Picard’s New Pocket Dictionary of English and Dutch (1843)

Recently, I received a request for information from Ms Yuriko Tsunekawa on H. Picard, A new pocket dictionary of the English and Dutch languages, published in 1843. This dictionary played an important big role in the development of the first Japanese English dictionary in Japan, which came out in 1862.

Ms Tsunekawa would particularly like to know more about the importance of the dictionary in the Netherlands at that time, and what other Dutch dictionaries could have served as a possible source for the Japanese dictionary. Other questions she has are whether Picard (1843) was an authorised dictionary, what it’s primary purpose was, whether it was merely a practical dictionary or whether it was also used by academics.

Please post your comments here, which will be much appreciated by Ms Tsunekawa.

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  1. Akira Miyoshi

    I raised a question more than a month ago, but no one responds to me yet. I am afraid that the Japanese language is not familiar with you. So I change my question as follows.

    I assume that a translator who has no knowledge of the English language is going to make a dictionary of English to German languages using an English-Dutch dictionary such as the Picard’s dictionary that gives a Dutch word duim for two different English words Thumb and Inch. Correct German word for Thumb is Daumen, and that for Inch is Zoll, you know.

    I think that there is no rule to select Daumen for Thumb, and Zoll for Inch correctly, without English literacy of the translator. Am I correct?

  2. MIYOSHI, Akira

    I have a question whether a Japanese word can be gotten correctly for an English word whose Dutch translated word has several meanings. For an example, a Dutch word duim has two meanings: e.g., thumb and inch in English, which are Oyayubi and Inchi in Japanese respectively. In the Picard Dictionary Thumb in English is translated in duim in Dutch and Inch in English is also in duim in Dutch. Therefore, it seems to me that we are at loss how to select Oyayubi or Inchi for Thumb through the Dutch word duim if we assume we have no knowledge of English.
    So it seems to me that entry words of the first Japanese-English Dictionary published in Japan, 1862, were gotten from the Picard’s Dictionary, but Dutch translated words in the Picard dictionary for the entry words were not used to get their corresponding Japanese word. Am I correct?
    Akira, Japan

  3. jan posthumus

    Referring back to my contribution of February 21, I first of all want to state again that a comparative study of Picard’s dictionary and similar ones in use in the Netherlands has never been undertaken. Its particular merits or demerits can therefore not be highlighted.
    Speaking more generally it can be said that it is one of a number of small dictionaries meant for school use and for those who were content to use a simple compilation of English-Dutch and Dutch-English terminology for practical purposes.
    The standard of English was that of the language as used in England, without a particular Dutch slant to it. Whether a particular word does or does not occur in it, is often just a matter of chance. I am not aware that any other principles of choice were involved than that of including what was considered of some use, which in practice might boil down to copying what earlier lexicographers had included in their dictionaries.
    A look at Picard’s other publications – it was after all possible to find information about these – reveals that lexicography was not one of his special inerests, which makes it more than likely hat he must have leant heavily on work done by predecessors.
    That the dictionary was used in the development of Japanese bilingual lexicography may well have been more a matter of fortuitous availability than of a judgement of its excellence. Maybe its limited size also commended it to the Japanese lexicographer who made use of it. Those interested in Picard and his dictionary may find more information in my article “H. Picard (1810-1858) en zijn Pocket Dictionary,” which originally appeared in the anthology “Woordenboeken en hun lotgevallen” (Amsterdam/Münster, 2009). The article has recently been made available online at http://www.fryske-akademy.nl/trefwoord ?

  4. Akira Miyoshi

    I read two articles proposed here; one written by Nakano on the International Journal of Lexicography, 1989; (2): pp. 295 – 314 and the other written by Nagashima on World Englishes 12 (2), 249-255.
    These two articles just refer the Picard’s dictionary as the base book of the first English-Japanese dictionary, but don’t mention what the Picard’s dictionary is. Therefore they give nothing new to researchers in Japan.

    I would like to know compilation philosophy of the Picard’s dictionary from standpoint of the English language in Dutch in the nineteenth century.

  5. Akira Miyoshi

    It seems to me that the English Language used in Holland has its own characteristics that are different from the language in other area such as England and USA. I know that some words such as “acidity” and “herring-woman” in the Picard dictionary are not found in Samuel Johnson’s and Webster’s of the same era but are found in a Dutch-made dictionary such as Holtrop’s, and that some other words such as “holy-rood-day” and “tabellion” in the Picard dictionary are only found in COD and Merridian-Webster’s of later days. Could I ask someone to tell me some books or articles of “History of English in Holland”?

