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Company History

How it all began....




WYHLIDAL has been synonymous with technical dictionaries for more than 35 years. Many people keep asking the same question: How does one come up with the idea of writing dictionaries? What prompted you to found a publishing company? After all, it is not exactly an everyday thing to create a dictionary specifically for the automotive industry.


As it often happens in life, it all began with a deficit: In this case, a lack of technical dictionaries. And then there was Ferdinand Leopold Johann Wyhlidal, working at the time as an engineer for Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart, who happened to be in charge of processing American safety regulations.



In his search for dictionaries, he soon found that there were none for his area of specialization. Even among his colleagues, the knowledge of automotive English was quite limited. As a result, he organized English classes with great dedication and in cooperation with a Stuttgart-based language school. In July of 1972, the first book appeared, approx. 30 pages in length and put together on a typewriter: “Special terminology for automotive engineering: German-English”. The author was Mr. Wyhlidal. This first publication was quickly out of print due to great demand among colleagues – it was accepted with such enthusiasm that the 2nd edition, which was twice as thick, appeared a year later. There were, of course, German-English dictionaries, but these were intended for general language purposes. As far as technical terms went, these dictionaries were quite inadequate, which, by the way, still holds true today.


The idea to found a publishing company and author a dictionary for automotive engineering was born. As it turned out, this was an idea with a future.


The first German-English/English-German dictionary was published as a 529-page paperback in April, 1974. Along with the supplement, which appeared in 1976, the two dictionaries for many years served as the standard reference work for the automotive industry and its suppliers.


In order to meet demand, Mr. Wyhlidal also wrote dictionaries in the German-French/French-German and English-French/French-English language pairs. A dictionary of abbreviations and acronyms rounded off the automotive engineering product range.


Revised editions of the classic WYHLIDAL German-English/English-German – always expanded by special fields – have been coming out at intervals of two to three years since 1991. As early as in 1993, the WYHLIDAL could be purchased in a database version for PCs and PC networks. In 1994, the printed and database versions were still offered in parallel, but in 1997 a CD-ROM edition was given preference to the production of a new print edition.


In an anticipatory move, WYHLIDAL expanded the dictionary to also include terms from fields other than automotive engineering: Since the language used in the automotive field does not only consist of special terms, numerous general language expressions were added.


Supplemented by a significantly increased number of key words from the areas of company organization, sales and distribution, marketing, purchasing, law and legislation, the WYHLIDAL is now a standard reference work for the industry that has also become suitable for general use.


As its entries, the WYHLIDAL also reflects progressive developments in its user profile: In another logical step, WYHLIDAL appeared in an Intranet version. Today, the WYHLIDAL is also available as an ASP application on the world wide web.