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Luis R. CernaDictionaries are a serious and time-consuming matter with a lot of work to do before publishing and e-dictionaries cannot be an exception.

Real dictionaries can be characterized as follows:

Dictionaries make a complete or partial inventory of a language in one or more languages.

Dictionaries record every lexeme or lexical unit that can be found (i.e. not only «words», but also set phrases, established groups and idioms).

Each dictionary developes a specific system in order to save space and to make it consistent for the user. A good example is the «Explanatory Chart» of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, page 13a, and its «Explanatory Notes» following after the chart.

A simple «word list» giving one equivalent in one or more languages will never become a dictionary.

Practical considerations in the field of «industrial sewing machines»

Case 1

«1 mm abgesetzter Teilesatz»

The lexical unit in DE «1 mm abgesetzter Teilesatz» is documented as «1 mm abgesetzter Teilesatz» and «1 Millimeter abgesetzter Teilesatz» and they can be translated into EN as «1 mm stepped gauge parts» and «1 millimeter stepped gauge parts» (US) and «1 millimetre stepped gauge parts» (GB).

Its definition is «Stichplatte und Nähfuß sind im Querschnitt von der Mitte aus zu einer Seite um 1,00 mm abgesetzt. Damit kann man zwei Stofflagen unterschiedlicher Dicke zusammennähen. Stichplatte und Nähfuß müssen auch ohne Stoff zueinanderpassen».

In some e-Dictionaries is not possible to put together the five lexical units or to specify any preference. The definition is not always visualized together with the lexical units obtained from the «search» function.

Case 2

«1-Nadel-Flachbett-Interlock-Maschine»

The lexical unit in DE «1-Nadel-Flachbett-Interlock-Maschine» is documented as «1-Nadel-Flachbett-Interlock-Maschine» and «Einnadel-Flachbett-Interlock-Maschine» and they can be translated into EN as «1-needle flatbed interlock stitch machine» and «one-needle flatbed interlock stitch machine».

In some dictionaries is not possible to put together the four lexical units or to specify any preference. In other dictionaries is not possible to enter the lexical units due to «exceptional length».

Case 3

«1-Nadel-Überwendlichnäher für Stoffnähte an Stoffen»

The lexical unit in DE «1-Nadel-Überwendlichnäher für Stoffnähte an Stoffen» is documented as «1-Nadel-Überwendlichnäher für Stoffnähte an Stoffen» and «Einnadel-Überwendlichnäher für Stoffnähte an Stoffen» and they can be translated into EN as «1-needle overedger for butt-end sewing» and «one-needle overedger for butt-end sewing».

In some dictionaries is not possible to put together the four lexical units or to specify any preference. In other dictionaries is not possible to enter the lexical units due to «exceptional length».

Case 4

«Nadelstärke»

The lexical unit in DE «Nadelstärke» is documented as «Nadelstärke» and «Stärke» and they can be translated into EN as «needle size» and «size».

In some dictionaries is not possible to put together the four lexical units or to specify any preference.

Case 5

«Nähfuß»

The lexical unit in DE «Nähfuß» is documented as «Nähfuß», «Presserfuß» and «Drückerfuß» and they can be translated into EN as «presser foot» and «presser».

In some dictionaries is not possible to put together the five lexical units or to specify any preference.

Considering that the relationship between users (translators) and suppliers (data base offerors) is a fluctuating one, translator have developed a love-hate syndrome toward database offerors. I think it is better to try to iniciate a joint venture, even when the way to maturity is still a long one to go for database offerors.

Database offerors must understand that a real dictionary cannot be created without a corresponding background and lexicographers‘ help.

The counterparts must avoid the curious succession of indifference toward the translators and fear of what offerors may try to charge them. They must finish the uneven ill-balanced, and frustrating relationship for both sides. Financing the database through advertisements is a good way to progess.

My words in the present article are an attempt to warn some offerors, not to use the wrong name for the product now offered. We would do well to take a new and fresh look at the meaning of dictionary.

 


Republished with permission by author and babelport.com - The translation industry information and project portal Visit http://www.babelport.com









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