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41763Re: [Czechlist] RANT: Czech-English dictionary compilers

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  • James Kirchner
    Jan 2, 2010
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      It can't be only a matter of money. Sweden, Norway and Denmark -- just two examples! -- have populations smaller than that of the Czech Republic, and their dictionaries are quite good!

      I think there are other factors at work:

      1. After the Velvet Revolution the tech heads moved faster on their own than the legitimate dictionary publishers did, and certain very bad terminology databases took on a life of their own and began to spread and gain acceptance. Standards were very low not only for cheap dictionaries but for absolutely any sort of language instruction publication. (I think of publications in horrible English, such as "Reading About the English-Speaking Countries" by Jana Odehnalov�, along with some awful things for children.)

      2. You people will beat me over the head for this, but in my experience Czechs produce more fraudulent work in the language field than people do in the West. (Actually, I shouldn't say just Czechs, but Czechs and native English speakers resident in the Czech Republic.) When I work on projects in which I can look at other people's translation memory, I do see work by German or French translators who are incompetent, just as I see work by Czechs, Americans and Brits who are incompetent. However, only with the Czech language do I get translations that are literally fraudulent -- in which some Czech, Brit or American either plagiarized another translation that didn't have the same meaning, or even just completely made up the text, seemingly without understanding or caring what the original meant or what the target version should mean, and hoping he doesn't get caught. With this behavior, it is not far-fetched to think that a lot of what passes for electronic lexicography is not only incompetent, but also fraudulent.


      On Jan 2, 2010, at 9:24 AM, Petr wrote:

      > Podle meho nazoru je to otazka penez. Kdo zaplati opravdu kvalitni slovnik pro ubohych 10 milionu lidi? Kdy by se ty naklady vratily?
      > Petr Adamek
      > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:
      > >
      > To get the equivalent of what the Arabs and the Chinese in my classes have, the publishers of the SSJC would be collaborating with Oxford and Merriam-Webster, or even Longman, to align the dictionaries and produce an accurate, enduring database. For unknown reasons, nobody seems to have thought of this.

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