Are dictionaries in all languages written the same way?

My first reactin is: the same way as what? But you needn't answer. No. How dictionaries are organized, and what information they present, in what way, can vary noticeably even within a single language, ranging from monolingual dictionaries for elementary school use, to the Oxford English Dictionary.

u/etalasi has given a link to one article with a good deal of detail about issues as to one North American language. Or in some other languages, one might have to decide what to do about, say, perfective/imperfective pairs of verbs -- where to list them, whether to have two entries (or more) or one (assuming that a native user would know what affix to remove to get to the desired look-up base form).

Dictionaries for Chinese obviously couldn't be in an "alphabetic" system, and for many purposes, trying to organize them by syllable's sounds would be problematic, so they've relied on a variety of systems. Some involve notions of radicals (kind of a base, if you will) and then counting how many strokes of the brush are added to that radical/base. But there have been others, too.

Some choices can make "dictionaries" even a bit like "encyclopedias" -- say, a dictionary organized by semantics or meaning, putting plants together, maybe, almost like a thesaurus or one of those books with thematic pictures, to list vocabulary for farms, grocery stores, transportation, etc.

/r/linguistics Thread