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Queens College Professor is the First to Publish a Critical Edition of a 400-year-old Bilingual Italian-English Dictionary

--The New, Modernized Work Features a Detailed Introduction to the 46,000 Italian Entries and Their English Definitions—

FLUSHING, NY, June 5, 2013—Printed in London in 1598, the first comprehensive Italian-English dictionary made it possible for educated English readers, including Shakespeare, to access Italy's rich Renaissance literary and scientific culture. This month, the University of Toronto Press is publishing the first critical edition of A Worlde of Wordes, John Florio's work of 46,000 Italian entries. It features a variety of dialect forms, erotic terminology, colloquial phrases, and proverbs of the Italian language. Queens College Professor Hermann W. Haller transcribed all 462 pages (three columns per page), edited the work by modernizing it to meet specific editorial criteria, and wrote a detailed introduction.

Florio (1553-1625) published the book during one of the most critical periods for the standardization of the Italian language, when it enjoyed great popularity in England and in other countries. Some scholars believe that Florio provided Shakespeare with knowledge of French and Italian language and literature. 

Hermann W. Haller is a professor of Italian at Queens College and in the Ph.D. Program of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His research is primarily in the area of Italian linguistics and philology, with a focus on Italian and Italian American sociolinguistics, Italian dialect literature, and Renaissance Italian-English lexicography. Haller was the recipient of the inaugural Modern Language Association Scaglione Publication Award for his book The Other Italy: The Literary Canon in Dialect. His other works include The Hidden Italy. A Bilingual Edition of Italian Dialect Poetry, for which he won the Dino Campana Award; and Una lingua perduta e ritrovata: l'italiano degli italo-americani, in addition to over one hundred articles and reviews in European and American scholarly journals. He is a member of the Accademia della Crusca (Socio Corrispondente Straniero).

As it celebrates its 75th year, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its over 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Learn more at  


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