University - MA in Translation
Review: The Chrissovitsiotis-
Stavrakopoulos " Dictionary of Trade,
Banking and Financial Terms"
terminological dictionary may be a great assistance
to the translator, if he is familiar with the
correct use, namely the subject field or the cross-checking
in background texts. However, the terminologist
should as well always be conscious of the translator's
needs, i.e. bear in mind that his piece of work
should be well-organised, consistent between En/Gr
and Gr/En sections, include acronyms and standardised
terms and provide the translator with relevant
and reliable information. Under these criteria
and combining where necessary and inevitable the
discipline of terminology with that of lexicology
I shall evaluate "The English-Greek, Greek-English
Dictionary of Trade, Banking and Financial Terminology",
compiled by Chrissovitsiotis and Stayrakopoulos
in 1966 and last revised in 1995, by considering
the overall- and entry-organisation, focusing
initially on its negative and then on its positive
Overall Term Organisation
this is a dictionary for terminology, and not
a glossary or thesaurus it can be observed that
the 32.000 entries it contains are organised on
a strictly alphabetical basis, i.e. the term account
is followed alphabetically by the lemmas accountability,
accountable... and further down it harks back
to account activity, account analysis,
etc. In the section For the Convenience of
the Readership the overall layout and
terminological organisation is being laconically
explained as well as the abbreviations used within
difference between helpful and not-helpful terminology
entry is that the helpful one gives "extra" information
that help the translator, whereas the bad one
contents itself with simply giving definitions.
In this terminology dictionary not all entries
are thoroughly defined in regard to the domain
they can be used in, namely the dictionary seems
to make no distinction between homonyms and polysemes.
For instance the term financial [=οικονομικός,
χρηματοοικονομικός, χρηματιστικός, χρηματικός]
is being translated from English into Greek
from the commercial point of view, as well as
from the angle of stock exchange and investment,
i.e. the lemmas that have been given as a translation
of the term financial are not synonyms
but polysemes. Nevertheless, the subject-filed
has not been indicated in each case, i.e. "relationship
between domains has not been clarified" (Picht
and Draskau 1985:129), so as to prevent the translator
of having to guess which of the selection of target
language terms is suitable. This can be time-consuming,
as the translator has to do further research in
background texts or additional dictionaries.
in reference with financial the term has
not been analysed carefully as no mention was
made of one additional meaning of the term, which
is δημοσιονομικός although it exists in
the back-translation when looking it up at the
demonstrates that the dictionary is not always
consistent and affirms the initial impression
of lack of consistency and completeness the user
gets, when he discovers that the dictionary he
holds in his hands comprises 882 pages of English
into Greek-terms and only 183 pages of Greek to
English-terms. In addition, in the aforesaid 183
pages of Greek to English-terms irrelevant terms
to trade, banking and financial terminology are
compiled, such as μπανάνα [=banana], φελλός
[= cork] and μουσακάς [=mousaka], that
betray that in this section precious space was
wasted for information of poor quality, as the
compilers of this dictionary claim that it is
a specialised dictionary and not a general dictionary.
following paragraph it would be appropriate to
cite one entry that illustrates the deficient
- in some cases - term organisation. While the
dictionary has compiled other significant information
within the cultures involved, i.e. the Greek,
English and American culture, by including the
translation of all Greek ministries and other
Greek, English and American institutions, like
for instance notary public, Bureau of the Budget,
Barron's, big four, Big Five, building society
etc., it came up while looking for the very
commonly used term Lord Chancellor, that
under chancellor... only the chancellor
of the exchequer is to be found, and that
the term Lord Chancellor did not exist.
This consists naturally a terminological shortcoming.
Browsing further to find something related to
the term on debate it came up that it is classified
under the term chancery. Again, this means
loss of time for the dictionary-user, who has
to look up related terms in order to find the
one he needs. It also means inconsistency of the
dictionary, since a term that cannot be easily
located within the dictionary speaks firstly for
its terminological shortcoming and eventually
for the lexicographical one, as when it is "misplaced"
it is as if it does not exist at all.
as the terminological shortcoming, one more comment
is to be made in reference with the term or acronym
European Central Bank / ECB as well as
National Bank of Greece / NBG, which does
not exist neither as a term nor as an acronym.
