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250Reviews Wentworth, Harold, and Stuart Berg Flexner. Dictionary of American Slang. New York: 1960, 19672, 19753. Most of the Jewish-interest material in the paperback version of this work has been reviewed in Comments on Etymology (see references above) and in Jewish Language Review 2 (1982): 172-74. Czech-English Dictionary. Cesko-anglicky slovnik. Ivan PoIdauf , compiler. In cooperation with Robert Pynsent. Prague: State Publishing House for Educational Literature, 1986. 1133 pp. It was with a great deal of admiration that I studied this splendid work. My admiration was well grounded, as the ideas used in this dictionary correspond quite closely to mine. This dictionary, like any other, embodies a certain philosophy of bilingual lexicography. Roughly, we may distinguish two kinds of such philosophy. One is related to the substitution theory of translation, by which a bilingual dictionary is considered a manual of translation . According to this theory, in the process of translation lexical items in Ll text are substituted for by L2 equivalents taken from the dictionary. The advocates of this theory can sometimes produce remarkable dictionaries, thanks to rigorous methodology. That is, it is actually possible to translate in this way, and the translation is quite correct, even though more often than not it is insufficiently natural. Such a dictionary is Bogusiawski's, which had the advantage that Russian and Polish are structurally and lexically quite similar. The other philosophy does not believe in translation as substitution , holding that the utmost a bilingual dictionary can achieve is to provide some help in translation. It argues that with a dictionary users should be able merely to accomplish a comprehensible translation that is not ridiculous to speakers of the other language. While the advocates of the former philosophy think it is possible to establish precise correspondence between Ll and L2 units, the advocates of the latter disagree, considering an Ll unit equivalent to a gray area in L2. Reviews25 1 Poldaufs dictionary represents the former position. Before discussing in more detail this dictionary's approach, I will describe its general structure. In contrast to the EnglishCzech Dictionary, the Czech-English Dictionary is active. It aims primarily to help Czech users produce acceptable sentences in English. Its usefulness to non-native speakers of Czech, who may use it to understand and generate acceptable sentences in Czech, is of secondary importance. It has about 45,000 entries, though it is difficult to establish the precise number as it assists in producing more forms and meanings than it contains. The largest modern Czech-English dictionary, it is considered complementary to the latest English-Czech one, although published by a different publishing house. The late Professor Poldauf was an old hand at bilingual lexicography . He conveniently provided a list of the most important Czech-English dictionaries, including one large, six medium-sized, and six small dictionaries (24); his name appears on two of the medium-sized ones. The structure of the dictionary is described in detail in the introduction (6-11), which is, unfortunately, only in Czech. The list of abbreviations, including graphic signs, follows (?- ? 5). Czech abbreviations are related to English expressions, and vice versa. They are further distinguished by different fonts, a difference that is maintained throughout. It is interesting that there are two abbreviations for slang, as English slang is different from slang in Czech, as the glosses of the abbreviations indicate. After the list of abbreviations comes the explanation of the principles of English pronunciation (16-23). The dictionary proper covers pages 27-1083. Pages 1085-99 contain a differential dictionary of proper names, followed by a list of Czech abbreviations (1099-1103) and a list of irregular words, including verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. An English abstract of Czech grammar closes the book. The abstract deals with inflection and interpretation of diminutives. Unfortunately, Poldauf does not inform users what dictionaries he used except for mentioning that Czech entries were selected on the basis of Slovnik spisovného jazyka èeského. Two native speakers helped with the English side, 252Reviews Robert Pynsent and David Short, both of the London School of Slavonic and East European Studies. They also helped to adapt the dictionary to the needs of non-Czech users...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 250-259
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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