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dragoman

[drag-uh-muh n] /ˈdræg ə mən/
noun, plural dragomans, dragomen.
1.
(in the Near East) a professional interpreter.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; < French; replacing Middle English drogman interpreter < Middle French drog(o)man, dragoman < Medieval Greek drago(u)mános < Semitic; compare Arabic tarjumān, Akkadian targumannu
Related forms
dragomanic
[drag-uh-man-ik] /ˌdræg əˈmæn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
dragomanish, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dragomanic

dragoman

/ˈdræɡəʊmən/
noun (pl) -mans, -men
1.
(in some Middle Eastern countries, esp formerly) a professional interpreter or guide
Word Origin
C14: from French, from Italian dragomano, from Medieval Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic targumān an interpreter, from Aramaic tūrgemānā, of Akkadian origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dragomanic

dragoman

n.

early 14c., from Old French drugemen, from late Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic targuman "interpreter," from targama "interpret." Treated in English as a compound, with plural -men.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for dragomanic

dragoman

official interpreter in countries where Arabic, Turkish, and Persian are spoken. Originally the term applied to any intermediary between Europeans and Middle Easterners, whether as a hotel tout or as a traveller's guide, but there developed the official dragomans of foreign ministries and embassies, whose functions at one time included the conduct of important political negotiations. In the latter sense the dragoman has, essentially, ceased to exist, especially since the passing of the Ottoman Empire, although in the latter part of the 20th century many embassies in the Arab world still employed an interpreter-courier known as a kavass (Turkish kavas; Arabic qawwas), used largely for ceremonial purposes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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