GLOSSARIUM POLYGLOTTUM BRYOLOGIAE: A multilingual glossary for bryology

[Originally published in Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 33, 297 pp. 1990.]

For many years, discussions among bryologists at various meetings indicated the need for a compendium of well-defined bryological terms. The absence of a standardized list of terms has caused a great deal of misinterpretation of older as well as recent literature. Especially troublesome to nonprofessionals or students are different terms used for similar structures in mosses and liverworts. For example, the surface layer of stem tissue in mosses, epidermis, is traditionally called the cortex in leafy hepatics, while the inner stem tissue or cortex of mosses is called the medulla in hepatics. Bryological terms may also have quite different meanings in different languages, leading to further confusion.

These problems prompted the International Association of Bryologists to support a request by a group of bryologists at the Geneva meeting, 1979, to sanction the preparation of a multilingual glossary of bryological terms. Over the last ten years, through the efforts of the original glossary committee and the collaboration of six language committees, this polyglot glossary has been completed.

The glossary consists of seven separate but comparable language parts. The English version was compiled first and served as the model for the other language versions. Thus the other language versions are based on the English text. Two methods were used for translation of the English text. In the first method (French, German, Spanish) the committees were asked to provide verbatim translations of the English terms and definitions. When the committees found terms with a meaning or usage that differed from the English text, a note to explain the differences or alternated difinition were added. An important feature of Glossarium Polyglottum Bryologiae is the cross-reference pointers between the English version and the French, German, and Spanish versions. The cross-reference can also be used to compare terms in any of the languages by using the cumulative cross-reference in the English version. The French, German, and Spanish glossaries are linked back to the English glossary by means of a number(s) in square brackets at the end of each definition. This number is the number of the corresponding term in the English glossary. Likewise, at the end of each English definition a series of numbers surrounded by square brackets points to each of the other language versions. The first letter of the other language (f, g, s) precedes the number(s) of the matching term(s) in each glossary.

The second compilation method (Japanese, Latin, Russian) was a translation of only the English terms. The compilers of the Japanese and the Russian versions list each of the English terms followed by the term or phrase used to express the same or a similar concept in those languages (see the introduction to the German version for an explanation of similar translations for some terms). The Russian and Latin versions start each entry with the number of the English term. Therefore, as with the Japanese version, the terms are arranged alphabetically based on the English term.

The Latin compilation differs from the other versions in providing only the translated terms (or sometimes phrases) and an indication of the case or part of speech for each term. The Latin terms are preceded by the number of the appropriate English term.

Terms were generally not created for English words that are without a counterpart in the other languages. Explanations preceding a language version specify how the various committees treated these terms.

A large number of people are responsible for the completion of this work. The following list includes those people who were particularly instrumental in the development of the original English draft and were, in many cases, responsible for the foundation necessary for the successful completion of the project.

B.H. Allen, Saint Louis; H. Bischler, Paris; E. Campbell, Palmerston North; M. R. Crosby, Saint Louis; S. Edwards, Manchester; J.-P. Frahm, Duisburg; G. Hässel de Menéndez, Buenos Aires; Z. Iwatsuki, Hiroshima; R. E. Magill, Saint Louis; R. E. Stotler, Carbondale.

Users of this work are encouraged to communicate critical comments and suggestions for the refinement and amendment of the terms defined herein.

Robert E. Magill


List of original compilation editors and contributors

English Version:
Robert Magill & Raymond Stotler with B. Allen, W. Buck, H. Crum, B. Crandall-Stotler, A. Crundwell, C. Delgadillo, R. Gradstein, R. Grolle, P. Jackson, Y. Kuwahara, C. Matteri, D. Mueller, R. Pursell, W. Reese, W. Schultze-Motel, R. Seppelt, W. Schofield, W. Steere, B. Theirs, R. Zander

French Version:
H. Bischler & D. Lamy with J. Berthier, A Causse, J. P. Hébrard, S. Jovet-Ast, R. Schumacker, C. Suire, P. Tixier

German Version:
P. Geissler & J.-P. Frahm with R. Grolle

Japanese Version:
Z. Iwatsuki

Latin Version:
P. Eckel with R. Zander

Russian Version
O. M. Afonia & R. N. Schljakov

Spanish Version:
G. Hässel de Menéndez with M. brugués. C. Casas, A. Cocucci, C. Delgadillo M., M. del carmen Fernández, A. Martínez, C. Matteri, H. Murachco, M. Schiavone, M. R. Simó, S. S. Solari, O. Yano