In checking words in bilingual dictionaries, English-Spanish and Spanish-English, for example, I have always opened the wrong part, the wrong language. It is true that usually I handle three or four dictionaries at the same time. I though this was perhaps my bad luck as it is a fifty-fifty proposition. But ther is no order or system: some have English first, others Spanish first, English second.
I decided to solve the problem and took the bull by the horns -toreador style- and as there is no reason for dividing a dictionary in two parts, I invented -if we can call it that- the Unialphabet system of classification. Why not one dictionary blending blending both languages and using one alphabet? Instead of two different dictionaries in one volume. This way we just open the bilingual wordbook and go straight to the term we want to check. No problems, no mistakes, no wasting of time.
So far I have used this system in two of my dictionaries: "A Spanish and English Dictionary of Idioms" and "The New Dictionary of Current Sayings and Proverbs, Spanish and English", where Dr. John Simpson, Editor in Chief of the Oxford English Dictionary says in his Foreword: "I shall be interested to see what success the present editor has with his unialphabetical system. As far as I am aware, it is an innovation in bilingual paroemology (as pedants call proverb study). Any system which forces information on us in a new way is worthy of consideration. Advances in knowledge come from breaking the traditional bounds and seeing links where they have not been recognized before."