"The oral history of book" narrated by the manager of Contemporary Dictionary Publication

Some memoirs of production and publication of bilingual dictionaries (Part II)

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by Fazel Shirzad


It was determined that Mr.Haghshenas began to work on new dictionaries, and Bateni controlled and revised to them once a weak. The project was doing well. After six months, I found that an argument was raised between Me.Haghshenas and Mr.Bateni; they were arguing for one vocabulary. The next day, I received a note from Dr.Bateni in which he wrote that it was useless for him to come there. I tried to keep the relation with him, but I wasn’t success in keeping. In this event, I found that Mr.Bateni was a special man; and I shouldn’t lose him; so, I requested Mr.Bateni to provide a pocket a dictionary for whom were going to go abroad. He said nobody went abroad nowadays. I replied that people would go abroad little by little, and his pocket dictionary can be used for them. He asked for an assistant; therefore, I chose Mrs.Fatemeh Azar-Mehr as an assistant for him. Mr.Haghshenas and Mr.Bateni were working in two separated room for about two years and half or three years. They stayed friends but they didn't work together. The dictionary, which Mr.Haghshenas was working for two years and half, he edited only 250 pages, and it would be lasted for 10 years. I was surprised and said him that he had already told me it would be finish for 4 years; I made me ready for four years, and I also borrowed money for editing these dictionaries; If I knew that it would be lasted for 10 years since the beginning of work, I would had never started this work. Mr.Haghshenas said that it was his current situation; therefore, we broke our agreement. I asked him:" which agreement?" he replied:" in addition to monthly salary, you should pay some percent to me as well. I replied him:" the rules of games should be mentioned at first, and on the other hand, we didn’t make an agreement with each other and stopped the work. Dr. Hussein Samai, who was cooperating with Mr.Haghshenas in editing dictionary, left the work too, and I insisted him as much as possible, but he didn’t accept to work.

I said Dr.Bateni that I have already told many people that I was working on a new dictionary; how much he worked on this new dictionary. "About 40 pages from 200 pages" he replied." Increase the number of edited pages!" I said him. He accepted it. In year 1363, although I spoke with Dr.Haghshenas about this work, and we started to edit the dictionary and our agreement was broken around the year 1366(1987) or 1367(1988), it was enough for us to make a good sale In Hayyim dictionaries. After a while, somebody named Keikhosrow Shapouri Joined us and he became my partner. He said me that a plenty of money had been spent for project of dictionary edited by Dr.Haghshenas; this dictionary should be authored. I replied him that I couldn’t work with Dr.Haghshenas. Shapuri said that he could be responsible for editing the dictionary. Here; it is noteworthy that the publication of millennium dictionary, which is the best one in the world, is in debt for Mr.Shapuri’s efforts. He began to edit the dictionary again and became responsible for it. The millennium dictionary had been lasted from 1364(1984) to 1371(1992), and it contained 1000 pages; it was a new dictionary with new vocabularies."


Iconoclastic and a note values at over billions

Mousai added:" we published the dictionary of Dr.Bateni named English- Persian Contemporary Dictionary,and we presented it to Tehran Book International Exhibition. We made beautiful cover and a box for this dictionary. In those days, I published 10,000 volumes of the dictionary. It cost 1100 Toman[1]. The publication of ten thousand volumes of book were cost about 11 million, and it was a heavy seed money. During 10 days of exhibition, we sold only 250 or 300 volumes of the dictionary. As we were editing during those 7 or 6 years, I was always asked when the dictionary would be published; so, when I sold only 10 thousand volumes, my spirits gradually began to droop. I was sure that my work wasn’t in the wrong, but I knew there was a problem in my work. Dr. Bateni thought I was real crazy person. That was why he sometimes gave advise me. I strongly told him to continue his works he accepted it as well. After a while, I found the problem and Aryanpour dictionary had already existed in Iran. I sent about 1200 or 1500 volumes of the dictionary to professors for free; Dr.ZarinKoob, after receiving the dictionaries, sent a note to me that it valued at over billions for me. In this way, I sold 10 thousand volumes of book."

The manager of Contemporary Dictionary Publication added:" we used of new idea for International Exhibition in which those had old dictionaries could attend in the exhibition and exchange their old differences in price. Someday, an old man attended in the exhibition and said me;" do you exchange dictionary?" I replied: "Yes." he asked:"Are you Muslim or Jewish". I replied him "Is my religion a matter of great importance for you?" he said:"Muslims don’t like do such works (exchanging dictionary), Jewish like to do them". " I replied him "Yeah, I'm a Jewish. He said:" I had a dictionary to exchange it but I regret now". I asked reason him and he replied that I had collection of old dictionaries to sell for high price as antique dictionaries. I was surprised at his words. I took his dictionary which belonged to year 1345(1966), and I gave him a new one. Then, I tore the old dictionary in front of his eyes and I said him that I was a Muslim and I exchanged the dictionaries in order that people use of updated dictionaries because these old dictionaries were not useful for us."

