SUSU Students Create Unique Dictionary about Florence

Students of the Department of Linguistics and Translation of the SUSU Institute of Linguistics and International Communications for many years have been participating in the Dictionaries without Borders international project. The researchers’ work was dedicated to the legendary Italian Florence. The result was an encyclopedic associative dictionary which can be of interest to guides, tourists, students, teachers, philologists, art historians, biographers, and all fans of Italian culture.

Dictionary Titled Florence in the Works of World Famous People

The international project Dictionaries without Borders was created in 2008 by the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, who promoted the ideas of intellectual tourism and preserving cultural heritage alongside the Vice Rector of International Affairs of the Ivanovo State University Olga Karpova. In 2011, students of the SUSU Department of Linguistics and Translation began to participate in this project under the guidance of Professor Tamara Khomutova, Doctor of Sciences (Philology).

“The Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation was created in 1998 with the goal of creating and developing international integration, creating dialogue between cultures, and preserving and bringing attention to international cultural heritage. In March 2008, a new field of work was launched by the Foundation – the non-commercial Life Beyond Tourism portal, which became an international platform for exchanging useful, practical experiences in tourism. Dictionaries without Borders is one of the projects of the Life Beyond Tourism portal. This project, first of all, aims to create possibilities for intellectual tourists and all interested people to better understand the city of Florence, to feel its atmosphere and cultural diversity,” says Tamara Khomutova.

The encyclopedic associative dictionary Florence in the Works of World Famous People is an explanatory, encyclopedic dictionary of biographies of leading personalities of culture, literature, art, science, politics, business, the life and art of which is closely tied to Florence. The appearance of this kind of publication, in which the historical and cultural heritage of a city is explored through their effect on the art of famous international writers, artists, and musicians, forces people to look at the development of cultural tourism at a different angle, both in Florence and around the world.

Participation of SUSU Students in a Big International Project

The structure of the dictionary or dictionary articles includes 6 main sections: biography, creative works, Florence’s effect on them, associations, bibliography, and photoblog. The work on this dictionary is executed in 3 stages: working on the article from afar, working on the article within Florence, and final editing of the article.

“The first stage of work by students involves them choosing individuals and developing their articles based on a certain structure,” explains Tamara Nikolaevna. “This can include artists, writers, people of various engineering fields, and scientists. All these people were affected by Florence, as an international cultural center. We look for material on these individuals and their ties to Florence. For several years in a row, we had the chance to visit Florence with the students, where they got to know the monuments and historical locations, gathered additional materials, and finished developing their articles.”

In Florence, SUSU students worked in integrated groups, shared their ideas about the organization and content of their dictionary articles, suggested methods of adding to the structural and content aspects of the dictionary. In preparing their articles on artists, scientists, and politicians, the students had to do some serious searching to find interesting facts from the biographies of extraordinary people both before the seminar and during their trip. Throughout the seminar, students visited various places tied to the arrival of the extraordinary people about whom the students were writing to Florence and the students’ feelings found their way in to the dictionary articles.

“In 2013, as part of a student group under the guidance of Tamara Nikolaevna Khomutova, we took part in the publication of the 5th edition of Florence in the Works of World Famous People. For the focus of my article, I chose James Fenimore Cooper, famous American author of historical and adventure novels on the era of the frontier and the lives of Native Americans. The author lived in Florence for about a year, throughout which he completed and published his novel The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish,” shares postgraduate student of the SUSU Department of Linguistics and Translation, Dmitry Yakovlev.

Having earned the colossal experience of participating in an international project, the students of the SUSU Department of Linguistics and Translation, now studying the Lexicology subject, are continuing their work in this area. Under the guidance of Tamara Khomutova, postgraduate students of South Ural State University are researching Chelyabinsk in the Lives and Works of World Famous People and Saint Petersburg in the Lives and Works of World Famous People.

Olga Romanovskaia; photo by Viktoria Matveichuk, archives of T.N. Khomutova
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