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(E) Policy Question on Oxford Electronic Encyclopedia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  05/8/2003 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) Policy Question on Oxford Electronic Encyclopedia

 

Policy Question: 

Oxford Electronic Encyclopedia and German/English Dictionary

To: enquiry@oup.co.uk 

Dear Madame/Sir,

I am in the process of using your Oxford German/English Electronic Dictionary for a 10 day trial period and I have a question regarding the lack of definitions for the following words:

Croatia/Kroatien

Indeed, Slovenia/Slowenien and Serbia/Serbien, not to mention Yugoslavia/Jugoslawien are to be found in this same dictionary. Being that Croatia is a larger republic than Slovenia, not to mention an important former constituent of the Yugoslav Republic, I am curious to know what procedures are in place to deny the inclusion of "Croatia/Kroatien" as an entry in your dictionary, while Slovenia/Slovenien is deemed acceptable. Strangely enough Dalmatia/Dalmatien are also included in this dictionary. This is an even smaller entity of Croatia/Kroatien. Something is terribly wrong with the logic here. 

Secondly, I have a question regarding your on-line Encyclopedia. I entered the term "Dubrovnik" and quote the following excerpt:

"Founded in the 7th century, Dubrovnik became an important trading republic in the Middle Ages, linking the Latin and Slavic worlds. As such, it was a major centre of Serbo-Croatian culture."

A major major centre of Serbo-Croatian culture? This is very misleading as Dubrovnik has always been a Croatian city. And in a much larger sense, I am curious how your historical process allows for a designation of "Serbo-Croatian" culture for Dubrovnik, let alone any city in the former Yugoslavia. I have never heard this composite expression used in terms of the culture of a geographicalentity, either in Serbia or in Croatia. "Serbo-Croatian" was used for many years as a designation for the language spoken in the former Yugoslavia, but since Croatia gained its independence, it has been finally accorded the right to it's own language designation rather than a hyphenated backseat. 

In short, you really should have a more-inclusive i.e. less biased approach to terminology that relates to the former Yugoslavia, more specifically Croatia. This would only enhance the universality of your encyclopedia; and accordingly it would enrich your dictionary with a few new words. After all Croatia/Kroatien existed in the historical realms of the German-language dominated Habsburg Empire just as much as Slovenia, so why not acknowledge the geographical existence of an entity with millions of people and a history that for good or for worse interacted within that German-speaking realm for the last several hundred years? 

I would certainly enjoy a response from someone on your staff that has influence over content questions with particular concern to your electronic reference materials.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter.

Michael Spudic
Forest Hills, New York

Op-ed

Please respond to the above (at the top) address. More responses especiallyliterate like this one (Bravo Michael, cestitam) can and will help bring thetruth to the surface.

best,

Nenad

http://www.ifinger.com/shop/default.asp?productsok=&pubid=&catid=&slanguage=2057&searchmodus=true 

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