Gerhard Truig

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Gerhard Truig (born May 10, 1923 in Burgstädt ; † September 2, 1978 in Wiesbaden ) was a German linguist and lexicographer . He became particularly well-known as the founder and editor of the title Wahrig - German dictionary , also widely known as Der Wahrig or Der Große Wahrig , which is now the standard work among one-volume German dictionaries with over two million copies sold.


Gerhard Wahrig attended elementary school in Burgstädt and the secondary school in Chemnitz . From 1941 to 1945 he was committed to military service as a radio operator in the Air Force. After being released from British captivity , Wahrig enrolled at the University of Leipzig for the subjects English Studies (major) and Romance Studies and Philosophy (minor). In 1951 he received his doctorate with the work The expressions of laughter and ridicule in Old and Middle English by Werner Krauss . Between 1951 and 1959, Wahrig worked as a research assistant at the Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig , where he edited the Lexicon A – Z (one volume 1955, two volume 1958). From 1953, Wahrig was the head of the lexicon editorial team at the Bibliographical Institute. In March 1959, Wahrig fled with his family to the Federal Republic of Germany , where he worked from September 1959 for the Langenscheidt Verlag in Berchtesgaden and from March 1960 for the Bertelsmann Verlag in Gütersloh as head of the lexicon editorial team. In 1969, Wahrig was appointed professor at Monash University in Melbourne , but turned down the offer and instead took up a position as chief editor of the Franz Steiner Verlag in Stuttgart. After his habilitation in 1972 , Wahrig was appointed associate professor and then full professor for general and applied linguistics at the University of Mainz in 1973.

Work areas

Gerhard Wahrig worked on semantics , grammar and lexicography . He is also one of the pioneers in computational linguistics .

His main work is entitled German Dictionary . This work, first published in 1966, is - based on the model of Larousse in France and the Concise Oxford in Great Britain - the first attempt at a dictionary of meanings for the German language and has made a name for itself especially among German students at home and abroad. Since 1986, the dictionaries founded by Gerhard Wahrig have been revised and updated under the direction of his daughter Renate Wahrig-Burfeind and most recently distributed by Wissen Media Verlag until it closed down in 2014.

Publishing program

In addition to the first edition of the German dictionary , the eighth edition from 2006 for the 40th anniversary of the German dictionary should be mentioned, which contains the spellings of the official spelling regulations that became binding on August 1, 2006 as part of the spelling reform . In September 2011 the ninth edition of the work appeared, which was fundamentally revised and supplemented with important neologisms .

In addition to the German dictionary , a number of volumes in a somewhat smaller format have been created in recent years, which were seen as alternatives to the publications of the Duden- Verlag. The Truig series comprised the following works:

The Wahrig publishing program also included an A word - a case titled House orthography , a pictorial dictionary , different dictionaries for children (primary dictionaries) and - under the name Student Wahrig - for youth (spelling, grammar, Fremdwörterlexikon, cognate words) and a volume on punctuation entitled Punctuation Klipp & Klar . There are also electronic versions of the most popular titles.

The publisher of reference works Wahrig which to Bertelsmann belonging Wissen Media Verlag , ceased its operations in bookstores on February 1, 2014. Only the online updates of various works should be kept for buyers for a few more years.

See also


  • Renate Wahrig-Burfeind, Bettina Wahrig: The Lexicographer Gerhard Truig - System Boundaries and Resources. About the development of his project “Dictionary as a database”. In: Reports on the History of Science 37 (2014), pp. 263–286.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Renate Wahrig-Burfeind, Bettina Wahrig: The lexicographer Gerhard Wahrig - System boundaries and resources: On the development of his project "Dictionary as a database". In: Reports on the History of Science 37 (2014), pp. 263–286, especially pp. 266–272.
  2. ^ Gerhard Truig: German dictionary. With a 'Lexicon of German Language Teaching'. (1966, 1975) Completely revised new edition by Ursula Hermann. Gütersloh and Munich 1980 and 1991 (= reprint of the 2nd edition from 1986, provided by Ursula Hermann, Renate Wahrig-Burfeind, Klaus Rühme and Norbert Raum).
  3. Wissenmedia: Auf Wiedersehen ( Memento from January 1, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).