The Romanian multilingual dictionaries – also named polyglot, plurilingual or polylingual dictionaries, have known a slow yet constant development starting with the end of the 17th century, when the first such work is attested, to the present time, when we witness a considerable increase of the number of polyglot dictionaries, especially the terminological ones. This paper aims at analyzing the context in which the first Romanian multilingual dictionaries were issued, as well as and the organization and structure particularities of the first lexicographic works of this type. The irretrievable loss of some of these works as well as the partial conservation of others renders the attempt to retrace the beginnings of Romanian lexicography extremely difficult. The research methodology is part of a descriptive and analytical approach based on two types of sources, subject to contrastive analysis: the notes made by the initiators of lexicographic projects and the testimonies of their contemporaries, respectively, along with the specialized studies regarding the history of the old Romanian lexicography. The analysis of the contents has indicated that these dictionaries lacked a scientific apparatus in the true sense of the phrase, failed to obey unitary organizational criteria, being limited, most of the times, to mere inventories of words, where the Romanian term was assigned its correspondent in other languages. Motivated by practical reasons, the first multilingual dictionaries were aimed at the clerics their purpose being to ensure the translators’ fidelity towards the original religious texts, regarded as sacred.
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