Guide to World Language Dictionaries

Overview

A Guide to World Language Dictionaries covers 276 languages with a written literature. Organized in alphabetical order by language, the Guide appraises the main dictionaries, assessing the special value of each, its strengths and weaknesses, and how different dictionaries complement one another. Dictionaries of slang, colloquialisms, and dialects are also assessed.
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Overview

A Guide to World Language Dictionaries covers 276 languages with a written literature. Organized in alphabetical order by language, the Guide appraises the main dictionaries, assessing the special value of each, its strengths and weaknesses, and how different dictionaries complement one another. Dictionaries of slang, colloquialisms, and dialects are also assessed.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This guide to the "cream among language dictionaries" offers librarians a third selection and evaluation tool in this area, the others being Section AC in Guide to Reference Books (American Library Assn., 1996) and the language and linguistics section of Walford's Guide to Reference Material (K.G. Saur, 1995. 6th ed.). Its objective is to include all major and historical dictionaries for 275 languages. Exceptions are single-language non-European scripts found unapproachable by those not familiar with the language; idiom and usage dictionaries also seem to be omitted. The dictionaries chosen often cite sources of information about words, quote at length to show how a word is or was used, suggest word origins, and are likely to retain some value whatever else is published. Dalby's introduction clearly explains arrangement, terminology, and bibliographic details. Unlike Walford, which arranges entries in five broad language groups, languages are in alphabetical order, with standard arrangements of subgroups when there are more than six dictionaries per language. Languages crossing national boundaries include subgroups by region and dialect. Main-entry titles are in the original language as part of the detailed bibliographic description. The title's English translation introduces an annotation, which may range from one sentence to a full page (for the Oxford English Dictionary) providing helpful observations and historical background. Also useful are brief descriptions of each language and in several cases their alphabets with transliterations. Indexing covers personal names and titles, referring to entry numbers. Compared with Guide to Reference Books, annotations tend to be longer for less common languages but shorter for major ones. Dalby, librarian at The London Goodenough Trust for Overseas Graduates, is also more critical of dictionaries' weaknesses. There is much overlap among the three sources mentioned but with exceptions, e.g., Dalby's inclusion of seven Tagalog dictionaries where other sources list only one. This is a fine example of bibliographic scholarship that will be useful to libraries with strong language and linguistic programs.--Stanley P. Hodge, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, IN
Booknews
A guide to major language dictionaries that are of serious research use and are likely to remain so. Annotated entries are arranged in sections on the 275 languages that are most important on a world scale. An introduction to each language heading answers general questions on where the language is spoken and its alphabet. A special feature of this guide is that it tabulates the dictionary alphabetical order of dozens of languages and provides transliterations of non- Latin scripts. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579580698
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

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