download version does use the Unilex Pro interface. I haven't used that particular interface before but I have used a similar one in the past (as far as I can tell based on looking at the sample screenshots for the Siemens download) and was fairly happy with it.

Thanks for the helpful input so far from everyone!


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 10:09
English to German
Old dictionaries on new computers? May 26

Erik Freitag wrote:

Since I migrated to a new OS, I can't use any of my numerous downloadable Langenscheidt dictionaries anymore.

Which OS? Apple? Linux? Anyway I use all my 30+ Langenscheidts on my Windows 10 without any problems. Some of these dictionaries are more than 20 years old.

Support confirmed a bug ("we're working on it")

Langenscheidt support? Does it exist any more? Or OS support?

Did you try to install the **latest** Langenscheidt software and then import all your dictionaries piece-by-piece into it? If not, try it. Actually you can even import certain Duden dictionaries into it.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
macOS May 26

Rolf Keller wrote:

Erik Freitag wrote:

Since I migrated to a new OS, I can't use any of my numerous downloadable Langenscheidt dictionaries anymore.

Which OS? Apple? Linux? Anyway I use all my 30+ Langenscheidts on my Windows 10 without any problems. Some of these dictionaries are more than 20 years old.


macOS - it seems the Langenscheidt software doesn't work correctly on Catalina.

Erik Freitag wrote:
Support confirmed a bug ("we're working on it")

Langenscheidt support? Does it exist any more? Or OS support?


Langenscheidt support does exist, but they referred me to the third-party developer of the software they're using. It's they who confirmed the bug.


 


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