Slavic and East European Library

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Dictionaries are always in demand by scholars and have a variety of uses. Besides the most obvious use, they can be used for tracking cultural influences. There are specialized dictionaries that trace literary usage of specific terms. Dictionaries frequently contain lists of abbreviations and acronyms. This is particularly true for those dictionaries that are limited to the subject terminology of a particular field.

Online dictionaries have additional access points. They are the source most seriously affected by configuration of your computer. That is, when searching a dictionary it will be necessary to be able to type using the correct characters for each language. The discussion on fonts and keyboards might be useful in this regard.

There are a variety of access points for these resources. Some of the general guides will have sections on various languages and these in turn, will have resources for individual languages. There are specialized resources for finding dictionaries for each country. Encyclopedias can also be used to identify the dictionaries for a particular country by checking the general entry for "dictionary" in the encyclopedia. Online, many of the subject gateway sites like Yahoo or Google will have an entry for dictionaries under there "Reference" category.

Some gateways, such as Google have developed very elaborate vernacular language access. Thus, is you access the Google "Directory" and select "World" at the bottom of the screen you will be presented with a list of country options. Selecting one of these will allow you to choose from a list of subjects in the vernacular language of your choice. In the Russian directory, for example, if you choose spravochniki you will be given a further directory of reference books including dictionaries. Under this heading you will find both dictionary and encyclopedia resources.

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