It is surprising that terms as important and basic
as these were not included when compiling the
dictionary, taking especially into account that
the compilers are bankers themselves...
to the evaluation of the acronym organisation
a weakness to the quality of the information provided
is to be indicated. While looking up for the standardised
acronym ISO, it emerged that it has been
incorrectly defined as International Standards
Organisation and not correctly as the International
Organisation for Standardisation, as it
was checked up on the site of ISO in the World
with the acronyms, an organisational comment on
their ease of usage is to be made. While a plethora
of very useful acronyms has been compiled within
the dictionary that may consist great help to
the translator, no regard was given to accumulate
all acronyms in a separate list at the end or
the beginning of the dictionary, which would have
been extremely time-saving for the user of this
dictionary. It may be admitted that it is helpful
to see if there are other terms which include
the same or similar words as the acronyms. Nevertheless,
the same information could also be given in an
browsing the dictionary to find a term in relation
to the European Union Funds, one additional deficiency
came up as the searched term deficit financing
did not exist, as well as another very common
used commercial term like outsourcing.
The dictionary proved to be dated as these are
relatively new terms, which were obviously not
included while it was last revised in 1995. This
creates the user the impression that the dictionary
is not reliable as the quality of terminological
information it provides to the non-specialist
user is not always of high standards.
of high standard terminological information it
would be interesting to mention that this dictionary
provides in some term-entries very helpful information
to the non-expert user, as it provides assistance
to interpret the term, but it does not provide
all actual equivalent terms in the target language.
To rest this opinion on proof the following examples
logistics. 1. Στη διοικητική, η επιστήμη
σχεδιασμού, οργάνωσης και ρύθμισης του πλέον εφικτού
συνδυασμού των διαφόρων παραγόντων (περιοχή, χώροι,
προσωπικό, χρόνος) για την υλοποίηση των στόχων,
της πολιτικής και των διαδικασιών. (Term?)
2. Διοικητική μέριμνα, επιμελητεία στρατού κλπ.
management. Διεύθυνση που ασχολείται με το
σχεδιασμό, τη λειτουργία και τον έλεγχο συστημάτων
οργανώσεως. Καθορίζει τη ροή των εργασιών, τον
προγραμματισμό της παραγωγής , τις προδιαγραφές
και τις διαδικασίες αγοράς υλικών, ελέγχου αποθεμάτων
και ποιοτικού ελέγχου. (Term?)
there is a considerable number of entries, at
the end of which, cross-references are given i.e.
income=Βλ.non-operating income, other name=Συνών.
του street n., other real estate=Βλ. Owned real
a plus for the dictionary that it contains those
specialised terms but the way they are presented
is not helpful from a lexicological point of view.
The translator is at this point advised to check
out further information under related entries.
In a strict alphabetical dictionary, as this is,
the procedure is simple in contradiction to a
glossary or a thesaurus. Yet, this requires great
loss of time, which is most often extremely valuable
to the translator, as the dictionary-user is requested
to browse again so as to find the referred term.
In the mean time, while skipping one term to find
another, there is a danger that the translator
loses his train of thoughts and thus more time.
of the above mentioned plethora of shortcomings
in "The English-Greek, Greek-English Dictionary
of Trade, Banking and Financial Terminology",
its layout is user-friendly, with the terms being
presented with emboldened fonts. Aside from this,
the numeration of polysemous concepts within each
particular concept system provides a very helpful
systematic organisation. For example:
1. χειροποίητος, χειροκίνητος, χειρονακτικός.
2. Φυλλάδιο, βιβλίο ή εγχειρίδιο που επεξηγεί
τον τρόπο λειτουργίας μηχανήματος, κτλ. [...]
3. Βιβλίο ή κατάλογος με διάφορα είδη και τις
αντίστοιχες τιμές. etc.
the dictionary is relatively convenient for the
non-expert user as it provides analytical definitions
of the terms and lists equivalents and synonyms.
The definitions are sufficiently short and concise
and the language used is easily understandable
by a non-expert, in contrast to other dictionaries
in its category. For example:
drift: Παρέκκλιση, απόκλιση βάσης. Απόκλιση
της προσφοράς χρήματος από τη βάση (νομισματικό
στόχο) που καθόρισε η κεντρική τράπεζα.
stock: (Χρηματιστ.) Μετοχές βαρόμετρο.
