Elsevier's Dictionary of Geography: in English, Russian, French, Spanish and German
Geography is a system of highly developed sciences about the environment. Geographical science embracing the study of the Earth's physical phenomena, people and their economic activities has always been in need of an extensive terminology. Geographical terms are related to the terms of natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc.) and humanities (history, economics, sociology, etc.) since geography is based on these fundamental subjects.
Geography includes a number of disciplines and subdivisions which appeared along with the development of the science In spite of being very different geographical disciplines have some common tools of investigation which is maps, comparative method of exploration, remote sensing, geoinformation systems.
Today very well developed terminologies of all the specialist fields of geography and related subjects exist in the main world languages. However, they are not always well-correlated. Nowadays geographical terminology requires unification and international correlation more than ever before. Hence the idea of compiling a multilingual polydisciplinary dictionary.
The Dictionary consists of the basic table of terms arranged according to the order of the English alphabet with each term numbered. Each entry consists of the term in English and its equivalents in Russian, French, German, Spanish. Short definitions of terms are given in English and in Russian. The terms are supplied with the necessary grammar labels, such as gender of nouns, plural number, etc.
The Dictionary combines two functions: that of a defining dictionary and that of a bilingual dictionary. These two functions are basically contradictory because usually the defining dictionary is aimed at giving one meaning of the word which is the main and essential one, while the bilingual dictionary tries to give different equivalents of a given word in the other language in order to supply the user with maximum possible translations, differing in the shades of meanings, thus giving him the possibility to choose the appropriate word. But in our Dictionary we intentionally decided to combine the two functions - defining and multilingual, because a short definition of the term and equivalents in other languages help to achieve our main aim which consists in showing the basic geographical terminology and harmonizing it in several languages. Having this into consideration we deliberately mixed two types of dictionaries in one.
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