Nineteenth-Century Lexicography in Russia and Japan
Foreign language dictionaries were produced with increasing frequency during the nineteenth century due to heightened contact between peoples separated by greater distances (physical, linguistic, and cultural). This chapter examines the history of such dictionaries in Russia and Japan, two national contexts characterized at this early stage of globalization by ongoing processes of modernization and changing terms of engagement with the foreign. Literary language in both Russia and Japan was transforming, influenced by translation from foreign languages and broader popular interest in peoples from afar. For their compilers, foreign language dictionaries afforded opportunities not only to explore and explain the correspondences between words among different languages, but also, in some cases, to contemplate the relationship between the status of their own language and others. In assessing various dictionary projects, some driven by interest in the foreign and others by the interests of foreign parties, in both Russia and Japan, Kim argues that there was a rich interplay between the production of foreign language dictionaries and the ground-breaking efforts to produce the first explanatory dictionaries of the native language.
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