Όρος για μετοχές μιας οικονομικώς ισχυρής επιχειρήσεως,
η διακύμανση των οποίων αντικατοπτρίζει τις γενικές
συνθήκες της αγοράς. etc.
a very helpful fact, which relieves the user of
aimless and unnecessary browsing is that after
each definition of a superordinate concept other
collocations in connection with the term are being
κεφάλαιο [...], · active c. · authorized
c. · circulating c. · current c. · equity c. ·
fixed c. · floating c. · gross working c. · invested
c. · long term c. · nominal c. [...]
account. [...],· check a. · checking a.
· current a. · deposit a. · overdraft a. · savings
using the dictionary one more advantage came up.
The dictionary has compiled besides terms also
jargon phrases and expressions, which can be a
real headache for the translator who is not a
subject-expert. As jargon is a continually changing
language and thus jargon-glossaries and -dictionaries
are scarcely few, any help to this problem is
considered valuable. Equally valuable in such
cases are examples that elucidate the meaning
of the phrases:
O U. Φωνητικός τύπος της φράσης I owe you.
Συνήθως έχει τη μορφή:
J. Backer Athens 1/12/91
U. $ 2000
J. Fox [...]
one additional positive remark would be that the
compilers of the dictionary are very consistent
as far as the terms country of use is concerned,
i.e. it specifies in which country the term is
applied and gives the equivalents in other countries
society. (Αγγλία, Αυστραλία) Εταιρεία κτηματικής
πίστης. [...] Αντίστοιχη του Savings and Loan
Ass. στις ΗΠΑ.
(ΗΠΑ) Όρος της καθομιλουμένης για εποχιακούς
Book. (Αγγλία) Ανεπίσημη ονομασία της ετήσιας
έκδοσης του National Income and Expenditure [...]
Conclusions - Suggestions
and Draskau say (1990:123), "dictionaries are
designed to be tools for the translator", however,
they can turn out to be a very dangerous tool.
The dictionary under research does not wholly
stand up to the quality expected in it, in regard
to the good reputation it exhibits in the Greek
dictionary-market. Yet, regarding the trust placed
on the dictionary, the fact that there is a lack
of more trustworthy dictionaries on the specific
field of trade, banking and financial terminology
must be taken into account.
lack of expository instructions on terms that
can be used in similar, yet different fields,
i.e. domains, as well as the quandary the translator
has to overcome in those situations, constitute
a real shortcoming of this dictionary. Also, the
internal incoherence and inconsistency is some
parts, is another thing that detracts from its
it would be fair to say that the English-Greek,
Greek-English Dictionary of Trade, Banking and
Financial Terminology, compiled by Chrissovitsiotis
and Stayrakopoulos, offers encyclopaedic information
in most entries that is precious to the non-expert
translator. It is oftentimes essential for the
Greek translator to delve into concepts and completely
understand them i.e. interpret them before translating
them. Thus, improvement could be made by ensuring
that the inconsistencies are eliminated and that
the translator is fully aware of which is the
relevant equivalent for each particular sub-domain.
Yet, as it falls down in doing the same thing
in the Greek-English section, it would be apposite
to recommend either to effectively review this
section of the dictionary or simply - drastic
as it may sound - abstract it, since it is one
of the main reasons that render it unreliable.
It has also been noted that the criterion of the
ease of use is not fulfilled in regard to the
plethora of the cross-references given. Although
they can also be a great help for the translator
in order to delve into a concept, for as much
as they are not well organised a lot time will
it should also be noted, that where culturally
specific terms or jargon are involved, the dictionary
is very reliable for translation purposes. Furthermore,
in order to facilitate the speed of browsing for
an acronym it would be a good idea to confine
them to a separate list. Apart from this, one
more recommendation of indicating terms which
are standard would augment the dictionary's validity.
Hence the translator would not waste any effort
to affirm the term's accuracy.
the dictionary of Chrissovitsiotis and Stayrakopoulos
is from the translators aspect, despite the weaknesses
and discrepancies above outlined, a utilitarian
tool, and some improvements would render it one
of the best bilingual special language dictionaries
in the dictionary market of Greece.
J., (1985) Terminology: An Introduction,
Guildford: University of Surrey, England
(1995) Essays on Terminology, J. C. Sager,
translator and editor, Amsterdam/Filadelfia: John
(2001-2002) Booklet for the Terminology Course,
Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Translation, University
of Surrey, England
S.-E., Budin, G., (eds) (1997) Handbook
of Terminology Management, Vol.1,
Amsterdam/Filadelfia: John Benjamins
© Copyright 2002 Translatum Journal
and the Author