Sandro Nielsen

From Academic Kids

Sandro Nielsen (1961-) is a Danish metalexicographer associated with Centre for Lexicography at the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark, from where he received his PhD in 1992.

Nielsen has contributed extensively to lexicography as a theoretical and practical lexicographer with particular reference to bilingual specialised dictionaries (technical dictionaries). He is the author and co-author of numerous publications on lexicography, theoretical papers, printed and electronic (online) dictionaries. He is the author of The Bilingual LSP Dictionary – Principles and Practice for Legal Language, two bilingual law dictionaries (Engelsk-Dansk Juridisk Basisordbog and Regnskabsordbogen. Dansk-Engelsk), three online dictionaries (see below), and a major contributor to the standard-setting work Manual of Specialised Lexicography.

Influence and work

Sandro Nielsen is the leading authority on legal lexicography and bilingual law dictionaries and has proposed a fundamentally sound general theory of bilingual legal lexicography.

His extensive research and publications have put him at the forefront of modern lexicography with the introduction of important lexicographic concepts such as lexicographic information costs, the distinction between a maximizing dictionary and a minimizing dictionary, the typology of multi-field, single-field and sub-field dictionaries, and the concept of function-related cross-references. He is one of the few lexicographers that have successfully attempted to combine lexicographic theory and translation strategies in an attempt to suggest improvements to bilingual translation dictionaries.

Sandro Nielsen was the first lexicographer to suggest a truly lexicographic approach to defining a dictionary in contrast to the traditional linguistic approach. He defines a dictionary in terms of its major features, and a dictionary has three such features: A dictionary is a lexicographic reference work that has been designed to fulfil one or more functions (its pure potential), contains lexicographic data supporting the function(s), and contains lexicographic structures that combine and link the data in order to fulfil the function(s). This definition applies to printed, electronic and Internet dictionaries, and it applies to existing, planned and imaginary dictionaries alike.

In addition to his theoretical publications, Sandro Nielsen has published two printed dictionaries, an English-Danish law dictionary and a Danish-English accounting dictionary, and three Internet dictionaries, a Danish-English law dictionary (Dansk-Engelsk CISG-ordbog), a Danish accounting dictionary (Den Danske Regnskabsordbog) and a Danish-English accounting dictionary (Den Dansk-Engelske Regnskabsordbog).

Relevant literature

  • Sandro Nielsen: The Bilingual LSP Dictionary. Principles and Practice for Legal Language. Gunter Narr Verlag 1994.
  • Sandro Nielsen: "Changes in Dictionary Subject Matter". In: H. E. Wiegand (ed.) Untersuchungen zur kommerziellen Lexikographie der deutschen Gegenwartssprache I. Tübingen: Niemeyer 2003, 109-114.


Online dictionaries

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