The OEAD: New Perspectives on English–Arabic Dictionaries for English-Speaking Users and Users' Surveys

Radia Benzehra, Don R. McCreary

Abstract


ABSTRACT: 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.

OPSOMMING: Die OEAD: Nuwe perspektiewe op Engels–Arabiese woordeboeke vir Engelssprekende gebruikers en gebruikersopnames. Hierdie artikel werp lig op die noodsaaklikheid om nuwe tegnieke te kry om gebruikers se voorkeure vir Engels–Arabiese woordeboeke in rangorde te plaas. Die eerste afdeling van die artikel doen verslag van die bevindings van 'n eksperimentele tegniek ontwerp vir hierdie bepaalde doel. Die resensies van woordeboeke op Amazon.com het geblyk 'n meer waardevolle bron van leksikografiese inligting te wees as wat verwag is. Daar sal ook getoon word hoe die resensies toekomstige kopers se keuse kan bepaal oor watter Engels–Arabiese of Arabies–Engelse woordeboek aan hul behoeftes sal voldoen. Met die Amazon-resensies as uitgangspunt, wy die artikel 'n afdeling aan die ondersoek van die mikrostrukturele eienskappe van sommige leksikale inskrywings in die Oxford English– Arabic Dictionary of Current Usage (OEAD). Om meer oor die woordeboek se mikrostruktuur te wete te kom, ontleed die volgende afdeling 'n voorafgekose lys van 113 leksikale eenhede in 'n poging om die woordeboek te toets vir die hoeveelheid inligting wat dit verskaf wat betref sommige hoëfrekwensie-items. Die artikel handel meestal oor die OEAD uit die gesigspunt van enkoderende Engelssprekende gebruikers. Die Modern Language Association het onlangs berig dat daar vanaf 1998 tot 2002 'n 92%-toename in die aantal Arabiese programme dwarsoor die Verenigde State was, vandaar die dringende behoefte aan woordeboeke vir Engelssprekende gebruikers as teikengroep. Die artikel suggereer dat 'n taalkundige hersiening van die OEAD dit meer sistematies en gebruikersvriendelik sal maak.

Sleutelwoorde: TWEETALIGE WOORDEBOEK, DEKODERENDE GEBRUIKERS, ENKODERENDE GEBRUIKERS, ENGELS–ARABIES, ENGELSSPREKENDE GEBRUIKERS, AANLEERDERS VAN ARABIES, LEKSIKOGRAFIE, MIKROSTRUKTUUR, RESENSIES, GEBRUIKERSVOORKEURE


Keywords


BILINGUAL DICTIONARY; DECODING USERS; ENCODING USERS; ENGLISH– ARABIC; ENGLISH-SPEAKING USERS; LEARNERS OF ARABIC; LEXICOGRAPHY; MICROSTRUCTURE; REVIEWS; USERS' PREFERENCES

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/20-0-130

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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