A Critical Evaluation of WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH with Regard to Source- and Target-Language Forms
Thesis (MA (Afrikaans and Dutch))—University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
In its Preface the WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH claims to be suitable for both native and foreign speakers of Afrikaans and German. This study presents an evaluation of WOORDEBOEK/ WÖRTERBUCH to determine to what extent the dictionary can be regarded as a helpful and up-to-date tool for the user, whether he or she is a native or foreign speaker of the language pair treated in this dictionary. This ultimate aim is to determine to what degree WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH can serve as a helpful tool in translation. Theoretically and methodically the study is based on the dictionary usage research by HE Wiegand, with the genuine purpose of the dictionary as the main principle. The genuine purpose of the dictionary forms the basis of the theoretical and practical analysis. The study contains a short overview of the development of WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH from when it was first published as a monolingual dictionary for native speakers of Afrikaans who wanted to learn German in 1925 to the publication of the eighth edition in 1983, which claims to be a new and more effective source of information for both languages, to enable closer relations between South Africa and Germany. This is followed by a lexicographic discussion on the concepts underlying the planning of a dictionary, with the emphasis on lexicographic processes and lexicographic functions. The problematic issue of active and passive dictionaries is discussed, concluding with the preference for a dictionary orientated towards text production in the case of WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH, which would enable translation from Afrikaans into German and vice versa. The problematic nature of equivalent relations is discussed in detail and forms the main focus of the empirical study and the practical study. The evaluation of WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH is continued in the practical study, where the genuine purpose of the dictionary and the lexicographic functions are the main criteria. The empirical study analyses the actual problems target users have when consulting the dictionary in the context of the genuine purpose of the dictionary. The study is concluded with the statement that WOORDEBOEK/WÖRTERBUCH should be revised thoroughly and that this revision can only be successful if it is based on an up-to-date, representative corpus of both Afrikaans and German; and when the lexicographer is steered by the lexicographic functions and the needs of the target user, which determine the genuine purpose of the dictionary.