Main Article Content

Requirements for an "ideal" bilingual L1 →L2 translation- oriented dictionary

I Burkhanov


The major aim of this article is to outline the requirements for an "ideal" bilingual L1 →L2 dictionary of the general vocabulary specifically designed for the purposes of professional translation. The article challenges three commonly accepted beliefs: (a) a bilingual dictionary equals a translation dictionary; (b) a bilingual dictionary is a source of immediately insertable lexical equivalents of lemmata; and (c) a bilingual dictionary solely furnishes semantic-pragmatic equivalents, whereas a monolingual dictionary always defines meanings of lexical items. It has been claimed that bilingual lexicography should be based on a clear-cut conception of the future reference work specified in terms of lexicographic parameters: (a) the intended user group; (b) the purpose of the dictionary; etc. An "ideal" bilingual L1 →L2 translation-oriented dictionary should be a reference work that is intended to serve the purpose of text production in L2. In the situation of professional translation, L2 text production is subject to two types of constraints: (a) constraints superimposed by the receptor language and culture; and (b) constraints superimposed by the source text. If constraints of the second type cannot be, in principle, envisaged, those of the first type can, and should be accounted for in a bilingual dictionary designed for the professional translator. The article specifies some of the requirements for such a reference work.

Keywords: bilingual dictionary, translation dictionary, semanticpragmatic equivalence, interlingual equivalence, intralingual equivalence, defining technique, equivalence definition, periphrastic definition, explanatory definition, professional translation, translation theory, unit of translation.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904