[asialex] The view from the Publisher Prisma ...

  • From: "Gilles-Maurice de Schryver" <gillesmaurice.deschryver@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <afrilex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <asialex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <lexicographylist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <ishll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 22:02:32 +0100

The view from the Publisher Prisma ...



From: Sander Bekkers [mailto:Sander.Bekkers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: woensdag 7 november 2012 16:17
To: 'lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'; DSNA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx;
'michael.rundell@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'; 'Gilles-Maurice de Schryver'
Cc: 'euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'; 'braasch@xxxxxxxxx'; 'krek.simon@xxxxxxxxx';
Subject: RE: End of print dictionaries at Macmillan


Dear Friends,


I thought that the view on this matter from a fellow dictionary Publisher
could give you, as the international dictionary community, some added
insight as to what is happening out there in the marketplace. What we have
observed over the last decade is much loss of ground to free online
dictionaries and initiatives to develop dictionaries by public funding. In
particular the incidental users such as employees of companies or people at
home tend not to spend money on dictionaries any more but use free online
dictionaries instead. Free online dictionaries on the other hand never seem
to disappear from the web, on the contrary: they are improving every year. 


That great dictionary brands grow to a status of unassailability and over
the passage of time fall into decline is of all ages. In recent years you
could see it happen in the Netherlands where two great different Brands
disappeared (Verschueren and Kramers) and two other Brands grew and
strengthened. These two remaining brands in the Netherlands and Belgium
(Flanders) are Van Dale and Prisma, the brand I work for. 


Regarding the underlying marketing mechanism which has a major effect on
this development, you can see that success in a market is secured by the
principle that in a developed market there is only room for three
competitors and among these competitors there is only one leader. In most
cases you see a Market leader is also  the authority on the subject and
unless I am not much mistaken that would be Oxford in the English language
market.  The Cost leader, a competitor known for their moderate pricing, and
the Innovator, the brand known for its advanced products, and if it plays
its cards right, the next market leader. 


I ask myself if Macmillan could be one of these brands in the UK. The
difficult market situation within as well as all the free dictionaries on
the internet has made mm's position very difficult. The decision to continue
business on the internet as a free dictionary is therefore not only be the
result of a new vision on dictionary publishing, but also the result of a
calculated evaluation on market position. To transform this into a new
beginning as Macmillan is doing, is a very strong and admirable move,
however the question is, if this isn't already too late. The internet
competition is already fierce. In Germany Pons tried to compete with another
free dictionary, Leo, but did not succeed, even though their product was
state of the art. 


In conclusion I do not think this is the answer to saving commercial
lexicography. What we need are entrepreneurs who are capable of reinventing
commercial lexicography over and over again and of being there to serve all
who study and practice language.


Kind Regards,


Sander Bekkers





T +31 (0) 30 265 06 01 | F +31 (0)30 265 08 50 | M +31 (0) 6 50 989 382 

Sander.Bekkers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  | w <http://www.unieboekspectrum.nl>
ww.unieboekspectrum.nl  |  <http://www.prisma.nl/> www.prisma.nl  



Van: lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Namens Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
Verzonden: maandag 5 november 2012 12:00
Aan: euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; DSNA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx;
lexicographylist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; asialex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx;
afrilex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; ishll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Onderwerp: RE: End of print dictionaries at Macmillan


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


This is Breaking News indeed!


"Macmillan Dictionaries will no longer appear as physical books. The final
copies are rolling off the presses at this very moment, and from next year,
Macmillan Dictionary will be available only online."



For the past decade or so, we have all been expecting an announcement like
this from one of the major dictionary publishers, and I am happy to see that
the honour goes to Macmillan, a key player in the monolingual learner's
dictionary market for English. Finally getting rid of the paper constraints,
and starting to exploit the true power of the digital medium -- and to be
able to do just that -- is nothing less than a revolution. I predict that
the other major publishers will now also stop talking about what should be
done, to simply take the step and do it.


More info in Michael Rundell's post below.


Kind regards,

Gilles-Maurice de Schryver

President of AFRILEX and author of "Lexicographers' Dreams in the
Electronic-Dictionary Age" (IJL 16.2, 2003, free access here
<http://www.oxfordjournals.org/page/4646/3> )



From: euralex-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:euralex-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Anne Dykstra
Sent: maandag 5 november 2012 10:11
To: euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [euralex] End of print dictionaries at Macmillan


Macmillan has announced that, from 2013, it will no longer be publishing
dictionaries in book form. It will focus instead on its expanding range of
digital resources. Michael Rundell, Editor-in-Chief of the Macmillan
dictionary list, sees this as both inevitable and entirely positive. He
regards the printed book as a very limiting medium, and increasingly out of
step with the way people look for information in the second decade of the
21st century. While printed reference books are out of date as soon they go
on sale, an online dictionary can be kept fully up to date. More than this,
the digital medium allows dictionary publishers to provide valuable
additional resources, like audio pronunciations, interactive games, and a
thesaurus function. As well as all these, Macmillan has a crowd-sourced
dictionary (the 'Open Dictionary') fed by users from all over the world, and
an active blog with four or five new posts every week on language-related
issues. Michael says he was struck by one of the findings reported at the
recent Euralex Congress in Gilles-Maurice de Schryver's plenary: his
analysis of papers in the Euralex archive showed that the word 'look up' had
declined in frequency and been overtaken by 'search'. This is the world that
dictionaries belong to now. For more details, see the post on this subject
in Macmillan's blog:  



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