Mousai said:" the second edition of Bateni's Dictionary published in Year 1376(1996) and millennium Dictionary in 1380(2001); it was a great dictionary. As the improvement of cyber space, we were forced to use it. We took a risk and recorded one of old dictionaries (first edition) on CD because if a problem took place, we would have peace and felling of being calm that it was an old dictionary. We always try to do a rational work. I found a young person who was able to reach the website of parliament. He came and made an original design and used of all tactics in order that nobody was able to open the lock of CD. The price of dictionary was 6 thousand Toman and price of CD was 4800 Toman. This CD could be installed on 6 computers. We ordered a software lock. Which it was better than former from Greece. We do all of such methods to keep our sources. We were selling this CD for about 2 or 3 years; we sold 2 thousand CDs. Someday, someone called me and said that he asked for my forgiveness, and he had bought the copied CDs at a cost of 500 or 1000 Toman on street. I replied him:" if you want my forgiveness, you know it won't be an honest work to buy a copied one. "Yes!" he said. "Let's come and speak together and bring your CD with you!" I said. So, he came and brought CD. I threw it into bin and gave him a new CD, and I said:" it isn’t need to pay money for the CD." Gradually, the lock of our CD was opened and spread on market; that was why we didn’t continue to sell this CD more. We published this CD as a sample whether or not. We were able to be success in the market. Then, I found that some of hackers were not care about money, as if they were fighting against locks."

He added:" someday, a man with his son at the age of 12 came in International Exhibition and bought an English-Persian dictionary. I asked his son that how much he can speak English. He replied that he has studied in English Center for one semester. I gave him that it is better to buy a big and comprehensive one as he wanted to buy a dictionary. His dad asked for the big one, and he wanted to buy it. I looked him and said that if you bought the big and comprehensive dictionary, we would get a profit, but it wouldn’t be useful for your son as his level." But the big one contain lots of vocabulary" he said. Here, I showed one simple word to the son and compared it between a small and big dictionary as an example, there were only six synonymous for that word, but there were all of related idioms, proverb and phrasal verbs. I asked him which dictionary could be more useful for him. He replied: "small one". They accepted my words and bought the pocket dictionary. I told my salesperson that we were working on a long-term project. We needed to constant clients. We recommended them not to hang on clients and not to attention directly on sale of books but they should think to the feature of the client and Contemporary Dictionary Institution."

The manager of Contemporary Dictionary Publication told:" we had interest to have a complete collection of dictionaries in each language. We had a purpose to complete this set of book and had a Persian dictionary in our book too. At first, we wanted to publish a Persian dictionary but we found it expensive and on the other words, it was a traditional which is near to our expected standards, we could buy and edit it. I had a relation with Mr. Gholamhossein Saddri Afshar who was a great man. He suggested Kaleme(word) publication to me ; I spoke with the manager of the publication. Around the year 1379(2000), the manager of Kaleme publication said that he wanted to sell a set of dictionaries which there was a Persian dictionary in. In those days, I spent a large amount of money to achieve a book. We began to work on this dictionary with Mr.Saddari Afshar and his group."


10 years for a dictionary published by someone else

Mousai added:" in 1366(1987) or 1367(1988), someday, Mr. Alireza Heidari called me and said that he wanted to come and make his friend familiar with me. He came to visit me with Dr. Faramarz Behzad. Mr.Heidari called me and said that Mr.Behzad was working on a persian-German dictionary and said he was not able to work on such dictionaries; so, I wanted to make me familiar with Mr.Behzad to work each other. Then, I made a relation with Mr.Behzad, as he was living in Germany, and I found sources what he needed for his dictionary and sent them to him. After about ten years, the dictionary was completed. During these years, I tried not to spend money for anything else, but when you want to work on a dictionary, you usually try to do on a difference one not same. When Mr.Behzad finished the dictionary, I asked him to come my office, and I mentioned a few problems of it to him to be solved. I made an agreement with him, and he accept it. We had a rule in our agreement as follows:" if we published big dictionary and published some small or pocket dictionary rely on a big one, they also will be belonged us according our agreement." He didn’t accept the rule and said that we couldn’t get any small dictionary from it. We insisted him but he didn’t accept it again; he said that he wanted to consult with one of friends needed to have the dictionary; I agve it him. I became unhappy because he gave the dictionary to Alireza Heidari. When the book was completed, Mr. Heidari sent one of the book to me, and he have wrote all grateful note to me on corner of a page, but, thereafter, I didn’t speak and call him.