  6. Yuriko Tsunekawa

    Almost forgotten pocket dictionary was the first torch to enlighten the isolated land of rising sun.

    All the information about the Picard pocket dictionary is very exiting.This inquiry about the Picard dictionary is originally from Mr. Miyoshi. Perhaps, I can write small story why this dictionary means so much for Japan’s history.

    After long years of isolation, suddenly, an American ship arrived and forced the goverment (Bakuhu) to open diplomatic relations. There came urgent necessity to learn English. Already, through the long experience of trade with the Nethelands, there was enough knowledge of the Dutch language among Japanese interpreters. In limited time, they had to prepare the first English-Japanese dictionary.

    For that purpose, the Picard pocket dictionary was the important back bone. Why Picard ? But Picard.

    This first English-Japanese pocket dictionary marked the real start of the new age of Japan. The feudal system was already not possible to maintain because of the remarkable growth of merchant class.Not only the pressure from foreign nations, but also, from inside Japan, the time to open the door was ripe.

    The first English-Japanese pocket dictionary was printed in 1862, only 200 copies.

    Owned by ambitious young brains, this dictionary went out of the country as precious lantern to show them their way. They learned modern system and culture from England. They realized with their own eyes, that it was the time to open the door. Those people played important roles after Meiji revolition, to establish modern system in Japan.

    Each copy of the dictionary must have a remarkable hidden story. At this moment, 15 copies were found from the first edition. Also, recently, the manuscript of the dictionary made by prime editor Tatsunosuke Hori was found.

    The appearance of the first English-Japanese pocket dictionary meets precisely the turning point of our history. Searching for the hints hidden in the dictionary can reveal more aspects of the history of that time. And the Picard pocket dictionary is important part of it.

  7. Akira MIYOSHI

    In addition to those dictionaries discussed above, the following are found in Japanese libraries;

    1. A compleat (sic.) dictionary, English and Dutch, to which is added a grammar, for both languages : originally compiled by William Sewel, 1766
    2. A new pocket dictionary of the English-Dutch languages, in two parts. I. English-Dutch. II. Dutch-English … also the terms of commerce, navigation, arts, sciences, &c., &c. A Third edition … revised, improved and augmented … in both languages, by R. van der Pijl. (This might be the Baldwin Janson’s New Pocket Dictionary, 1831)
    3. D. Bomhoff’s New Dictionary of the English and Dutch Language (D-E & E-D), 1857
    4. A new pocket-dictionary of the English and Dutch, and Dutch and English Languages, A. Jaeger, 186?

    I wonder whether the Picard Dictionary might be a good selection for the first English-Japanese dictionary in Japan.

  8. Jan Posthumus

    The publication details of the various editions of Picard’s dictionary have been set forth in my note ‘Productiegegevens Van Goor’ on p. 209-211 of Trefwoord 11 (1997). The final edition is the seventh of 1890. Data from Van Goor’s publishing house, unearthed by Nop Maas (Trefwoord 10, 1995, pp. 33-47) reveal that there were reprints of the seventh edition in 1896, 1901 and 1907(5000 copies each time) and that in 1920 the work was sold out.(These Picard data are given on p. 42 of Maas’ article). In later reprints the original date of publication was often deleted in order to mask the growing antiquity of a work. Librarians faced with such dateless editions may be reduced to making educated guesses of the kind [ca 1900].

  9. Jan Noordegraaf

    1. That Picard’s dictionary was not unknown in nineteenth-century Japan can be concluded from the fact that this work is mentioned in the ”List of foreign books collected under the Shogunate Regime”. Compiled by Rangaku Shiryo Kenkyu Kai (1957; reprint Tokyo 1969), p. 56. Various other Dutch dictionaries are included as well (for example, Sewel).

    2. Henk W.K. de Groot, ”The Study of the Dutch Language in Japan during its period of national isolation(ca. 1641-1868)”. (PhD thesis Christchurch, New Zealand 2005) has an interesting chapter on ‘lexical works’ (pp. 46-98). However, Picard is not mentioned in this study.

  10. Akira MIYOSHI

    I have a question about the seventh edition of the Picard’s dictionary. As far as I know, there are three libraries in Japan which have the dictionary of the seventh edition whose title is written as “Picard’s Pocket dictionary of the English-Dutch and Dutch-English languages : remodelled and corrected from the best authorities. — 7th ed. thoroughly rev. and enl., containing also in the first part after every word the pronunciation, likewise a vocabulary of proper names, geographical and historical / by J.H. Van Der Voort. Gouda: G.B. van Goor Zonen, [ca. 1900], xvi, 1250 p. ; 15 cm”.
    I am wondering whether this is the eighth edition of the dictionary, if you have found seven editions already.

