A New Mongolian/English Dictionary
By UWE BLÄSING
Although a number of dictionaries of modern (Khalkha-) Mongolian literary language written in the cyrillic alphabet are currently available, it is often necessary to consult several dictionaries in order to find a word or the right meaning of a term. This is because there is no work which comprizes the Mongolian vocabulary both extensively and in a satisfactory manner.
The major works on Mongolian lexicography include, among others:
Except for some multilingual and special dictionaries, for example: A modern Mongolian-English-Japanese dictionary (Tokyo 1978), Mongolian-Russian-English Dictionary (Ulaanbaatar 1986) and Mongolian-English-Russian Dictionary of Legal Terms and Concepts (The Hague [etc.] 1983), the dictionary of Hangin, which is still in print, was until recently the only work in English.
The recently published Mongolian-English Dictionary, compiled by Charles Bawden, constitutes a new and considerable contribution to the series of Mongolian dictionaries. It 'contains about twenty-six and a half thousand main entries and numerous subsidiary entries'.
Charles Roskelly Bawden, Emeritus Professor of Mongolian in the University of London, whose name is well known because of such excellent publications as The modern history of Mongolia, The Mongol chronicle Altan Tobci etc., has collected the material for his dictionary in the course of thirty years. It is not based on the wordstock of one of the already available dictionaries. Instead, Professor Bawden has extracted all his lexical material from different contemporary sources such as newspapers, magazines etc. Consequently the dictionary gives us a really good and authentic insight into the vocabulary of the modern language. Furthermore, a lot of professional terms are included, including such areas as botany, zoology, politics etc. Moreover, some words and expressions are to be found not occuring in the other well-established dictionaries. The work of Charles Bawden is definitely an important new contribution to the description of the modern Mongolian lexicon.
For purposes of illustration, the randomly chosen sample from Bawden's dictionary is contrasted below with the data from three of the most convenient and well-known dictionaries (Vietze 1988, Hangin 1986, Luwsandendew 1957):
DR. UWE BLÄSING
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden