Vol. 8 (2019)
SCRITTURE – Cina-Italia: sui dizionari, sui rapporti letterari, sulla migrazione

Parole, parole, parole... Il contributo della sinologia italiana alla compilazione di dizionari di lingua cinese

Miriam Castorina
Università degli Studi di Firenze

Published 2020-12-30


  • chinese dictionaries,
  • chinese language,
  • lexicography,
  • Italian sinology,
  • missionary linguistics


The main objective of this article is to briefly illustrate the contribution of Italian sinology in compiling dictionaries of the Chinese language. Michele Ruggieri and Matteo Ricci succeed in compiling a list of words by means of a new transcription method which will be later improved and adopted by many Europeans. Basilio Brollo compiled a dictionary which was very popular in 18th century Europe and was the first Chinese one ever published. Two other missionaries worked for years on a dictionary: Carlo Castorano and Joseph Pruggmayr. Their works can be considered the earliest Italian-Chinese dictionaries but they haven’t been studied in detail so far. The last section, dealing with the 19th century, list in brief, all the failed attempts to print a bilingual dictionary in Italy.


Metrics Loading ...