About the Project

The Lexicographic Section was established by the project leader doc. PhDr. Marie Vachková, Ph.D. in 2000 when the project work began.

Project of the Large German-Czech Academic Dictionary/Database (LGCAD)

The aim of the project is a large German-Czech Dictionary both in digital and printed forms which will be suitable for a broad scale of chiefly academic users, primarily native speakers of Czech, translators, and students of German philology. Its main feature is based on the primary function it possesses, namely, translation from German into Czech. Specifically, the work in the current state presents a greenfield site project independent of its printed ancestors. The long-time project is run by the Institute for Germanic Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. Its obvious non-commercial status is formed by the institutional research in linguistics, since 2006 enhanced by cooperation with the Institute of German Language in Mannheim; corpus-linguistic methods developed there are tested and applied by our team members. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of language proceeds also using the German-Czech parallel corpus InterCorp, an important source for contrastive studies. Students, mainly Ph.D. students, take part in the project following their own research. The Large German-Czech Academic Dictionary was supported by the Czech Science Foundation Agency (GAČR) between 2000 and 2011.

The LGCAD started in 2000 as a project based on scientific lexicography and modern lexicology. Since then a database with ca. 130 thousand planned entries is being built as a research tool focusing on a corpus linguistic approach. The project aims at Czech users interested in a deeper language description like experts, translators, Germanists. The attribute academic is to be understood in three connections:

  1. The work aims at educated dictionary addressees.
  2. It is also intended for experts interested in terminologies (Languages for Special Purposes).
  3. The work is based on modern academic disciplines, namely, corpus linguistics and corpus based lexicography. Consequently, this fact allows to focus the lexicographic description of lexical units on a platform which reflects the authentic language usage and systemic relations on the parole level.

During the following years, a stable team of lexicographers and experts was set up and a custom database for individual parts of speech was designed. Our project members include young lexicographers who graduated after the project had started, and doctorands; the entries they are processing allow them to conduct their own background research regarding contrastive linguistics, lexical-semantic relations, terminography, and word-formation. The outputs of pre-gradual students are smaller works based on the entries processed. Our work continues on four distinct levels: in the field of general vocabulary, in the field of terminologies, phraseology and word-formation.

The database provides structured data concerning orthography, hyphenation, pronounciation including variants on all levels mentioned. Description of morphology, syntax (valency), collocations, providing the entries and examples with stylistic markers (for both languages) often include contrastive aspects. The contrastive view is valid for all levels of the lexicographic description, e. g., the Faux-Amis-pairs and semantic interferences. All phenomena which might make translation difficult are observed.

The project has been integrated in research and teaching since its very beginning. Issues within contrastive linguistics have been dealt with in the framework of qualification papers (diploma work, dissertations).

Our project has been presented several times at German universities and at the Institute for German Language in Mannheim. Joint research with the Corpus Linguistics Programme (within the Central Research Area) in the field of lexical semantic relations, especially near synonymy and antonymy, has been underway since 2006 and has led to shared publications. This international cooperation is one of our research fields connected with the LGCAD-Project. Testing of corpus tools developed in the Institute for German Language strongly motivates young researchers and offers new insights into systemic relations of current German word stock.