The Attitude of Language Users Towards General Monolingual Dictionaries: The Slovene Perspective
The paper presents an international survey on the attitude of language users towards general monolingual dictionaries (GMDs), focusing on the data collected among Slovene participants. The survey was designed within the European Network for e-Lexicography (ENeL) in 2017. The study aims to provide answers to the following research questions: what is the attitude of users towards GMDs as reference books; which language problems do GMDs typically help resolve; and which features of GMDs do users perceive as most important. A questionnaire addressing these topics was translated to the languages of 29 participating European countries and disseminated on national levels. In total, 9,562 questionnaires were collected. In Slovenia, 619 individuals (including both regular as well as non-regular dictionary users) participated in the survey. The results confirmed the pre-existing presumption that in Slovenia (as elsewhere), users typically access dictionaries using a computer. Computer access is also highly preferred compared to both the printed format as well as smartphones and tablets. Secondly, participants often use GMDs to check the appropriateness of language choices (either their own or those made by other language users). GMDs are, however, not perceived as the only and absolute reference when it comes to solving language dilemmas: in case of information gaps, the majority of users turn to alternative options such as Internet browsers. Furthermore, GMDs are typically seen as an exhaustive source of information about Slovene intended for the general public. While the symbolic role of the dictionary (as an authority or a national symbol) is reflected less often in the responses, it is implicitly indicated by the participants’ reluctance to relinquish printed dictionaries in spite of the fact that they only use the digital versions. Finally, the participants strongly support public financing of GMD projects. Accordingly, free availability is placed among the top-priority features of GMDs, preceded only by the reliability of their content. The top priorities also include ease of use and up-to-date content. In the paper, the detailed presentation of the results is complemented by a discussion on the possible future improvements of the questionnaire. The findings can be used to improve Slovene dictionary resources and to plan further steps of lexicographic user research.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Journal for Foreign Languages by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.