  11. Akira Miyoshi

    I have a question about the seventh edition of the Picard’s dictionary. As far as I know, there are three libraries in Japan which have the dictionary of the seventh edition whose title is written below:
    Picard’s Pocket dictionary of the English-Dutch and Dutch-English languages : remodelled and corrected from the best authorities. — 7th ed. thoroughly rev. and enl., containing also in the first part after every word the pronunciation, likewise a vocabulary of proper names, geographical and historical / by J.H. Van Der Voort. Gouda: G.B. van Goor Zonen, [ca. 1900], xvi, 1250 p. ; 15 cm.

    I am wondering whether this is the eighth edition of the dictionary, if you have found seven editions already.

  12. Frans Wilhelm

    I happen to own the fourth edition of Picard’s New Pocket Dictionary (1871), which also has the prefaces to the earlier editions. In the preface to the first edition Picard states his reasons for writing the dictionary, after having noted that English is gradually becoming wider known among the Dutch. He composed the dictionary primarily as a reference work for schools. In Picard’s view and, no doubt, that of his publisher, the other dictionaries of his time were too detailed and, therefore, less suitable and too expensive for use by youngsters.

    The second edition (1857) was edited by A.B. Maatjes. In the preface to the third edition (1862)the editor, H.J. Vogin, tells the reader that he has attempted to indicate the pronunciation of the English words. He does this by using his own system. We can guess the identity of the editor of the fourth edition (1871)only through his initials: F.N.

    The English dictionaries around 1843 that were likely to be used most by speakers of Dutch were the following: Holtrop’s English and Dutch Dictionaries (E-D 1789 and 1823; D-E 1801 and 1824), Baldwin Janson’s New Pocket Dictionary (1795, 1808, 1819, 1831)and D. Bomhoff’s New Dictionary of the English and Dutch Language (E-D 1822, D-E 1830; 2nd ed. 1832, 3rd ed.?, 4th ed. 1851). Besides, one can imagine that people continued to consult Sewel’s well-known work.

    In the above context it is interesting to note that Janson’s pocket dictionary (ed. 1808)was much more of a book for young learners, as it offered less information. It only has 316 pages, whereas Picard’s pocket dictionary (ed. 1871) has 714.

    To conclude with, this was a practical book written for young learners, not for academics. Also, because of the freedom of the press in the Netherlands there was no need for authorisation

  13. Jan Posthumus

    That Picard’s dictionary should have played a part in developing the first Japanese English is surprising news indeed. It seems an accident of history, for in the Dutch scene it was a rather unremarkable work, which several subsequent editors (not Picard himself, about whom nothing seems to be known) kept alive for seven editions, dated repectively 1843,1857,1862, 1871, 1877, 1882 and 1890, but which then sank into complete oblivion.
    From the fourth edition this pocket dictionary was exploited by publisher G.B. van Goor, who ran it by the side of the far more succesful Pocket Dictionary he had pirated in 1859 from Tauchnitz, part of a set which also included a French and a German counterpart. These were ever further developed and in the twentieth century ended up as authoritative Handbooks for general use.
    But in or shortly before 1862 the Picard may well have had somewhat more to offer than the still rather meagre first edition (1859) of Van Goor’s Pocket Dictionary, supposedly authored by A. Jaeger, which later proved to be a pseudonym of Jacob Kramers Jzn. His name later became the quality trademark for the series of ‘Kramers dictionaries’ in several languages that Van Goor succesfully exploited all through the twentieth century.
    Information about larger English-Dutch dictionaries (Hexham, Sewel, Holtrop) that could in theory have influenced the Japanese dictionary is to be found in N.E. Osselton’s The dumb linguists (1973).
    Finally it must be said that a comparative study of the contents of Picard 1843 has never been undertaken. (Copies are extremely hard to find).

  14. ingrid tieken

    A reply from my colleague Tony Foster:

    There’s an article on Picard’s dictionary in the International Journal of Lexicography, but I assume Ms Tsunekawa will have found that (and checked all the references). And there’s a 1993 article by Nagashima in World Englishes (12 (2), 249-255).

    As for Dutch to English dictionaries in the 19th century, I’d refer her to Henry Hexham’s dictionaries (1640s) and of course to Willem Séwel’s Nieuw Woordenboek, which appeared in 1691 and would become the standard D-E, E-D dictionary of the 18th century. Then there’s Kramer’s Nieuw Engelsch Woordenboek, which saw 12 prints in the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century saw the publication of multilingual specialized dictionaries (e.g. maritime) dictionaries.

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