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Kirkeby's "English–Swahili" dictionary

J Mdee


Kirkeby's English–Swahili Dictionary is a bilingual dictionary of more than 50 000 entries. The most laudable feature of the dictionary is its attempt to be user-friendly especially in the way the entry words have been arranged and the amount of information given. However, a clear objective for the compilation of the ditionary is lacking. The compilers do not seem to know the lexicographical gap they want to fill, the users they are targeting, and their dictionary-using skills. In discussing the strong and weak points of the dictionary, the article will refer to theories of dictionary criticism. Three criteria set by McMillan (1949) will guide this review article: (1) the quantity of the information in the dictionary; (2) the quality of the information presented; and (3) the effectiveness of the presentation of the information. Questions posed in the course of this article will include: Does the dictionary give the information required by the user? Is the information transparently accessible? How is the information presented?

Keywords: dictionary evaluation, user-friendly, dictionary-using skills, lexicographical entries, grammatical categories, subgrammatical categories, word combinations, collocations, translation equivalents

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904