From Data to Dictionary

Sandro Nielsen, Richard Almind

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Most online dictionaries are based on printed dictionaries or specially developed databases. However, these dictionaries do not fully satisfy the needs for help and knowledge users have, so a re-assessment of the practical and theoretical foundation is necessary. Based on the work on the Accounting Dictionaries, we propose that lexicographers should make a clear distinction between databases and the editorial tools used to manipulate their data and the output facing end-users. The core of the set of online dictionaries is an English database with Danish and Spanish databases related to it through definitions, thereby creating both monolingual and bilingual dictionaries.
Users access the data through online dictionaries that allow them to make structured searches. The dictionaries mainly provide help in communicative situations such as understanding, producing and translating accounting texts, but also help users acquire knowledge about general or specific accounting matters in cognitive user situations. This theoretical foundation allows lexicographers to develop dictionaries that search in structured data sets and then present data types selected because they provide help in specific situations. Users who want to know how to use a specific term or phrase when producing texts are presented with data that differ from those presented to users who want to know the meaning of a particular term. The theoretical foundation and practical implications of this type of dynamic online dictionaries, we argue, allow lexicographers to design dictionaries that satisfy the needs for practical lexicographical tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicatione-Lexicography : The Internet, Digital Initiatives and Lexicography
EditorsPedro A. Fuertes-Olivera, Henning Bergenholtz
Number of pages27
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date2011
ISBN (Print)9781441128065
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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