History Of Dictionary


If you are a writer, you cannot fail to understand the importance of a dictionary. You should be having one write on your writing desk to help you at every step. Dictionary came into existence in the 7th century BC. This first dictionary was found in the library of the Ashurbanipal, the king of Assyria, Nineveh. It was not a paperback dictionary. It was made of clay tablets with inscriptions. It was followed by the Latin dictionary by Verrius Flaccus. Historians believe this dictionary dates back to 3rd or 2nd century BC.

The next dictionaries belong to the 5th century AD and later. These were multi-lingual dictionaries in Sanskrit, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Chinese. During this time dictionaries dealing with a particular subject like botany, astronomy and medicine were found. After these dictionaries, lexicons in Hebrew were found that belonged to 6th to 8th centuries AD.

Now may be wondering about the dictionaries of the Greek and Romans. Yes they had them. The Greeks kept an compilation of unusual words and phrases. They however, did not list all the words. With progress of human civilization, the need for bilingual and multilingual dictionaries was perceived. As the nations of the world came into contact with each, trade and commerce flourished between them. The mass needed to interact with each other as a result the requirement to master foreign languages cropped up. An important bilingual dictionary that belonged to 1502 AD has been found by the historians. It was assorted by an Italian monk by name Ambrogio Calpeno. This lexicon was expanded in future to accommodate French and Spanish. The work became more compendious with eleven languages in 1590. After this period many scholar initiated work to compile dictionaries. Therefore it is difficult to track all of them one after the other.

However, in 1700 the word dictionary came to mean a massive book that will standardize the meanings, pronunciation and spelling of words. They will translate the words in another language too. You may be having a shelf full of different dictionaries. But even they have some flaws, so you should know to use these translators properly.

The first problem of a dictionary of most languages is that they associate the meaning of different words rather differentiating them, For instance you may come across synonyms like propose, pose, propound, submit. The central meaning shared by the words is to present something for discussion. Very well, the dictionary is right about the synonyms. But it should also specify the subtle differences between the words. Otherwise you may use the words in the wrong context.

What is a synonym? Well they are the words that have same or approximately the same meaning. But as we are talking about words that have different names so we should specify their differences as well as similarities. Now you may be wondering about the importance of synonyms. If you are into the writing profession, then you know that they are indispensable to accomplish your projects. They are also required for SEO (search engine optimization).

By: Abc Translator