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Article

О специфике словарей современного немецкого молодежного языка

Вопросы лексикографии. 2014. № 2(6). С. 5-16.
Россихина М. Ю.

A lot of dictionaries of youth jargon (traditionally called youth slang) were published in Germany over the period from 2000 to 2013. They fall into three categories. The first group are annual editions of multilingual dictionaries by PONS and Langenscheidt publishers which give words and collocations used by schoolchildren from Germany, Austria and Switzerland their English, French and Spanish equivalents. These dictionaries, containing from 300 to 1500 words, focus on new entries and generally lack lexicographical information. It is native speakers, who contribute to the new editions by sending words and collocations to editors. These terms are included without any restrictions and this fact is mentioned in the preface to the dictionary. The second group are dictionaries ("Wörterbuch der Szenesprachen" and "Das neue Wörterbuch der Szenesprachen" from Duden publisher edited by P. Vipperman) organized by topic. They contain words referring to music, popular culture, love and sex, computers and Internet, entertainment and fashion etc. Each topic provides a specific vocabulary used by youth groups who share the same interests and have a similar lifestyle. These lexicographical sources feature thorough word definitions with detailed interpretation of jargonisms, normally in the context, but they do not give any information on grammar and language style, histories of words or verifiable reference. There is usually a website for a topical dictionary and anyone can participate in compiling it. The third group are lexicons by G. Eman who put them together after many years of close contact with young people of different age groups and social classes. Their strong points are complete definitions of entries. He also specifies stylistic register, polysemy, dialect, etymology, though sometimes his explanations lack system. All words and expressions are given in the context. G. Eman also provides synonymous sequences, arranged by topic which could be found in the appendix to "Endgale" dictionary. None of the reviewed dictionaries meets all standards for lexicographical reference. However, despite this shortcoming and diverse lexicographical aspects, dictionaries of German youth language published in the early 21st century are a valuable source for studying this layer of unconventional vocabulary and therefore youth subculture. It should be pointed out that German youth slang is not about specific words and expressions only, it reflects social relations, way of life and culture of young people from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.