Improving Dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
Page 1259-1263
Author Ari Kernerman
Title Improving Dictionaries
Abstract Although printed dictionaries have reached a high level of sophistication, there is still much to be improved in order to enhance their usefulness. Prefaces, especially in learners. dictionaries, are not written for users or actual learners, but rather for their teachers, for other lexicographers or for reviewers. For example, Prefaces in learners. Dictionaries explain such things as the use of word corpora, the character of the dictionary, the philosophy behind the dictionary, how the dictionary was written, what is different in each particular edition, etc. Interesting, but not helpful information for users. Though intended to be used universally, these dictionaries are culturally biased. Their British culture is irrelevant to the billion learners of English who live in non-English-speaking countries, and need locally or neutrally-oriented dictionaries to help them to communicate with people in other non-English-speaking countries. And the one-size-fits-all principle of monolingual learners. dictionaries does not replace the need to provide mother tongue translation. Many publishers keep adding information to the new editions, much of which is not helpful, reduces the dictionary's efficiency, and does not increase the user's knowledge. On top of that, the absence of a system of lexicography standards makes it difficult for users to refer to more than one dictionary. Giving preference to corpora-determined frequency over the didactic value of presenting basic meanings first is a step backward, not forward. Besides, too much space is unnecessarily devoted to familiar words, at the expense of less familiar words. These, and other deficiencies of our modern dictionariesincluding bilingual, native speakers. and specialized dictionaries-are discussed, with suggestions for rectifying them.
Session 7. Dictionary Use
author = {Ari Kernerman},
title = {Improving Dictionaries},
pages = {1259-1263},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2008},
month = {jul},
date = {15-19},
address = {Barcelona, Spain},
editor = {Elisenda Bernal, Janet DeCesaris},
publisher = {Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra},
isbn = {978-84-96742-67-3},