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INTRODUCTION TO THE ALA GLOSSARY OF LIBRARY AND
INFORMATION SCIENCE
First Vietnamese version, 1996

This English-Vietnamese ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science is published as a contribution to the formation of future library and information specialists of Vietnam. The library and information science is still a very new field in Vietnam. Instructional and research materials in Vietnamese for this field are almost non-existent if compared to the tremendous development of library and information science as well as the application of computers in daily library activities in the world. The selection of English documents to be translated into Vietnamese requires a lot of thinking and evaluating. The group of translators involved in this project has also debated the idea many times and finally agreed upon selecting The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, 1983 edition, to be the first document in its translating effort. The group believes that this document is essential in laying a firm foundation for other steps that follow.

As users of this document will see, this Glossary includes not only terms of the library and information science but also the ones of many other closely library and information-related fields. (Please read The Introduction of the English Edition for more information). Even in the library and information field, which is the specialty of the translators, the selection of the Vietnamese terms has already been a great challenge. The question was how to select them: terms that were used in South Vietnam before 1975 (which were very familiar to the translators who were all library science instructors as well as active members of the Executive Board of the Vietnamese Library Association in Saigon for the two consecutive terms of 1974 and 1975); terms that were used in North Vietnam before 1975; terms that are currently used in Vietnam, or terms that are curently used within the Vietnamese communities abroad?

The group has decided to use terms used in South Vietnam as the basis because the large majority of these terms was of the same source, namely The ALA Glossary of Library Terms, 1943 edition, which was the predecessor of this ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, 1983 edition. However, since the target users of this translation are our colleagues of both northern and southern parts of the country, who have more or less been exposed to terms used abroad, the group has decided to use also terms that are currently used both inside and outside Vietnam. The rationale of this decision is to expose users of this Glossary to developments of library and information science terminology both inside and outside of the country. (Please read The Appendix for information regarding reference sources used by the translators).

In order to ensure the accuracy of terms of related fields, the translators have contacted specialists in these fields and asked them to review terms of their fields. However, for certain fields, e.g., Publishing, Printing, Binding, Reprography, the translators had to find terms themselves because they did not have any contacts in the fields that could help. These terms, therefore, should require close attention by the users. In some cases, because of lack of equivalent Vietnamese terms, only definitions were translated.

In terms of Vietnamese orthography, because of the chosen target users, the following items have been used as reference sources:

1.- Tu Dien Tieng Viet / Hoang Phe chu bien. In lan thu 2, co sua chua va bo sung. Ha Noi : Trung Tam Tu Dien Ngon Ngu, 1992.
2.- Tu Dien Chinh Ta Tieng Viet / Hoang Phe chu bien, Le Anh Dien, Dao Than. In lan thu 2, co sua chua va bo sung. Ha Noi : Nha Xuat Ban Giao Duc, 1988.

During their work, the translators have noticed that there is now in Vietnam a lack of consistency in usage of scientific terms, especially for chemicals, e.g. for the term "Cellulose" Tu Dien Tieng Viet uses two different forms "Cellulos" and "Xelulo", while Tu Dien Hoa Hoc Anh-Viet or Tu Dien Ky Thuat Tong Hop use still another totally different form "Xenluloza". The translators have decided to list all these forms, with forms found in the two above-mentioned reference sources listed first following by forms found in other sources, e.g, Cellulose : Cellulos, Xelulo, Xenluloza. For regional differences of terms, the translators have decided to show them in parentheses, e.g., Legal deposit : Nap Ban (Luu chieu), Sloping shelves : Mam ke (Van gia) nghieng.

In terms of entry arrangement, the original English edition uses the "letter by letter alphabetization", e.g., "Back, Backbone, Backcoat, Back cover, etc.". This translation keeps that order. To help in term searching, this translation provides a Vietnamese-English index with Vietnamese terms arranged according to the Vietnamese alphabets with the diacritics or phonetic symbols (No symbol; High-rising; Low-falling; Falling-rising constricted; High-rising broken; Law-falling short constricted).

In terms of style, because this is a glossary of technical terms, the translators have tried to follow as close as possible the concepts and terms used in the definitions, the Vietnamese text may sometimes appear awkward or even "un-Vietnamese".

This translation has been done in a very special circumstance and condition. It was begun as a part of the translation program of the Vietnam Library Education Project, with Dr. Nguyen Quynh Hoa as Project Director. This Project was initiated by a group of librarians of Vietnamese origin currently working in the United States and Canada on a completely voluntary basis and under the sponsorship of the School of Library and Information Science, Catholic University of America. The translating effort has subsequently become a personal interest of the group of translators.

The responsibilities have been distributed among the translators as follows: Lam Vinh-The, from A to D, and R; Pham Thi Le-Huong, from E to Q, and S; Nguyen Thi Nga, from T to Z. Besides, Pham Thi Le-Huong assumed the responsibilities of indexing and also coordinating and general editing, ensuring that definitions are translated consistently throughout the whole translation. Page making for various drafts has also been done by Pham Thi Le-Huong, using Vietnamese Diplomat, a word processing software issued by VNLABS a Vietnamese company, Newport Beach, California. Pham Thi Le-Huong also, on behalf of the group, contacted the American Library Association and, with support from the School of Library and Information Science, Catholic University of America, the translators have been awarded permission to translate the Glossary into Vietnamese by the Association, which also agreed to waive licensing fees as well as royalty payments that are normally charged for translations. A friend of the group, Pham Gia-Hoa has helped in the artistic presentation of the draft copy to be submitted to the Publishing Committee of the American Library Association for approval prior to publication.

All translators, as well as the specialists who helped reviewing the translated definitions, have worked on a voluntary basis, without any remuneration, totally without any benefit. During the period of three years of work, many professional changes and personal difficulties happened to the translators, but all of them have had the determination to overcome these difficulties in order to finish the translation. When the translating reached its final stage, a new concern arised among the translators, and that was how to raise money for the printing and distributing of the translation. Fortunately, through professional contact of Nguyen Thi Nga, this difficulty has also been solved with the financial support provided by several non-profit organizations and the Galen Press, Tucson, Arizona, which agreed to print the translation free of charge.

As mentioned in the last paragraph of The Introduction of the English Edition, this Glossary includes definitions reflecting the state of technology at the beginning of the 1980s. It needs to be revised and updated continually. The translators hope that it will be received in this spirit. It is the first and necessary step but it needs to be followed by other steps to make it more complete, updated, and more accurate. The last objective of the translators (it is also their dream) is that this work will become a valuable document, contributing to the formation of the library and information specialists for Vietnam of the Twenty-first Century.

The translators take full responsibility for the text of this translation. We would appreciate any contributing, and constructive criticisms for both the format and contents of the Glossary that might come from any users or readers in the future. Please send any remarks, criticisms, suggestions to:

Pham Thi Le-Huong,
Modesto Junior College Library
435 College Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350
U.S.A.
Tel. (209) 575-6232,
FAX: (209) 575-6669
E-mail: phaml@yosemite.cc.ca.us

December, 1995.
On behalf of the translators
Lam Vinh-The
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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