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Old 05-31-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
Nate the great
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A question about translation dictionaries

As you may know, I am leading a discussion about adding dictionary support to Epub. A question has come up that I would like to ask everyone who reads in a second language.

What is the most common type of definition in a translation dictionary? Is the definition usually a 1 or 2 words, or is it usually a longer description?

Do you prefer the short or long definition?

Thank you.

P.S. If someone could post a similar question in the other language forums I would deeply appreciate it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:58 AM   #2
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Dictionaries often have (and I like that) examples of usage, idioms, nuances, synonyms... An exact one-to-one correspondence between words in different languages is not common, so definitions won't usually be just 1 or 2 words, with the exception of somewhat technical words.
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
What is the most common type of definition in a translation dictionary? Is the definition usually a 1 or 2 words, or is it usually a longer description?
Longer, definitely. Good dictionaries will have example of usage for each different meaning of the word. As Jelly very rightly says, there is very rarely an exact "one to one" correspondence between a word in one language and a word in another, so examples are vital to convey all the different nuances of meaning.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:46 PM   #4
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Thank you.

This question came up as an objection to the way I suggested to build an index. It would consist of entries like: <a href="dictionary.html#d_somenumberX">dictionary</a>, with a corresponding anchor in the text. There was concern that the index might end up larger than the dictionary.

I looked at the WordNet dictionary, and the entries seemed to average at least twice as long as that link.

Anyway, that's just one possible way an index might be built. I don't know that we'll use it.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
As you may know, I am leading a discussion about adding dictionary support to Epub. A question has come up that I would like to ask everyone who reads in a second language.
Where is the topic?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
Nate the great
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Here is one and the other:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47282
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47861
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