The development of Korean online dictionaries: a case study of Naver dictionary services

Abstract

The advances in information technology have been affecting people’s consultation behaviors and thus shaping the direction of development of Korean online dictionaries. This paper aims (1) to describe the development of Korean online dictionaries by analyzing a case study of the dictionary services of Naver, South Korea’s biggest web portal site; (2) to identify the characteristics of the online dictionary evolution; and (3) to provide primary data for further research. In order to provide background information on the evolution of Naver dictionary services, it introduces the history of Korean online dictionaries and identifies the changes in the sizes and characteristics of the audiences, which were affected by the shift from the personal computer to mobile devices. Then, the development of Naver dictionary services is examined in terms of the development phases, entry data acquisition methods, and the development of tool features. This study reveals three findings: (1) the history could be divided into three periods: the formation period (1999–2004), the growth period (2005–2009), and the expansion period (2010–now). The expansion period is characterized by the popularity of smartphones, the enlargement of dictionary services, and the emergence of mechanical translation; (2) the four main sources for entries in the dictionary services are learner dictionaries, terminological–technical dictionaries, machine-generated data such as web-crawled data and parallel texts collected from the internet, and user-participated entries; (3) most of the tool features appeared during the growth period, and they are now evolving in the direction towards appification and individualization. These findings may allow predictions about the future of Korean online dictionaries.

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Fig. 1

(Source: Way Back Machine)

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(Source: Way Back Machine)

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(Source: Naver dictionary official blog)

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Change history

  • 28 December 2018

    In the original publication, one of the reference texts was incorrectly published as ���Tono, Y. 2009.

Notes

  1. 1.

    There was a steady increase in the numbers from 2013. The main reason for the revival of the popularity could be explained by the fact that portals expanded the content of their encyclopedia, and more people visited the section to refer to it.

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Correspondence to Jonghwan Kim.

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Kim, J., Han, N. The development of Korean online dictionaries: a case study of Naver dictionary services. Lexicography ASIALEX 3, 19–37 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40607-016-0025-z

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Keywords

  • Online dictionaries
  • Mobile dictionaries
  • Dictionary apps
  • Machine translation
  • Dictionary portals