Vietnam Institute of Lexicography and Encyclopedia (VIOLE), a research institution under the administration of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, was founded according to Vietnam Government’s Decree No.53/2008/ND-CP signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on 22 April 2008. The establishment of the Institute was specified in the Decision No.825/QD-KHXH signed by the president of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences on 31 July 2008 that describes “the functions, tasks, power and organizational structure of Vietnam Institute of Lexicography and Encyclopedia”.
After the Institute run for 4 years, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences realized that it was necessary to make some changes. Consequently, the decision about the revision of the functions, tasks, power and organizational structure of VIOLE was issued by the president of VASS on 27 February 2013. The decision, however, still affirms the key functions of VIOLE, which are: (1) to do research on basic issues involved with lexicography and encyclopedia; (2) to carry out editing work of Vietnamese and other encyclopedias, technical dictionaries and terminologies, multilingual dictionaries, different Vietnamese dictionaries and dictionaries of ethnic minority languages in Vietnam; (3) to provide consultancy and training on lexicography and encyclopedia; and (4) to take part in human resource development of the whole country.
Immediately after VIOLE was founded, the leaders of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences paid particular attention to issuing a professional journal of lexicography and encyclopedia. In the decision issued on 01 August 2008 about the functions, tasks, power and organizational structure of VIOLE, therefore, the president of VASS classified that it was necessary to have a “Vietnam Lexicography and Encyclopedia Review” and it would be as a part of the Institute’s structure. To perform the above-mentioned decision, VIOLE promptly started activities for establishment of the journal, as soon as it strengthened the personnel structure and began professional work. Owing to great efforts made by the organizing team of the Review, enthusiastic assistance from departments of VASS, and supports from the Central Department for Propaganda and Education and the Ministry of Information and Communications, the operating license for the “Vietnam Lexicography and Encyclopedia” Review was issued on 23 July 2009 by the Minister of Information and Communications. On 30 July 2009, the President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences signed the Decision No.1035/QD-KHXH about the foundation of the Vietnam Lexicography and Encyclopedia Review, marking the appearance of a new professional journal among professional journals of VASS. A year after the establishment of the Institute consequently, the first volume of the Vietnam Lexicography and Encyclopedia Review came into sight.
Major research achievements
After being established, VIOLE was assigned to carry out many research projects, which were undertaken beforehand by the National Vietnamese Encyclopedia Editing Council.
For the first two years, it conducted the Ministerial-level research program “Some basic theoretical issues and methodology on Vietnam encyclopedia and dictionary”. Findings of the 2009-2010 research program titled “Basic theoretical issues and editing methods for Vietnam encyclopedia and dictionaries” was reviewed and evaluated in 2011. In reality, the program consisted of 6 research projects, of which 5 ones were officially reviewed and evaluated before May 2011. The 2010 annual report of the program was also accomplished at that time. For all 6 projects of the program, one was excellently accomplished and the rest five were well accomplished, according to the Review and Appraisal Committee.
The fact that the 2009-2010 Ministerial-level research program was successfully reviewed and approved in 2011 is really important for VIOLE. All research projects within the framework of the program were seriously done, providing results of high quality. In scientific research, there were very few methodologies as well as research works on dictionary and encyclopedia editing. In Vietnam particularly, there were never such comprehensive research work on this issues like those of the 2009-2010 Ministerial-level research program of the Institute. The research projects provided significant findings and knowledge, which have been used by the Institute’s researchers to do dictionary editing work and especially to carry out the work of editing Vietnam encyclopedia in coming years.
VIOLE is now conducting research projects within the framework of the 2011 – 2015 Ministerial-level program titled Editing Vietnamese dictionaries, Technical dictionaries, and Vietnam encyclopedia, which consists of following research projects: Editing the Big-volume Vietnamese dictionary; Editing the English-Vietnamese Technical Dictionary in Social Sciences; Editing the English-Vietnamese Technical Dictionary in Natural Sciences and Technology; Editing the encyclopedia of ethnic minority languages in Vietnam; and, Editing the Universal Law Dictionary...
For the 2012 – 1013 period, VIOLE has been conducting the Ministerial-level focal task titled “Project designing for Vietnam Encyclopedia Editing”. This Ministerial-level task aimed at building a project proposal and the basis for editing Vietnam Encyclopedia to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
In addition, VIOLE also carried out other independent as well as research collaborative projects, including: Survey for collection of disappeared languages; Laha Language and Nung Ven Language (belonging to the group of KaDai languages in Vietnam”; Editing the Russian – Vietnamese Technical Dictionary in Social Sciences, which is a cooperation research project with the Institute of Linguistics (Russian Academy of Sciences) and funded by the Russian Foundation for Humanities (RFH); and, Completion of the alphabet of Cor ethnic minority and Editing of Teaching and Learning Books.
Scientific activities and research findings of the Institute can be found in the bi-monthly journal titled Vietnam Lexicography and Encyclopedia Review.
The contents of the Review mainly focus on following issues:
- Lexicographic issues, including research papers on lexicographic theories, principles and basic rules in editing and publishing different types of dictionaries to meet the learning and research demands among readers; Assessment of types of dictionaries in Vietnam and the world; The world lexicographic tendencies; Application of Information Technology in building the database and editing dictionaries etc…
- Encyclopedic issues, including research papers on types of knowledge dictionaries and encyclopedic works (different types of encyclopedias); History and development of the encyclopedia in the world; Reviewing the editing and publishing activities of encyclopedic works in Vietnam; Theories and methodology for editing encyclopedic works; Organizational system of collaborators, editing principles, rules and methods; Application of Information Technology in building the database and editing the encyclopedia; Suggesting appropriate measures to edit and publish the encyclopedia and Vietnam encyclopedia. And, at the moment the Institute focuses on issues relating to the project of editing “Vietnam Encyclopedia” in order to get comments and suggestions from scientists.
- Relevant Information, including activities and new achievements in the circle of lexicography and encyclopedia in Vietnam and the world; inter-disciplinary activities; latest information, literature and publications; topical and significantly focal encyclopedic knowledge...
Thanks to the direction of the leaders of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, VIOLE has built the Institute’s Development Strategy till 2020, in which the most important task for the period is to carry out the editing work of Vietnam encyclopedia in order to introduce the most basic information on the nation, people, history, society, cultures, sciences and technology in Vietnam in the past and present as well as to provide the world cultural, scientific and technological knowledge for Vietnamese readers.
Together with carrying out the major task, which is to do the editing work of Vietnam encyclopedia, VIOLE continues to conduct its activities in accordance with the Institute’s functions and tasks assigned by VASS, including: To do research projects in the 2012-2013 Ministerial-level focal task; To collaborate with local, provincial and City institutions to edit local encyclopedic works and dictionaries; To collaborate with institutions of other ministries to edit relevant technical dictionaries and encyclopedias.
To meet increasingly higher requirements in all activities, furthermore, VIOLE has built its own human resource development plan through capacity enhancement for the current workforce and recruitment of inter-disciplinary researchers. At the same time, the Institute’s facilities will be also improved to provide favorable working conditions. In the short term, the Institute will build the library of VIOLE and set up the Department of Information Technology Application. Regarding to international cooperation, the Vietnam Institute of Lexicography and Encyclopedia will strengthen and expand its cooperation in training on encyclopedia and dictionary editing and translation with lexicographic centers and publishing houses in the region and the world as well.