Dáša Pravdová, II. roč. , AN
English is no longer a national language spoken internationally, but a trully international language. It is no longer a monopoly of the English-speaking people, but has become a world language. It is used as the chief language for communication not only for the purposes of every day conversation but also in the fields of science, technology, medicine, diplomacy, business etc. In Slovakia, English has addopted the role of the main foreign language as a school subject and so naturally the thirst for qualified teachers, appropriate textbooks an above all dictionaries increased.
Password is a dictionary based on semi-bilingual approach to lexicograhpy for foreign language learners developped by Lionel Kernerman. The first edition was published in Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo in 1993 and it contains an author‘s preface, pronunciation guide, 50.000 entries in English, a Slovak – English index and in the back of the dictionary one can find a grammatical section The purpose of this dictionary is to give the student the meaning in easy English, with examples of usage, and the exact equivalent in Slovak for each sense of each entry-word. It encourages the user to read the definition in the target language, while providing a brief translation in the mother tongue for confirmation and reinforcement. It provides the students with accurate and appropriate core vocabulary of contemporaty international English, British English in particular.
ANALYSIS OF THE DICTIONARY
As I have mentioned in the introduction, this dictionary has a Preface to the Slovak edition. In the Preface the author introduces the reasons why English has become an international language, why it is so important for foreigners to learn English and also it contains some facts about the method on which this dictionary is based.
The Preface is followed by a Pronunciation guide which contains the symbols and examples of the British English pronunciation according to the International phonetic transcription written in square brackets.
Next, there are about 50.000 entries organized in an alphabetical order. For better comprehension I would like to analyse one – two entries on an example.
First of all, there is the foreign word red, followed by a correct pronunciation in square brackets also indicating primary and secondary stress. Next, is the word class – in this case it is a noun and an adjective. As red is a word of more meanings these are given after arabic numbers (1,2,3). Each new meaning is explained by a word or a phrase describing the meaning (usually a synonym) and is followed by a natural example sentence. Finally, there is the Slovak equivalent.
After the basic word red, this dictionary shows words derived from the same root with a word class, meaning explained by another word or a phrase, example sentence and the Slovak equivalent.
Further more, there are the compound words shown as separate entries and finally, idioms, usually with explained meaning and a translation. If any phrasal verbs are connected with a specific word they are introduced as well.
Apart from these information this dictionary gives an American spelling variation of the British English words, with pronunciation, word class, explained meaning, example sentence and a Slovak equivalent.
More over, with the irregular verbs or nouns with irregular plurals these forms are given as well.
The list of entries is followed by an alphabetical Slovak – English index and a Grammatical section (notes). The grammar section contains basic grammatical information about nouns (singular and plural number, gender), adjectives (comparison), adverbs (comparison), punctiation, question tags and it also contains a list of irregular verbs.
In my opinion, this dictionary is very well organized, it helps students to improve rapidly, to become efficient and to gain sensitive control of the target language. Although, nowadays Oxford, Cambridge, Websters and Longman type dictionaries are spreading widely a good dictionary with translations is still needed. For even if one reaches a proficiency level and understands the meaning of many foreign words, when translating or interpreting into the mother tongue he/she will find out how their native vocabulary has shrunk. We must not forget that when we study a foreign language we are also increasing the vocabulary of our mother tongue. Therefore, I think, a good dictionary with translations should not be lacking in a student‘s library.