PASSWORD: Anglický ýkladový slovník s českými ekvivalenty [English monolingual dictionary with Czech equivalents]. Based on Chambers Concise Usage Dictionary (1985, 1986) (review)
- Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
- Dictionary Society of North America
- Number 19, 1998
- pp. 258-261
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258Reviews PASSWORD: Anglicky ykladovy slovník s ceskymi ekvivalenty [English monolingual dictionary with Czech equivalents] . Based on Chambers Concise Usage Dictionary (1985, 1986). Translated byJaroslav Vácha. Praha: Miada fronta, 1991. Pp. 664. No price available. Shcherba, one of the first tiieoreticians of lexicography, gave some thought to subjects like the point at which the learner of a foreign language should start using a monolingual dictionary of the foreign language and the relative merits of a monolingual dictionary of that language (a smaller one, of course,) versus a bilingual dictionary.1 That was before the spread of the learner's dictionary as a new lexicographical type, so that variety of dictionary was not included in his deliberations. Had it already existed, Shcherba would undoubtedly have taken it as a sort of monolingual dictionary. Shcherba was right in his perception that the learner, particularly die beginner but sometimes die advanced student as well, needs the equivalent in his own language to understand a foreign text, but that there comes a period of transition in which the learner must try to develop a knowledge of the polysemy of words in the foreign language and of their collocations, something usually better captured in a monolingual dictionary of the foreign language in question. As a solution to this quandary, the owner of the Kernerman Publishing House in Tel Aviv created a new type of dictionary, which he termed "semi-bilingual." Several dictionaries compiled in diis style already exist. The semibilingual dictionary consists basically of a monolingual dictionary of the source language, preferably one with a developed awareness of the learner's needs, but with this addition: equivalents in the target language are attached to each entry. The English component of the Czech dictionary here under review is a concise dictionary, one that concentrates on usage. This review will not discuss the Chambers dictionary: let us note only that it too concentrates on usage in the sense that there are relatively numerous examples, all of them chosen adroitly for their illustrative power. On the other hand, the BBI Combinatory Dictionary (1986) gives more information on prepositions that go with 'L.V. Shcherba, "Opyt obshchej teorii leksikografii," in Izvestija Akademii Nauk SSSR Otdelenie literatury i jazyka (1940, no.3), 89-117; reprinted with minor changes in L.V. Shcherba, Jazykovaja sistema i rechevaja dejatel'nost' (Leningrad: Nauka, 1974), 265-304; German translation by Werner Wolski, 'Versuch einer allgemeinen Theorie der Lexicographie," in Wolski, ed., Aspekte de sowjetrussischen Lexicographie: Übersetzungen, Abstracts, bibliographische Angaben (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1982), 17-62; English translation by Donna M.T.Cr. Farina, "L.V. Shcherba: Towards a General Theory of Lexicography," InternationalJournal of Lexicography i (1995), 314-60. Fora description and analysis ofthe intellectual background and scholarly milieu in which Shcherba's article was written, see Farina, "L.V. Shcherba's 'Opyt': A Contribution to Theoretical Lexicography," InternationalJournal ofLexicography & (1995), 304-13. Reviews259 verbs and dieir different senses; and any good learner's dictionary, from Albert Hornby's Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary ofCurrent English (1948), the patriarch in the field, to Paul Procter's Cambridge InternationalDictionary (1995) [reviewed in this volume, 254-57], the latest addition to the field, provides more information on the syntactic patterns of the entrywords. The Newbury HouseDictionary (1996) would seem to be the dictionary most like the Chambers Condse Usage Dictionary. Both the Chambers Concise and the Newbury House give more examples than syntactic patterns, yet dieir notes on usage are less rich than those furnished by some odier learners' dictionaries. Still, the selection of Chambers Concise is quite appropriate for the precise purpose of the present dictionary, because the BBI does not offer a sufficient number of examples , whereas the latest editions of the learners' dictionaries, after the addition of the Czech equivalents, would make for a dictionary too large and too complicated for the learner. There are cases of what one considers missing information (such as die absence of the consist in pattern — only consist ofis treated) , but that would happen with any dictionary. In the same way, some slangy expressions such as yuppie are not included either, but again, a smaller dictionary cannot be complete . Future editions should develop the boxes (?) diat are inserted into...