Another of those projects the internet makes possible, eRomLex:

The First Romanian Bilingual Dictionaries (17th century). Digitally annotated and aligned corpus (eRomLex)

Project Abstract

The expansion of Catholicism and Protestantism in Eastern Europe in the first half of the 17th century determined a strong reaction of the Orthodox clergy, which led to the emergence of numerous Slavonic linguistic instruments, among which the Slavonic-Ukrainian Lexicon by Pamvo Berynda (Lexikon slavenorosskij i imenь tlьkovanije, Kiev, 1627). Considering the close relations between the Romanian states and Ukraine, Berynda’s lexicon had a strong impact in the Romanian space, which resulted in six Slavonic-Romanian dictionaries, all manuscript. Although they are the oldest Romanian bilingual dictionaries, and thus of great importance for Romanian culture.

The project proposes an online comparative edition of these Slavonic-Romanian lexicons. The lexicons will be displayed online, in a digital comparative edition, with an interface that will allow complex queries, combining the information available in lexicons and searching for parts of words. The comparative approach will allow establishing the relations between them, whether they are independent or copies of the same source. This online edition will be a very useful tool, easy to reach by lexicographers, specialists interested in old Romanian corpora and other aspects pertaining to their exploitation and will make available to those interested, as open access corpus, this important and almost unknown part of the Romanian cultural heritage.

The lexicon begins here. Hurray for this kind of thing!


  1. Lexikon slavenorosskij i imenь tlьkovanije,
    Of course, ъ:)

  2. How do we know here that slavenorosskij means Slavonic-Ukrainian and not Slavonic-Russian?

  3. Niel, both.

    It is obvious to me (a Russian speaker) that the text was written in Kiev, not Moscow.

    P.S. I think it is obvious that the situation is never binary: “two langauge variants are either identical or entirely different planets”. Documents from then Moscow and Kiev (and not only) have thick regional flavour. Less thick than some (think of more extreme variants) modern English or Russian spoken dialects, but more distinctive than BBC vs. CNN.

  4. PlasticPaddy says

    Here is a link to Russian Wikipedia:
    The dictionary entries are (Church) Slavonic words and the definitions or glosses are to written “Western Russian” of the beginning of the 17C. Whether you call this Ukrainian or not, it would be distinct from whatever written Russian standards there were in Moscow or elsewhere at this early time.

  5. The whole Lexicon is available online and you can spot plenty of familiar Ukrainisms here. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a Ukrainian speaker finds translations with resemble contemporary Russian more. 400 years changed a lot, and scholars from Kiev influenced higher-register Russian in countless ways, too. All this said, it’s cool to see numerous signs of Ukrainian usage in such a decidedly high-register source, in the era when we might have expected it to be 100% Slavonic.

  6. Диосъ = Зевсъ is interesting.

  7. аллаа – колбаса.

  8. Диосъ = Зевсъ

    Modern Greek has regularised Δίας in nominative alongside archaising Ζευς /zefs/, so this sort of copies the original variation. Weird that it is not Диасъ though.

  9. Dmitry Pruss says

    Another thing worth noting about the trajectories of Russian and Ukrainian is that a large number of the Slavonic words which needed to be included into the Lexicon glossary in the 1600s have become a regular part of Russian usage by the 1800s. The massive diffusion of Salvonicisms from the highest registers of Russian into the regular usage is a well-known phenomenon, but it’s still cool to see a snapshot of the time and place when it wasn’t so.

  10. In his Geschichte der russischen Sprache Alesander Issatschenko wrote that most documents that his Soviet colleagues claimed were written in Old Russian were actually Church Slavonic with some degree of East Slavonic colouring.

Speak Your Mind