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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Sverrir Hólmarsson; Sanders, Christopher; Tucker, John / Íslensk-ensk orðabók (1989)

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Not only English-speaking students of Icelandic language and culture but also Icelanders, especially those who require English for their studies or work, have long suffered the lack of a good dictionary of modern, everyday Icelandic and its contemporary English equivalents. The construction of this dictionary has been determined by the diverse needs of these two groups. For the English-speaking are intended the morphological and grammatical indicators. For Icelandic users we include the semantic markers to explain the division of meanings in the entries.

The size of the book has been determined by the authors' aim to produce within a short period of time a practical and concise work of reference that was easy of access. Specialized vocabulary has been kept to a miminum and many compound words have been excluded.

Our principal source of inspiration in the field of bilingual dictionaries of Icelandic was Sveinn Bergsveinsson's Isländisch-deutsches Wörterbuch, Leipzig 1967. Vocabulary has been selected partly on the basis of Orðabók Menningarsjóðs, 2nd ed. 1983 and Ole Widding, Haraldur Magnússon, Preben Meulengracht Sørensen: Íslenzk-dönsk orðabók, Reykjavík 1976, as well as Orðabók um slangur, Reykjavík 1982. Reference has been made to G.T. Zoega's Íslenzk-ensk orðabók, 3rd ed. 1957, Íslensk samheitaorðabók, Reykjavík 1987, Vinterberg og Bodelsen: Dansk-engelsk ordbog, 2nd ed. Copenhagen 1966, Ensk-íslensk orðabók eftir Sören Sörenson, Reykjavík 1984, and Terry G. Lacy og Þórður Einarsson: Ensk-íslensk viðskiptaorðabók, Reykjavík 1982. At the final stages a check was made against the first 7.000 items in a word frequency list prepared by Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson and Vilhjálmur Sigurjónsson.

Apart from what we owe to our predecessors who inspired this work, our debts are many. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada provided a generous grant, and our publisher, Bókaforlagið Iðunn, has been most supportive throughout. Without their assistance this project would have come to nothing. In addition special thanks are due to the following. Student assistants at the University of Victoria patiently prepared and keyed in the initial data base, and subsequently entered corrections. This devoted and talented team included David Beck, Jana Epstein, Monica Hofer, Bryony Lake, Karen Robertson, and Malcolm Woodland. Mention should also be made of the student employment programs funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia, which partly recompensed their labours. The contributions of Computing Services and Research Administration at the University of Victoria also deserve our grateful acknowledgement. Herb Fox, Moira Glen, Martin Milner and Sam Wong were able   [p. 10]   to help us over innumerable hurdles thanks to University of Victoria Research funding. Our consultant, Svavar Sigmundsson, corrected all the final drafts, supplied the Grammar in the introduction, and read the first proof. Ágúst H. Bjarnason and Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson have provided us with wordlists in the fields of botany and grammatical terminology respectively. The staff of Orðabók Háskólans in Reykjavík have kindly answered questions and allowed us access to their files. Proofs were read by Terry Lacy, Jörundur Hilmarsson, Jón Gunnarsson, and Jón Skaptason, who made important contributions and improvements. Unnamed friends and colleagues have supported and encouraged us with nods and winks. While thanking all those who have been involved with the project we would like to make it clear that all remaining errors are our own.

P.S. If you are going to use this dictionary more than once, do read the Guide to Use!

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