At the end, Mousai added:" all of our works, what we have done, are with no economic justification; they are done through a cultural and National responsibility. Government don’t engaged itself in doing such works, and we have a chance to do this work and we do it willingly."

New meetings of " oral history of book" were held in the House of Writers of Book House institution as follows:" the first meeting was held in the attendance of Hajj Beitallah Radkhah (Moshama-chi) the manager of Partoo Publication Tehran-Tabriz on Wednesday of 23st Farvardin in 1396(2017-April-12). The second meeting was held in the attendance of Jamshid Ismailian, the manager of Partoo Publication on the Wendsday of 30th Farvardin (April 19). The third meeting was held in the attendance of Abol-Ghasem Ashraf Ol-Kotabi, the manager of  Ashrafi publication on the Wendsday of 6th Ordibehesht (April 26). The fourth meeting was held in the attendance of Hojjateslam Buyuk Chit Chian, manager of Mortezavi Publication on the Wednesday of 27th Ordibehesht(17 May). The fifth meeting was held in the attendance of Seyed Jalal Ketabchi, the of manager Eslamiyeh Publication,and Seyed Farid Ketabchi and Seyed Mohammad Bagher Ketabchi, the manager of Elmiyeh Eslamiyeh on the Thursday of 2nd Khordad(June 23). The sixth meeting was held in the attendance of Seyed Jalal Ketabchi, the manager of Eslamiyeh Publication, Seyed Majtaba Ketabchi, Seyed Farid ketabchi, and Seyed Mohamad Bagher Ketabchi, the manager of Elmiyeh Eslamiyeh Publication on Thursday of 9th Khordad(May 30). The seventh meeting was held in the attendance of Morteza Akhoundi, the manager of Dar al-Kotab Eslamiyeh on Thursday of 16th Khordad(June 7). The eighth meeting was held in the attendance of Morteza Akoundi, the manager of Dar al-Kotab Eslamiyeh on Thursday of 23th Khordad(June 14). ninth meeting was held in the attendance of Mahdieh Mostaghni Yazdi, the owner of right of Karname Publication, Makan and Rozbeh Zahrai who are children of late Mohammad Zahrai, the great manager of Karname Publication on 30 Khordad(June 21). The tenth meeting was held in the further attendance of Mahdieh Mostaghni Yazdi, the owner of right of Karname Publication Rozbeh Zahrai who is son of late Mohammad Zahrai, the great manager of Karname Publication on the Wednesday of 7th Tir(June 28).the eleventh meeting was held in the attendance of Mohammad Reza Najian Asl, the manager of Resa Publication on Thursday of 20th Tir(July 11). The twelfth meeting was held in the attendance of Mohammadreza Jafari, the manager of Nav publication on the Sunday of 25th Tir(July 16); the thirteen meeting was held in the further attendance of Mohammadreza Najian Asl, the manager of Resa publication on Thursday of 27th Tir(july). The fourteenth meeting was held in the further attendance of Mohammadreza Jafari on Thursday of Mordad 3rd (July 25). The fifteenth meeting was held in the attendance of Mohammad Nikdost, the manager of Payam Publication on Saturday of 7th Morad(july 29). The sixteenth was held in the attendance Seyed Iqbal Ketabchi, the manager of Iqhal Publication on Thursday of 17th Morad (August 8). The seventeenth meeting was held in the attendance was held in the further attendance of Seyed Iqhal Ketabchi on the Saturday of 21st Mordad. The eighteenth meeting was held in the attendance of Dawood Mouasi, the manager of Contemporary Dictionary on the Saturday of 24th Mordad(August 15). It the nineteenth meeting was held in the attendance of Mehrdad Kazemzadeh, the manager of Maziar on Thursday of 31th Mordad(August 15). The twentieth meeting was held in the attendance of Ali Zavar, the manager of Zavar Publication on Monday of 6th shahrivar(August 28).

Also, the first course of meeting for " oral history of book" was held by effort of Nasrollah Haddadi in House of writers of Book House's institution from second half of Year 1394(2015) to summer 1393(2014). As a result, the text of meetings are published as a book named" oral history of book", in 560 pages, by institution of Book House.        


[1] Iranian currency unit

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