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Lexikos  2005 

Meaning discrimination in bilingual Venda dictionaries

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Venda, one of the minority languages in South Africa, has few dictionaries. All are translational bilingual dictionaries meant for dictionary users who are non-native speakers of the language. Dictionary users find it difficult to use the bilingual Venda dictionaries because they are confronted with equivalents which they cannot distinguish. In most cases, the equivalents of the entry-words are provided without giving meaning discrimination. Without a good command of Venda and the provision of meaning discrimination, users will find it difficult to make a correct choice of the equivalent for which they are looking. Bilingual Venda dictionaries are therefore not helpful for dictionary users who are non-native speakers of the language. Devices such as giving illustrative examples, indicating parts of speech and adding etymology could be used to solve the problem of meaning discrimination in bilingual Venda dictionaries. This article highlights the problem of the absence of meaning discrimination and suggests solutions to future Venda lexico-graphers in this regard.


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