The treatment of culture-bound vocabulary in Greek bilingual dictionaries


  • Thomai Dalpanagioti Aristotle University of Thessaloniki



culture-bound vocabulary, bilingual dictionary, translation equivalence, frame semantics, Greek/English


This study explores the meeting point between cross-cultural pragmatics and bilingual lexicography by examining the representation of cultural information in bilingual dictionaries, which have traditionally received less attention than monolingual ones. More precisely, with a view to demonstrating the challenges that the wide range of culture-bound elements pose to lexicographers of Greek–English and English–Greek dictionaries, the paper focuses on lexical items whose meaning is particularly associated with cultural aspects, such as material culture, social rituals and institutions, values, attitudes, interactional style, and general way of thinking. Reviewing relevant dictionary entries, we discuss the translation strategies employed and the extent to which the information provided meets the needs of Greek learners of English. The paper concludes by proposing three lines of research for improving the treatment of culture-bound vocabulary in Greek bilingual lexicography: using corpus data; exploiting the electronic medium; and drawing insights from frame semantics. The implication is that a bilingual dictionary compiled along these lines will promote learners’ cross-cultural awareness, thus strengthening its role as a teaching/learning tool.

Author Biography

Thomai Dalpanagioti, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Thomai Dalpanagioti is a member of the laboratory teaching staff at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds an MA and a PhD in Lexicography from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She has taught English as a foreign language at all levels of education and worked as an adjunct researcher at the Centre for the Greek Language, Greece, and as an adjunct lecturer at the Hellenic Open University, Greece, and the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Her research focuses on the application of cognitive linguistics and corpus linguistics in lexicography and vocabulary teaching.


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How to Cite

Dalpanagioti, T. . (2021). The treatment of culture-bound vocabulary in Greek bilingual dictionaries. Lexicography, 8(1), 59–79.