the lack of genuine native speakers of MSA
Editors of bilingual dictionaries should be
native speakers of at least one of the languages involved. And of course perfect
balanced bilinguals, with a number of extra characteristics, would be ideal
However, in the case of Arabic, native speakers
in the strict sense of the word do not exist. Any speaker of Arabic was in his
pre-school age raised in one of the colloquial dialects that exist in the
diglossic situation of the Arab world. In some cases the real mother tongue of
an Arab could even be a non-Arabic language like Berber, Koptic or others.
This was reflected in the fact that editors who
were hired as native speakers in many cases wanted to consult each other,
printed dictionaries or the text corpus to seek confirmation for the
translations they proposed. As mentioned elsewhere, the time needed for such
consultations was far beyond the amount we had anticipated in the planning
stage. Consequently this fact contributed heavily to the exceeding over the
originally planned period of execution.