Word of the Day

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I have just learned that Czech jalovice is a heifer, which is a cow that has not yet calved. Sniffing around a few bilingual dictionaries, I was able to ascertain that the translations given not always correspond to the definition of a cow that has not yet calved.

These languages have words involving calving:
Slovak jalovica http://www.slex.sk/index.asp
Polish jałówka http://sjp.pwn.pl/szukaj/ja%C5%82%C3%B3wka
German Färse http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Faerse
Dutch vaars http://www.mijnwoordenboek.nl/vertalen.php?s1=&s2=&s3=NL+%3E+EN&woord=heifer&submit2=EN+%3E+NL
Swedish kviga http://folkets-lexikon.csc.kth.se/folkets/folkets.en.html#lookup&heifer&0
Russian tyoka (тёлка) http://www.gramota.ru/slovari/dic/?word=%F2%B8%EB%EA%E0&all=x
Romanian juncă http://dexonline.ro/definitie/junc%C4%83
French génisse http://atilf.atilf.fr/dendien/scripts/tlfiv5/advanced.exe?8;s=818908020;
Hungarian üsző http://osnyelv.hu/czuczor/

Upon consulting monolingual dictionaries, I found that the translations given only refer to a young cow and make no mention of calving:
Portuguese vitela, novilha http://aulete.uol.com.br/site.php?mdl=aulete_digital&op=loadVerbete&pesquisa=1&palavra=novilha
Spanish vaquilla, novilla http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=rehuir
Italian giovenca http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/giovenca/
Japanese wakaimeushi, mekoushi http://dic.search.yahoo.co.jp/search?p=%E5%AD%90%E7%89%9B&aq=-1&oq=&r_dtype=all&ei=UTF-8

That is why double-checking in monolingual dictionaries is always a good idea to see whether a translation given in a bilingual dictionary is accurate.

No comments: