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Reviews1 67 information technology could help us to reduce these discontiguities ; Bailey therefore calls for the development of a new international information resource institute, which would get its "flow of information from the many unpaid volunteers who collect lexical information, from the academic dictionaries . . . and from the most praiseworthy of commercial lexicographers " and which would benefit the world-wide use of English (146). To sum up, Dictionaries ofEnglish contains a very readable and insightful collection of scholarly papers. The book could usefully have ended with notes on the contributors. Gabriele Stein Hamburg University * * * Xiao-jun Heng and Xue-zhi Zhang. A Chinese-English Dictionary of Idioms and Proverbs. Lexicographica, series maior 24. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1988. The last decade has witnessed a virtual explosion in Chinese monolingual and bilingual lexicography. Indeed, few languages have been as intensively studied and extensively documented as Chinese. The highlights of the last ten years include the publication of Xiandai Hanyu Cidian (A Dictionary ofContemporary Chinese, Beijing, Commercial Press) in 1978, the issuance of the journal Cishu Yanjiu (Lexicographic Research, Shanghai, Shanghai Lexicographic Press) beginning in 1979, the formation of the Lexicography Society of Shanghai in 1982, the establishment of the Bilingual Dictionary Research Center at the Shanghai Foreign Languages Institute in 1985, and the initial publication of the ten-volume Hanyu DaCidian (An Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language, Shanghai , Shanghai Lexicographic Press), and Hanyu Dazidian (An Encyclopedic Dictionary ofChinese Characters) in 1986. One of the most recent lexicographic publications is A Chinese -English Dictionary ofIdioms and Proverbs. The dictionary was compiled by Xiao-jun Heng and Xue-zhi Zhang of the People's Republic of China while they were visiting scholars at 168Reviews the Language Centre and Dictionary Research Centre of Exeter University in 1987. Heng and Zhang's dictionary contains 3,000 idioms (chengyu) and 355 proverbs divided into separate sections. Each entry includes Chinese characters, Chinese phonetic transcription (in Pinyin, but without tones), literal translation, free translation, equivalent, and register. The dictionary also includes an interesting introduction to idioms and proverbs, although it concentrates more on the nature of English than on Chinese idioms. The strength of the dictionary is entry selection. The section on idioms is a representative sampling of the most common idioms used in modern Chinese. The section on proverbs is more noteworthy, however. This is one of the first ChineseEnglish dictionaries to highlight Chinese proverbs. The major weakness of the dictionary, especially for nonnative speakers of Chinese, is the absence of a field within the entry to explain the various historical events, personalities, and nuances inherent in many of the idioms and proverbs. In fact, a great number of idioms and proverbs can be understood only if the persons or events mentioned or alluded to are explained . For example, the idiom san gu mao lu (no. 190) and the proverb shuo cao cao, cao cao jiu dao (no. 219) cannot be truly appreciated unless the stories and the personalities involved, namely Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei in the idiom and Cao Cao in the proverb, are at least briefly explained. There are a number of good Chinese-English idiom dictionaries currently available. Although A Chinese-English Dictionary of Idioms and Proverbs includes a number of useful features such as register, it does not supersede A ChineseEnglish Dictionary of Idioms (Beijing: Commercial Press, 1982), which contains 6,251 idioms, including a smattering of proverbs. Significantly, many of the entries in A ChineseEnglish Dictionary of Idioms contain examples from Chinese literature to illustrate the usage of the entry in context. Despite the commendable efforts of Heng and Zhang, A ChineseEnglish Dictionary of Idioms and Proverbs cannot be recommended over A Chinese-English Dictionary of Idioms. Had the compilers concentrated on proverbs, using a monolingual dictionary such as Hanyu Yanyu Cidian (A Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs, Jiangsu People's Publishing House, 1981, Reviews169 2,393 entries) as a guide, the dictionary would be considerably more valuable. Thomas Creamer CETA Group * * * W. C. Lougheed, ed. In Search of the Standard in Canadian English. Strathy Language Unit, Occasional Papers no. 1. Kingston, Ont.: Queen's University, 1986. ? + 192 pp. US $10.00. W. C. Lougheed. Writings on Canadian English, 1976-1987: A Selective...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 167-169
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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