About dictionaries & glossaries

A dictionary and a glossary are two distinct tools designed to help people understand the meanings of words and terms. While they serve similar purposes, they differ in their scope, structure, and focus. In this text, we will explore the relationship between dictionaries and glossaries, how they work, and their key features.

A dictionary is a comprehensive reference work that lists and defines the words of a language in alphabetical order. It typically includes the spelling, pronunciation, part of speech, and meanings of each word, as well as examples of their usage. Dictionaries are often designed to be authoritative sources of information on language and are compiled by lexicographers, who research and document the words and their meanings.

On the other hand, a glossary is a specialized type of dictionary that focuses on a particular field or subject. It contains definitions of terms, acronyms, and jargon used in a specific domain, such as science, technology, medicine, law, or finance. Glossaries are often used as reference works in textbooks, technical manuals, and other documents to help readers understand specialized vocabulary.

While dictionaries are organized alphabetically and cover a wide range of words, glossaries are often arranged thematically and have a narrower focus. For example, a glossary of medical terms might be organized by body systems, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, or nervous, while a glossary of financial terms might be grouped by topics, such as investments, banking, or taxation. Glossaries may also include cross-references to related terms and concepts and may provide additional information, such as synonyms, antonyms, and usage notes.

This freedom offered by glossaries, which do not even need to be alphabetically ordered, opens up endless possibilities that we must know how to take advantage of, in combination with media files and immersive technologies, to become experts in a subject.

Easily, quickly and in a more fun way. In other words, in a much more effective way.

Dictionaries are designed as a reference tool, glossaries as a learning and specialization tool. Let’s focus on glossaries!

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