Picture dictionary

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A picture dictionary or pictorial dictionary is a dictionary where the definition of a word is displayed in the form of a drawing or photograph. Picture dictionaries are useful in a variety of teaching environments, such as teaching a young child about their native language, or instructing older students in a foreign language, such as in the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon. Picture dictionaries are often organized by topic instead of being an alphabetic list of words, and almost always include only a small corpus of words.

A similar but distinct concept is the visual dictionary, which is composed of a series of large, labelled images, allowing the user to find the name of a specific component of a larger object.

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Semiotics is the study of sign processes (semiosis), which are any activity, conduct, or process that involves signs, where a sign is defined as anything that communicates a meaning that is not the sign itself to the sign's interpreter. The meaning can be intentional such as a word uttered with a specific meaning, or unintentional, such as a symptom being a sign of a particular medical condition. Signs can communicate through any of the senses, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory.

Webster's Dictionary is any of the dictionaries edited by Noah Webster in the early nineteenth century, and numerous related or unrelated dictionaries that have adopted the Webster's name. "Webster's" has become a genericized trademark in the U.S. for dictionaries of the English language, and is widely used in English dictionary titles. Merriam-Webster is the corporate heir to Noah Webster's original works, which are in the public domain.

Emblem Pictorial image that epitomizes a concept or that represents a person

An emblem is an abstract or representational pictorial image that represents a concept, like a moral truth, or an allegory, or a person, like a king or saint.

Rebus Allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words

A rebus is a puzzle device that combines the use of illustrated pictures with individual letters to depict words or phrases. For example: the word "been" might be depicted by a rebus showing an illustrated bumblebee next to a plus sign (+) and the letter "n". It was a favourite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames.

Picture superiority effect

The picture superiority effect refers to the phenomenon in which pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words. This effect has been demonstrated in numerous experiments using different methods. It is based on the notion that "human memory is extremely sensitive to the symbolic modality of presentation of event information". Explanations for the picture superiority effect are not concrete and are still being debated.


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Depiction is reference conveyed through pictures. Basically a picture refers to its object through a non-linguistic two-dimensional scheme. A picture is not writing or notation. A depictive two-dimensional scheme is called a picture plane and may be constructed according to descriptive geometry where they are usually divided between projections and perspectives. Pictures are made with various materials and techniques, such as painting, drawing, or prints mosaics, tapestries, stained glass, and collages of unusual and disparate elements. Occasionally, picture-like features may be recognised in simple inkblots, accidental stains, peculiar clouds or a glimpse of the moon, but these are special cases, and it is controversial whether they count as genuine instances of depiction. Similarly, sculpture and theatrical performances are sometimes said to depict, but this requires a broad understanding of 'depict', as simply designating a form of representation that is not linguistic or notational. The bulk of studies of depiction however deal only with pictures. While sculpture and performance clearly represent or refer, they do not strictly picture their objects.

A picture is worth a thousand words Idiom suggesting seeing something is better for learning than having it described

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Bilingual dictionary Specialized dictionary used to translate words or phrases from one language to another

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Isotype (picture language)

Isotype is a method of showing social, technological, biological, and historical connections in pictorial form. It consists of a set of standardized and abstracted pictorial symbols to represent social-scientific data with specific guidelines on how to combine the identical figures using serial repetition. It was first known as the Vienna Method of Pictorial Statistics, due to its having been developed at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien between 1925 and 1934. The founding director of this museum, Otto Neurath, was the initiator and chief theorist of the Vienna Method. Gerd Arntz was the artist responsible for realising the graphics. The term Isotype was applied to the method around 1935, after its key practitioners were forced to leave Vienna by the rise of Austrian fascism.

Audiovisual education or multimedia-based education (MBE) is instruction where particular attention is paid to the audio and visual presentation of the material with the goal of improving comprehension and retention.

The direct method of teaching, which is sometimes called the natural method, and is often used in teaching foreign languages, refrains from using the learners' native language and uses only the target language. It was established in England around 1900 and contrasts with the grammar–translation method and other traditional approaches, as well as with C.J. Dodson's bilingual method. It was adopted by key international language schools such as Berlitz and Inlingua in the 1970s and many of the language departments of the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department in 2012.

Thumbnails (/ˈθʌmneɪl/) are reduced-size versions of pictures or videos, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words. In the age of digital images, visual search engines and image-organizing programs normally use thumbnails, as do most modern operating systems or desktop environments, such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, KDE (Linux) and GNOME (Linux). On web pages, they also avoid the need to download larger files unnecessarily.

Logographic cues are visual images embedded with specific, widely understood meaning; they are pictures that represent certain words or concepts. These pictures are "designed to offer readers a high-utility message in a minimum amount of space." Some languages, for example, many East Asian languages, such as Chinese varieties, and partially Korean and Japanese, are written in logographic scripts; single glyphs represent whole morphemes.

A visual dictionary is a dictionary that primarily uses pictures to illustrate the meaning of words. Visual dictionaries are often organized by themes, instead of being an alphabetical list of words. For each theme, an image is labeled with the correct word to identify each component of the item in question. Visual dictionaries can be monolingual or multilingual, providing the names of items in several languages. An index of all defined words is usually included to assist finding the correct illustration that defines the word.

A conceptual dictionary is a dictionary that groups words by concept or semantic relation instead of arranging them in alphabetical order. Examples of conceptual dictionaries are picture dictionaries, thesauri, and visual dictionaries. Onelook.com and Diccionario Ideológico de la Lengua Española are specific online and print examples.

Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon

The Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a dictionary database of images of various objects in a culturally authentic setting for language learning. All images are presented with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, allowing for broad academic use by language teachers. The database is also useful for researchers in the field of applied linguistics, visual cognition, and automated image recognition. The database averages 30,000 hits per month and has been incorporated into the curricula of many college and high-school level German teachers.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to second-language acquisition:

Rudolf Modley Austrian-American executive and graphic designer

Rudolf Modley was an Austrian-American research executive, graphic designer, management consultant and author, who founded Pictorial Statistics Inc. in 1934. He illustrated and wrote a series of books on pictorial statistics and pictorial symbolism.