The value of Czech section
The value of the Czech section of the English Wiktionary, or why contribute Czech translations to English Wiktionary:
Benefits in paragraphs: My purpose in contributing Czech translations to English Wiktionary is to let the Wiktionary serve as a translation dictionary. Wiktionary is however much more than that: it contains definitions of terms and multilingual translations. Multilingual translations show interesting patterns in Slavic languages; you can see quickly how languages akin to Czech choose similar or different metaphors to express the same idea; sometimes, these are funny. Wiktionary contains categories, like "fruits", helpful in browsing vocabulary of a chosen topic. Wiktionary features pictures where appropriate.
Surely the same role could be served by the Czech Wiktionary. However, what chances are there you convince all the contributors in all the languages to contribute translations to the Czech Wiktionary? Chances are a major part of the editing of the Czech Wiktionary is going to be made by Czechs.
Wiktionary serving as a translation dictionary for Czech may be equally or more useful than Czech Wikipedia. Czech Wikipedia is going to have hard time keeping up with the English one; the size of an encyclopaedia, given by the number of articles and their scope, is dramatically larger than the size of a dictionary. Czechs who want to keep themselves on the cutting edge of knowledge and understanding should better learn English anyway; Czech translations in English Wiktionary are going to help them with that. The sources in English at stake are not only English Wikipedia, but also English Wikisource - a library of freely available English books, the currently copyrighted books written in the English language, scientific articles, and other world's information sources available in English.
Benefits for Czech native speakers of having an extensive Czech section of English Wiktionary, in bullet points:
- Translations CZ <-> EN. English Wikionary can serve as a bilingual translation dictionary between Czech and English.
- Translations CZ <-> Any. When the translations to other languages are completed, a translation from Czech to any other language will become possible, by first finding the English translation, and then the one in the other language, for the specific meaning as listed in the English entry.
- English definitions. Neither paper-based nor electronic translation dictionaries between Czech and English contain at the same time English definitions. English definitions increase the confidence of the choice of the translated expression.
- Vastness of English information resources. Unlike Czech Wikipedia, Czech part of English Wiktionary decreases the effort of Czechs to read and understand world's information available in English. Information resources available in English include Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Encarta, English Internet, English books available on Amazon and capable of being ordered from many parts of the world including the Czech Republic.
- Czech synonyms. There are only few printed general-purpose thesauri of Czech. A case: Aleš Klégr: Tezaurus jazyka českého, 2007.
- English synonyms. English synonyms, typically present in thesauri, help choosing the most fit term when translating from Czech to English and when authoring texts in English. Writing in English is a must for the majority of Czech scientists, AFAIK.
- Czech related terms. Czech terms etymologically related to the term in question is a unique feature that adds to the browsability of the terminological database.
- English related terms. English terms etymologically related to the English term in question is a unique feature that adds to the browsability of the terminological database.
- Browsing by categories. Terms can be browsed by topical categories such as food, politics, or sports.
- Links to Wikipedia. Often, to fully understand a word, you need to have a look at an encyclopedic entry. Wiktionary entries are one click away from Wikipedia articles, by means of links to Wikipedia at the top of the page.
- Pictures. Are you not sure what a word refers to based only on an abstract definition of the word? For many concrete words like the names of birds or the names of everyday tools and appliances, a picture tells it all.
- Patterns in language families.
- Metaphors in different languages.
- Basis for non-Czech Wiktionaries. Authors of non-Czech Wiktionaries such as Spanish, German and Chinese who enter Czech terms into those Wiktionaries may have difficulty reading the documentation of the Czech language written in the Czech Wiktionary in Czech. The documentation of the Czech language written in English is accessible worldwide, unhindered by the language bareer.
Use cases of English Wiktionary by Czech native speakers:
- Czech user, translation EN --> CS: A Czech user wants to translate a word from English to Czech.
- Czech user, EN Wikipedia: A Czech user wants to find out about a subject in English Wikipedia, knowing only the Czech expression. She starts in Wiktionary typing the Czech expression, clicks through into the English entry, and from that one to the Wikipedia page.