[asialex] Re: [euralex] Re: [DSNA] RE: End of print dictionaries at Macmillan

  • From: "Gilles-Maurice de Schryver" <gillesmaurice.deschryver@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: 'éè' <volker@xxxxxxxxx>, <Lexicophile@xxxxxxx>, <euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <DSNA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <lexicographylist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <asialex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <afrilex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <ishll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 20:23:18 +0100

Dear Craig Volker,


Thanks for your view, all the way from New Ireland, PNG. Your message was 
addressed to me, with everyone else in CC. I have been not in two but in 
multiple minds for the past two days as to how to reply. First, let's cut the 
crap. This is a lexicography list, so let's keep lexicography in focus, rather 
than attempt to change the way world economics work. Second, of course we try 
to link the results of our work back to the communities we work with, and in 
the format that is best for that community. My last work, a school dictionary 
for Zulu, was printed and distributed on paper (more here 
 ). Does that stop us from dreaming up truly new ways to rerepresent the data, 
and more, in e-form? Of course not, and we are planning for that as we speak. 
Third, just two months ago I was still doing fieldwork in the Congo, where we 
basically documented six languages for the first time, and discovered four new 
languages, unknown to science until then (more here 
<http://kongoking.org/fieldwork-linguistics-2012.html> ). As a Belgian, do I 
feel any guilt that our grandparents didn't do more for these languages at the 
time -- ten out of several hundred languages? Not at all. As a scholar, do I 
want to put those people on the map and do I want to design innovative ways for 
them to also actually use the data we started to collect, and are busy 
analysing? Sure! The products we'll bring back to the Congo will very likely be 
handheld devices, solar-powered and in a first phase stand-alone. (So forget 
about electricity and the Internet for a while, though it is coming.) Given the 
users don't read nor write, they will not be "looking-up" but rather "speaking 
into" their devices, with the answers being "spoken back" to them. That's the 
breaking news I was talking about: We can stop thinking two-dimensional, on 
paper, and dream up a dictionary experience that starts from the electronic 
platform. That process has hardly begun, and we've already lost a decade. 


Kind regards,

Gilles-Maurice, Old Ghent, Belgium.



From: éè [mailto:volker@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: dinsdag 6 november 2012 14:42
To: gillesmaurice.deschryver@xxxxxxxx
Cc: <Lexicophile@xxxxxxx>; <euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <DSNA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; 
<lexicographylist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <asialex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; 
<afrilex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <ishll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [asialex] Re: [euralex] Re: [DSNA] RE: End of print dictionaries 
at Macmillan


So how will data be available to the communities whose languages we study when 
the communities have no Internet access or even electricity? Papua New Guinea 
may have 800+ languages, but less than 10% of our 7 million people are 
fortunate enough to have reliable electricity. 


This a great move for the First World--it gives them yet one more advantage 
over those whom they colonised in the past and whose natural resources provide 
the stuff First World computers are made of. 


Electronic and online dictionaries are great--I use them daily--but there is 
still a moral responsibility to get the results of research back in the hands 
of communities who have been mined for the data to make linguists' 
dictionaries. Or who aspire to learn an international language to access 
knowledge from abroad. 

Craig Volker

New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

Am 05.11.2012 um 17:03 schrieb "Gilles-Maurice de Schryver" 

Thanks for this, Dan. I think this is exactly an area where designers now have 
to be creative: what is good in print needs to be kept for the digital medium, 
what the digital medium can add should be developed. Right now what we tend to 
stumble upon in an online environment is advertisements, but this can be 
changed, and replaced with all sorts of adaptive content rather than targeted 
ads. All best, Gilles-Maurice.



From: euralex-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:euralex-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Lexicophile@xxxxxxx
Sent: maandag 5 november 2012 14:49
To: euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; DSNA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; 
lexicographylist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; asialex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; afrilex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; 
lexicografie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; ishll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [euralex] Re: [DSNA] RE: End of print dictionaries at Macmillan


What a sad day!  When looking up anything in a print dictionary, you generally 
stumble across all sorts of delightful material you never would have known to 
look for.  With an electronic dictionary, generally speaking, what you search 
is what you get, and nothing beyond.


Dan Pratt



In a message dated 11/5/2012 6:00:16 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
gillesmaurice.deschryver@xxxxxxxx writes:


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%40freelists.org>  
[mailto:euralex-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:euralex-bounce%40freelists.org> ] 
Behalf Of Anne Dykstra
Sent: maandag 5 november 2012 10:11
To: euralex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:euralex%40freelists.org> 
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: 


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Other related posts: