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Lexikos  2008 

Bilingual Dictionaries, the Lexicographer and the Translator

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Abstract:

Abstract: This article focuses on the problems, and advantages and disadvantages of the bilingual dictionary from both the lexicographer's and the translator's point of view, with specific reference to bilingual Zulu dictionaries. It is shown that there are many and varying problems the lexicographer has to deal with and take cognisance of when compiling a translation dictionary. Of these, the main problem is the basic lack of equivalence or anisomorphism which exists between languages. This non-equivalence between languages is also the root cause of the difficulties with which the translator or user of the bilingual dictionary has to contend. The problems experienced by translators therefore overlap to a great extent with those which the lexicographer experiences in compiling a bilingual dictionary. It is concluded that the user of a bilingual dictionary should not only know what to expect to find in a translation dictionary, but must also treat such a dictionary with caution and discernment. It is also shown that there are clear criteria which the lexicographer can follow in compiling a bilingual dictionary, which would then enable the user (and in particular the translator as user) to disambiguate the recorded information successfully.

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