BTW while checking out the origins of
siskins on the net, I came across a sizeable (283 K)
Czech-Latin-German-English-French glossary of birds at:
Have a look and tell us what you think when you get a moment. The html
is a bit dodgy so you might have to view the document source, or
download it, lop off the opening and closing html and add your own as
This source is a great bridge Cz-BritEng-Cz, but needs a little extra work.
I'm sure the author will eliminate simple spelling mistakes - 'strkapoud'
is nice but 'strakapoud' is correct - as time goes by. I don't like Gyr
Falcon for Gyrfalcon and Barnacle hyphen Goose, but that's my problem. Lots
of loose spelling, but no gross errors of fact in a 15-minute test glance.
If you use this, or any other dictionary, the old monster Contextus
contextus contextus pokes its head out of the Black Lagoon again. The name
of the animal AS USED in the target language COUNTRY, at the register of the
article/text MUST be checked. AmE-BrE is a particular minefield in this
respect. An American robin is a member of the thrush family, for example,
rejoicing in the binomial of Turdus migratorius (It's OK chaps, it's one of
ours). A European robin is nowhere near a thrush. Australian robins are in
fact flycatchers, the Pekin robin is a babbler - and so on, ad. inf., naus.
and som. It follows from this that NO translated element of an animal's name
can be trusted for direct translation: e.g. kapr [obecny] hladky translates
as leather carp, and his lysy kapr friend is a mirror carp. My advice is to
find the Latin, then check with an expert - I notice we have a couple of
biologists on our list, and I'm a specialist.
Trust no dictionary [the SOED's charmingly out of date, for example] and
remember the 'Latin' is far from absolute - keeping up with the binomials is
a full-time occupation, and it's not unusual for the scientific name of an
animal/plant to have changed 10 or more times. On the other hand, Old Man
Linnaeus still has his moniker after quite a lot of them.....
I must stop. But, all, please do not hesitate to refer queries this way.
Once you've sub-edited one 20-volume English wildlife encyclopaedia and
converted it into American, you get into the swing of things......