Drafting the multilingual lexicon

To study, identify, characterize and interpret all elements associated with these innovations it is first necessary to agree on the terms employed, regardless of language. To facilitate our collaborations into the GDRE PREHISTOS, a multilingual lexicon thus rapidly became indispensable.

This main goal of this resource, developed by the members of the GDRE, is to list and translate into the languages represented within the GDRE, the main terms used in the study of osseous industries. It has thus taken the form of a lexicon that does not include definitions, even if we were sometimes lead to discuss them in order to find the best equivalences in the different languages. We propose direct translations of terms and not of the notions they convey. In the majority of cases, the two agree, but in some instances (such as the technical domain) definitions and terms differ depending on the country or school of thought. The study of osseous productions being a field under construction, particularly in the technological and functional domains, we believed it to be appropriate, for now, to await advances in our research that would allow us unify these translations and definitions in the future. The usage of these terms and our collaborative studies in progress will eventually contribute the answers: until then, it is the task of each author to clarify the definition of the terms he or she employs.

The list of terms retained relate to
- the raw materials and species exploited,
- the different categories of objects,
- the principles and methods of the transformation and use of osseous materials.

A particular emphasis has been put (or has been given to ?) on the terminology associated with our two main research axes. In accordance with the chronological range covered by the GDRE, the list is oriented toward prehistory. It is nonetheless evident that some analytical and descriptive terms are valid for all other periods as well, historic and current.

This first volume of the lexicon (GDRE PREHISTOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES, n°1) is freely accessible and available on the GDRE Web site (Works). It is a provisional version : for one, because it includes translations in only four of the European languages spoken by the members of the GDRE: French, English, Italian and Spanish; and two, because the list of translated terms is incomplete. We nonetheless thought it would be useful to publish it as soon as 2010 so that it could be of immediate use to the members of the GDRE and to others conducting pertinent research.

The second volume of the lexicon (GDRE PREHISTOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES, n°2) is improve with complementary list of terms and in addition to the first 4 languages (French, Anglish, Italian, Spanish), with translations in Portugues, Romanian, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian and Danish. This volume will soon be available on the GDRE Web site (Works).