The article sheds light on the necessity of finding new techniques to rank the users' preferences for English–Arabic dictionaries. The first section of the article reports the findings of an experimental technique devised for this particular purpose. The reviews for dictionaries on Amazon. com turn out to be a more valuable source of lexicographical information than had been expected. It will also be shown how the reviews can determine the future buyers' choice as to which English–Arabic or Arabic–English dictionary would meet their needs. Based on the Amazon reviews, the article devotes a section to investigate the microstructural features of some lexical entries in the Oxford English–Arabic Dictionary of Current Usage (OEAD). To learn more about the dictionary's microstructure, the next section analyzes a pre-selected list of 113 lexical units in an attempt to test the dictionary for the amount of information it provides for some high-frequency items. The article deals with the OEAD mostly from the point of view of encoding English-speaking users. The Modern Language Association (MLA) recently reported that from 1998 to 2002 there was a 92% increase in the number of Arabic programs throughout the United States, hence the pressing need for dictionaries designed with English-speaking users as the target group. The article suggests that an extensive linguistic revision of the OEAD will make it more systematic and userfriendly.
Keywords: Bilingual Dictionary, Decoding Users, Encoding Users, English–Arabic, English-Speaking Users, Learners Of Arabic, Lexicography, Microstructure, Reviews, Users' Preferences