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Desegregated Foreign Language Dictionary

A to Z from cover to cover
  (+16, -1)(+16, -1)
(+16, -1)
  [vote for,

How many times have you popped open your English-French French-English dictionary and, zooming past i..j..to k - you realize that you are in the wrong section for looking up a French word. You want the French-English half of the book. Furthermore, the next word you want to look up, an *English* word, is way back at the beginning of the book. Let your fingers do the walking and your eyes are going to get tired, fast.

How would you like an alpabetized dictionary that intertwines the two halves described above so that it is at once English-French and French-English. On every page. From a to z. For example, below "bread -- pain" you see the entry " brèche -- breach, gap".

What's that you say? Confusing? P-A-I-N spells something in both English and French? Well, yes, but that problem can be easily averted by using ALL CAPS for English (or the target language). Or, if you would like to reserve caps for the most common and useful 10%, then use a different font for each language.

Finally, it would be so much better for habitual browsers. Language lovers, what do you think?

tharsaile, Jun 17 2002

Wiktionary http://www.wiktionary.org
Incomplete, but its a start. [Spacecoyote, Apr 03 2008]


       I'm thinking all the language <-> language dictionaries I've used required reading front -> back for one language and vice versa for the other. This might be better.
phoenix, Jun 17 2002

       How about a really big book that covers about five languages?
FarmerJohn, Jun 17 2002

       I gather from what you're saying that the dictionary switches from BREAD to BRECHE: that is, English to French, and then back again. Seems a little awkward, but workable. I wonder how you would handle languages that read from right to left, back to front. You would have to decide upon the dominant language for the dictionary, or you could publish it in 2 editions. Same goes for Eng/Fr, because whoever you put first would automatically be the dominant language.
polartomato, Jun 17 2002

       Thank you, ravenswood!
Are <em>other</em> html tags allowed?
tharsaile, Jun 18 2002

       the meaning I ascribe to phoenix is: you open up one cover to reveal English > French. shut the book, turn it over and open up the other front (back) cover to reveal French > English - viola. I have never seen this in a book except in an exercise book I use in the office for two different purposes. sorry p. if this is totally wrong.
po, Jun 18 2002

       [removed from main idea body per peer suggestion]   

       6pm to polartomato: I think you get it, but I want to make sure you understand that everything is dependent on the Latin alphabet (English order). (a) I don't think there would be any 'dominant' language; the first entry would be in whichever language produces a word that beats all the other tongue's words alphabetically. Probably English's 'aardvark.' (b) The entries wouldn't necessarily alternate evenly. That is, there might be several English-French entries after bread-pain before a French-English entry. Alphabet rules. (c) As for right-to-left languages, they tend not to use the Latin alphabet, and thus would not use my system at all. Romanized Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese (pinyin) would of course be written left to right, so no problem.   

       phoenix: I don't understand what you mean about front-to-back and vice versa. [ok, po, I was thinking the same thing as you]
tharsaile, Jun 18 2002

       hey, 6p.m. to polartomato. are you asking us to time our annos now? I don't know what day of the week it is, let alone what the time is! I would like to second ravenswood's welcome to you BTW. :)
po, Jun 18 2002

       [po]'s understands what I meant. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
phoenix, Jun 18 2002

       soulmates x
po, Jun 18 2002

       «hey, 6p.m. to polartomato. are you asking us to time our annos now»
hehe, okay, time for me to confess that although I've slapped five ideas on this site like a chimp doing fingerpainting, I just read the 'help' section a moment ago when I thought I had lost my password.
Hmm, maybe they should call it 'readme'.
tharsaile, Jun 19 2002

       If one language is to appear like it's shouting down the other, shouldn't the English be in caps to reflect the way American culture has overwhelmed the world, and the American expectation that everyone else learn their language in order to communicate with them? In fact, why not just make both halves of the book English? Then you could throw it away, take a nap, and dream of Provence or Tuscany.
Ander, Aug 24 2003

       Or just use different colors for each index: red for English, blue for French, etc.   

       As a Spanish major, this gets a bun from me.
Almafeta, Apr 03 2008

       This only works for languages with the same basic alphabet character set.
RayfordSteele, Apr 03 2008

       True, but it would work well. I've a couple of two-language dictionaries built into phrase books, and it's a pain to figure out where, exactly to look. Plus, it would make it easier when the words are similar in both languages.
baconbrain, Apr 03 2008


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