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Friday: January 8, 2010

Now what?

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:44 PM UTC

My Oxford Spanish Dictionary, third edition on CD-Rom, arrived today, 65% off in their Christmas sale. The first word I looked up, ‘navecilla’, was not in it. It must mean ‘little ship’, but it was disconcerting not being able to check. In one 66-line poem of Quevedo, I found two other words that were entirely missing, along with several more that seem to have changed their meanings in the last 400 years. ‘Avariento’ must mean ‘greedy’, but I still don’t know what ‘dina’ means, or even whether it is a noun, adjective, or verb. It’s obviously not a ‘dyne’ (unit of power), the only modern meaning, or a small-d ‘Dinah’, and there is no obvious English or Latin cognate, as with ‘avariento’. Very frustrating. Is there some other Spanish-English dictionary that includes ‘obs.’ or ‘arch.’ words used by well-known older authors?

2 Comments »

  1. If you’re up to reading Quevedo then I’d have thought you’d be using the DRAE without any further mediation. Google Translate copes quite well sometimes, and better than tools like WordReference.com. ‘Dina’ is from ‘digno.’

    Comment by trevor — Saturday: January 9, 2010 @ 7:02 AM UTC

  2. My impression has always been that Don Quixote (1605/1615) is to Spanish what the Inferno is to Italian: That before those works, those countries had assortments of dialects.

    Comment by steevil — Saturday: January 9, 2010 @ 12:31 PM UTC

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