Reversing a Bilingual Dictionary: a mixed blessing?

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorEnn Veldi
TitleReversing a Bilingual Dictionary: a mixed blessing?
AbstractThe presentation focuses on the experience of reversing a general Estonian-English dictionary of about 49,000 entries and 93,000 equivalents by means of the Tshwanelex dictionary compilation software. The reversal served two purposes. First, it seemed appropriate to reuse the established cross-linguistic equivalents in the Estonian-English dictionary for the B part of a new English-Estonian dictionary. Second, one also expected to enlarge and improve the reversed Estonian-English dictionary in the course of the post-editing phase. So far the post-editing phase of the English-Estonian dictionary has been highly rewarding. In fact, it could be regarded as simultaneous cross-fertilization of both dictionaries, especially with regard to additional meanings and a more balanced treatment of synonyms. On the other hand, the post-editing phase of a general dictionary has been more time-consuming than expected. It is also argued that, on the one hand, the reversal mercilessly reveals the drawbacks of the B part of a bilingual dictionary, such as explanation-like equivalents, inaccurate equivalents, lexical poverty, etc. In fact, it appears that many dictionaries are not actually suitable for reversal. On the other hand, in the case of reversibly oriented dictionaries the post-reversal editing process may result in enriched target and source dictionaries – and will considerably reduce asymmetry in bilingual dictionaries.
SessionBilingual Lexicography
author = {Enn Veldi},
title = {Reversing a Bilingual Dictionary: a mixed blessing?},
pages = {861-865},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},