THE POLYGLOT LEXICON
“Whatever we conceive well we express clearly, and the words flow with ease” said Nicolas Boileau, a 17th century French poet and translator. However for the words to "flow with ease" in a language other than your mother-tongue, one might need a little help. When it comes to translating texts about secular crafts and their know-how, the correct translation is central to the message. Jewellery, Watchmaking and Metalsmithing are part of a trade that encompasses dozens of different jobs - from mine to retail - and these crafts call for precise wording.
The techniques are centennial, the movements traditional ; it may sometimes be a hassle to find the right words to describe them. You may be writing an email to a supplier in another country or translating a text for marketing purposes and occasionally need an accurate translation. Sometimes you may face untranslatability, possibly leading you to improvise an uneasy loan translation or an educated guess that might turn out to be flawed. This is where AZ Jewels comes in !
The lexicon is a long term project which today has over 3 600 entries and features 5 languages: English (with specifications as to words relating to US or UK references), French, Italian, Spanish & German. The most complete word entries are English, French and Italian. Little by little, we complete the definitions and add new words. We hope to later implement Chinese, Japanese, Russian & Arabic.
Much more is to be done and we hope to be able to provide the users with images soon. Considering how intricate copyrights regulations are, AZ Jewels will be looking into partnerships and making another leap forward to bringing craftsmanship's knowledge to anyone caring to know more about jewellery and watchmaking.
Such an endeavour needs to be recognised by our peers. AZ Jewels look forward to creating its Scientific Committee as well. Along with the sources feeding the lexicon, a selection of passionate professionals will foster our project.
Contemporary wording dedicated to 3D technologies, alongside other important aspects of the trade like Customs or Machining are equally important to handcraft, so I added them as well. In today’s international business world, these aspects are central to anyone in the trade: be they a designer, a jeweller, a salesperson, a financial director, a developer or a lapidary.
Multiple sources were looked up to complete this project. Consulting on-line and printed dictionaries, books and cross-referencing information meant hours of research.
I also gathered information thanks to friends' notebooks from the time when they worked in the UK or in the US. Trusting advice of many helped us enrich the lexicon. My experience and a heartfelt desire to be useful to the trade enabled me to undertake this daunting project.
You want to share a book or website reference that could feature here? Feel free to let me know! In the meantime, here are the sources I've worked with.
The two main sources are the Elsevier and the Dizionario and they are not always accurate. They do not feature definitions or explanations, only word translations. And definitions have always been the tediest part of the work. As the for the on-line sources, I've only quoted the most thorough ones below.
Title: Elsevier's dictionary of jewellery and watchmaking : in five languages, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Author : Carl Forget
Publisher : Elsevier
Publishing date : 1984
Pages : 507
ISBN : 044442279X 9780444422798
Availability : Out of print - we have contacted the editor and they are not thinking of printing it again.
Lists of words and expressions used in the fields of jewellery, gemology, gold- and silver-smithing, watchmaking, and related subjects. An interesting feature of this dictionary is the inclusion of many incorrect or illegal terms, which are in use in some countries, and which are often incorrectly mentioned in the gem literature.
Title: Dizionario multilingue dell’oreficeria - in 7 languages: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch.
Author : -
Publisher : Edizioni Polistampa
Publishing date : 2001
Pages : 372
ISBN : 8883043480
Availability : Amazon, La Feltrinelli
Unfortunately little known, the project was developed and coordinated by Gio Carbone for Le Arti Orafe - International Jewelry School in Florence. Cellini is a pilot project co-funded by the European Commission - Directorate General for Education and Culture, under the Leonardo Da Vinci Operational Program. The aim of the project was to create a multilingual dictionary of terms and concepts concerning the jewelry and jewelry sector, as a research and work tool but without definition.
Title: Dictionnaire professionnel illustré de l'horlogerie
Author : G. A. Berner
Publisher : Fédération de l´industrie horlogère suisse
Publishing date : 1961
Availability : on-line and in print
This dictionary is specialised in watchmaking and also exists on-line via a website and an app (Android and iPhone). It is updated regularly and each term is translated from French to English, German and Spanish.
The Foundation High Horology developed its own on-line "Glossary of watchmaking" in French, English and Japanese.
AZ Jewels's lexicon in figures
words translated from English
languages to be fully developped by 2025
hours of passionate
T E S T I M O N I A L S
"If our audit advisor managed to understand how to get on with our RJC certification documents, it's pretty much thanks to AZ Jewel's lexicon!"
A workshop CEO in Lyon, France.
"As a creative designer, I constantly make research on-line, be it technical or cultural. AZ Jewels has become a precious help, both for research as well as for translating notes and explanations that I give along with the gouache designs I provide for our foreign clients. "
A jewellery designer in Paris, France.
Get involved in the lexicon!
Our team is small yet fierce. We currently lack hands and funding to go faster hence we welcome your support, advice, suggestions and partnerships. The following issues are at stake:
A selection of jewellery translations and definitions by theme would really benefit from a thorough check and proofreading.
Word entries will need to be illustrated with images or sketches. Images generally hold copyrights. We see partnerships as the only way to overcome this issue.
We're looking for volunteers to help us achieve the further translations in Spanish and German.
Getting your help does not only mean in currency. Three projects are also at stake and of equal importance. We would also welcome the benefit of your *precious* time and expertise to uphold them.
Here they are:
Not only do we need to finish all definitions in English, French and Italian, but improving more languages is at stake !
Creation of a Scientific Comity
This is a truly important aspect of our reliability.
We will need to put a Scientific Comity together and welcome your support.
Going further with the tools
Tools are what will make your business grow. We received many ideas and we will need means to implement them all!