A number of articles on bilingualised
dictionaries appeared in various publications last year. Also,
there are plans by publishers to bilingualise existing monolingual
EFL dictionaries. Thus, in view of the rising attention towards
this genre it was decided to broaden the scope of our newsletter
to the wider domain of learner's dictionaries, retitle it, and
devote this issue to some of the recent research in bilingualised
K Dictionaries Ltd
First, there was the paper presented by Batya Laufer and Linor
Melamed at the EURALEX 1994 Congress in Amsterdam, and published in
its Proceedings: Monolingual, Bilingual and 'Bilingualised'
Dictionaries: Which are More Effective, for What and for Whom?
It compares the effectiveness of these three types of dictionaries
in the comprehension and production of new words by EFL learners,
as tested on 123 high-school and university students in Israel.
"The practical conclusion of the study seems to be that
a good 'bilingualised' dictionary is suitable for all types of
learners. When the learner is still unskilled in dictionary use,
s/he may rely on the bilingual information. With progress in
these skills, the monolingual information will gain relevance
and importance... Even when the monolingual part of the entry
is used to its full potential ... the translation will always
be helpful in reassuring and reinforcing the learner's decisions
about the meaning [and use] of new words...".
Another paper, Translated! A new breed of bilingual dictionaries,
by Mona Baker and Robert Kaplan in the International Journal
of Translation babel (40: 1), describes the ongoing bilingualisation
program of Collins Cobuild dictionaries. Called bridge bilinguals,
their main feature is that the explanations of the monolingual
English learner's dictionary are translated into the user's native-tongue.
Under preparation are versions for speakers of Brazilian-Portuguese,
French, German, Italian and Spanish. Without entering into the
debate about the merits of this particular feature, on the whole,
it appears that the rationale for inserting L1 translations is
being increasingly adopted by educators, lexicographers and publishers
of learner's dictionaries worldwide.
Two recent papers by Reinhard Hartmann enhance his studious research
on the subject. Bilingualised versions of learners' dictionaries
appeared in Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen (FLuL 23), published
by Gunter Narr Verlag in Tubingen. It discusses the bilingualised
learner's dictionary in terms of four divisions of dictionary
research (history, typology, criticism, and use) and in the light
of a project carried out at the University of Exeter. The project
involved a reading comprehension task that assessed the reaction
of 28 informants to seven bilingualised dictionaries intended
for Arabic, French, German, Greek, Korean and Spanish learners
of English. The paper concludes that combining L2 definitions
and L1 translation equivalents is an attractive feature of such
dictionaries, especially for decoding activities.
Dr Hartmann's other paper, The Bilingualised Learner's Dictionary
(A Transcontinental Trialogue on a Relatively New Genre),
was published by the Language Centre of the Hong Kong University
of Science and Technology and the Division of Foreign Languages
of Jilin University of Technology, and presents an entertaining
and illuminating discussion on the topic.
paper by Kyohei Nakamoto that
was originally published by Iwasaki Linguistic Circle in its
annual periodical LEXICON, and which follows here nearly in its
entirety. I wish to express our acknowledgement and gratitude
to Mr Nakamoto and to the ILC Chairman, Professor Shigeru Takebayashi,
for granting us permission to reprint it.
This paper is supplemented by a
brief response from Joseph Reif. I
hope our work contributes to generating further discussion on
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