reciprocity for bilingual dictionaries?

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Wed Jan 15 19:42:06 UTC 2003

These good questions remind me of my old Cassell's Latin-English, E-L
dictionary. I doubt that Latin words are listed (divined?) for current
English ones such as automobile (carrus automaticus?), but modern students
would likely look for words to describe their own world, not necessarily
being able to imagine a world in which all these wonders (airplanes,
printing presses, bullets) didn't exist. On the other hand, Latin words
without an equivalent in modern cultures would have to be described in a
roundabout way without direct equivalents--things relating to rituals or
beliefs that are no longer current, for example.

That's a long reply to suppose that, no, absolute reciprocity isn't
possible, and maybe we don't even have to reach into the "dead" languages
for that conclusion.

Peter R.

On Wed, 15 Jan 2003, Peter Sokolowski wrote:
> To what extent is reciprocity desirable?
> To what extent is reciprocity feasible?
> What's the historical pattern in bilingual dictionaries?

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