Page:Arthur N. Wollaston - English-Persian Dictionary 1882.djvu/12

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viii PREFACE.

for good or ill, leave "footprints on the sands of time," the answer-is important. It seems right, therefore, that I should state precisely the grounds upon which I am tempted to hope for the accompanying work that appro- bation with which the public have been kind enough to g receive my former efforts in the path of Oriental lore. It must be confessed that, from the very first, I was conscious that the fact that I have never had an opportunity of study- ing the language in the country where it is spoken placed I me under an immense disadvantage, as compared with others more fortunate, who, from long residence in Persia, had the means of gaining a critical knowledge, which can scarcely he otherwise acquired. So fully alive was I to I the difficulties of my position in this respect, that, had a more competent person been disposed to take the matter · in hand, I should not have ventured to commence a task which, under the most favourable circumstances, could not be otherwise than tedious and, in some measure, unsatis- factory. As, however, time passed without an indication that anyone was willing to undertake the duty of compiling an English-Persian Dictionary, I determined, though with diffidence. to make the attempt myself, and I resolved to reverse a Persian-English Dictionary. But, on reflection, it at once became evident that such a mode of procedure would not ensure a practical result, for the obvious reason that, when translating from Persian into English, the student needs the use of every word, however pedantic and scarce, which is to be found in any author of note; on the other hand, as regards rendering from English into Persian, the introduction of obsolete or neglected phrase- ology into a Dictionary would retard rather than assist the learner, who would not be likely to possess that knowledge and experience which alone could enable him to select fitting and suitable equivalents.

These considerations, while they induced me to abandon