Learner's lexicography became one of the leading genres of lexicography in Great Britain in the second half of the 20th century. It is connected with the names of such famous British scholars as: Harold Palmer, Albert Hornby and Michael West. Growing interest in learning English and a scientific approach to teaching languages, particularly the English language, gave impetus to the development of this genre. The first learner's dictionaries were compiled in Japan in the 1920s at the Tokyo Institute for Research in English Teaching, the first director of which was Harold Palmer in 1923 – 1936.
In 1927 the aforesaid Institute was entrusted with the task of compilation of a controlled vocabulary, a list of words (1000 – 2000 words) which would carry the main burden of communication in everyday life. Scholars developed different methods for identifying such a vocabulary. Later, these words became ‘building blocks’ for learner’s dictionaries. The first generation of learner’s dictionaries explained 20,000 or more words with a defining vocabulary of 1500 – 2000 words.
The development of corpus linguistics in the 1980s gave rise to the second generation of corpus-based learner's dictionaries. The COBUILD English language dictionary was the very first example. It was created at Birmingham University under the direction of John Sinclair and every stage of lexicographic work (data collection, data processing, etc), including dictionary examples, was based on the corpus created at the University. Since that time, electronic corpora and the selection of dictionary material (words, polysemous meanings, collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms, illustrative phrases and sentences) based on the frequency principle, became one of the important features of learner’s lexicography.
For a long time this genre was restricted only to monolingual learner's dictionaries. The most authoritative and academic monolingual learner's dictionaries of the English language are the so-called "Big Five": The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, The Cambridge International Dictionary of English, The Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary, The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English and The Macmillan English Dictionary.
During the last decade, linguists and educators started writing about the necessity of bilingual learner’s dictionaries and their special role in teaching/learning foreign languages. Different methods have been developed for the compilation of learner's dictionaries, including ‘learnerising’ of comprehensive bilingual dictionaries, i.e. turning comprehensive bilingual dictionaries into bilingual learner's dictionaries.
This method was adopted by the editors of the present "English-Georgian Learner's Dictionary". Ten years ago the editors began adapting an existing dictionary, The Comprehensive English-Georgian Dictionary, for use by Georgian learners of English. This general bilingual dictionary had been created by the same dictionary team and the work on it lasted nearly four decades.
"English-Georgian Learner's Dictionary" comprises 30,000 the most frequently used words of the Modern English Language. Selection of polysemous meanings of words, phrasal verbs and idioms is also based on the frequency principle.
It is very difficult to finalise work on a dictionary, as it constantly needs updating, renewal, revision. After long, intense work, we present the first edition of the ‘English-Georgian Learner’s Dictionary’ to Georgian learners. The work on the Dictionary will continue in subsequent editions.
The editors of the present Dictionary will accept with gratitude any comment, suggestion, improvement from our readers.
The Dictionary was compiled by:
© Apridonidze Shukia, Gurieli Khatuna, Khundadze Gela (Deputy Editor), Kvernadze Natia, Margalitadze Tinatin (Editor), Meladze George.
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