Lexicographers compile, write and edit dictionaries. They study languages and the uses of languages, the differences and similarities between certain languages and the sounds used in speech.

Lexicographers need to be familiar with history, in order to gain information about the etymological origins and development of words in describing the grammatical structure of the language concerned. The study of History and Anthropology also helps to differentiate between the languages of various regions and social settings.

Because they study unknown and ancient languages, lexicographers tend not to travel to gather their data, but perform research by making use of books in and on the ancient language in question.

Some lexicographers teach at universities, others study small children and exactly how they acquire language. Etymology, Philology, Social Science and Discourse Analysis are some of the subjects a lexicographer might study.


Lexicographers are usually self-employed or may find employment at universities

Getting Started

  • read widely about the history and use of a language

  • arrange to speak to a lexicographer about this type of career


Egerton University, Gideon Roberts University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gretsa University, International Leadership University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kibogora Polytechnic, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Lesotho College of Education, Lukenya University, Machakos University College, Marian University College, Marist International University College, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Methodist University College Ghana, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Presbyterian University College, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Pwani University College, Riara University, Rongo University College, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Solusi University, South Eastern Kenya University, St Paul's University, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Tangaza University College, Tumaini University Makumira, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Education Winneba, University of Ghana, University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo, University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of the Free State, University of the Western Cape

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