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Ladino-English/English-Ladino Concise Dictionary (Hippocrene Concise Dictionary) First Edition Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0781806589
ISBN-10: 0781806585
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Product Details

  • Series: Hippocrene Concise Dictionary
  • Paperback: 612 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781806585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781806589
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a Ladino novice (with a good background in Spanish), I hoped this dictionary would help me gain the skills I need to understand and compose messages in an online Ladino e-mail group. I was somewhat disappointed to find that many Ladino words encountered in everyday writing are not included, but I understand that this is a problem inherent in all but the most comprehensive dictionaries. More seriously, the English-Ladino section is only about one third the size of the Ladino-English section. My biggest complaint is the absence of a language synopsis, showing the forms of personal pronouns and the conjugation of irregular (or even regular) verbs. Instead, a few of the verb inflections are included in the body of the dictionary, but this is very hit-and-miss. For example, in the E-L section we see that BE is SER or ESTAR (with no explanation of the difference between those two), but in the L-E section I could find ES (with no explanation that it is part of SER), SOMOS, and SON, but not the other parts of the present indicative active of SER.
Most of the entries have only one- or two-word definitions, but for some of the uniquely Ladino words an extended definition provides a nice window into Sephardic culture. I get the impression that the authors provided such definitions for topics that specifically interested them.
I was particularly delighted by the list of Ladino proverbs. Overall, the dictionary is helpful and well worth the money. Still, if I had been able to find a better Ladino/English dictionary, I probably would have given this one only two stars.
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Format: Paperback
Buy this book because there isn't much competition for it, but it is one sorry excuse for a dictionary. Compare this to the Weinreich Yiddish dictionary (six stars out of five!) for usefulness

Defects:

* Almost random spelling, no consistent system of orthography is applied e.g. `ch' is used for both 'ch' as in choose and 'sh' as in sheep.

* No guide to pronunciation, neither at the beginning, nor (but more glaringly lacking) with the entries.

* Accentuation is random.

* Random missing entries - terms used in quotations often lack corresponding entries

* No cross referencing of entries, no relationship between variants, whether just spelling e.g. casa / caza / kaza or variation in pronunciation e.g. esfuegra / sfuegra / suegra.

* Zero grammatical information

* No verb conjugation tables

* No entries for unpredictable word forms such as irregular verb forms or plurals

Pluses

* Lots of interesting vocabulary

* The proverbs

I can only hope that these defects may be addressed in a future edition.
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Format: Paperback
It is amazing to find out that something I thought was so distant (the Sefardic culture) returned so clear and present when going through this Kohen's (Elli and Dahlia) masterpiece. All the words that I looked for, (which are part of my childhood, since it was the language mostly spoken at home), were easily found and explained. Expressions, proverbs and popular sayings are unseparable parts of the Sefardic culture and way of being. The authors have exactly caught the spirit.The book is not only a dictionary, but a very interesting source of research that has given me many hours of enchantement. Mashallah!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun, enjoyable book to browse through but, as a tool for learners of Ladino, or anyone with more than a bit of passing curiosity, it's likely to prove frustrating and virtually useless.
Ladino is, in fact, in worse shape than Yiddish. Very few Sefardim under the age of 60 now have much knowledge of Cudezmo (also spelt Djudezmo and Judezmo)here in Turkey. As a result, the authors probably assumed that this book would be used more as a toy for the curious- after all, who wants to learn a moribund language?
The truth is however, that there are people who might like to get some deeper acquaintaince with this language and, to assist this section of the book's potential customer base, it might have been nice to have done some of the following:
1)Give the spelling of words in Hebrew script. Transliterated Ladino is a late-comer that only became widespread at the point of its virtual demise i.e. the advent of the Turkish Republic when the language largely retreated before Turkish. When Atatürk decided to romanise Turkish, several Jewish communities began using the same letters to write Ladino, and this is still the practice in the back pages of "Shalom" the Istanbul Jewish community newspaper, which are still written in romanised Ladino. The confusion with different spellings that cause so much frustration in this dictionary stem from different approaches adopted by different communities who chose to align themselves with Modern-Turkish, French or Modern Spanish spelling conventions in the 1920's. By all means, give the common Romanised spellings of lexical items, but please, also include the traditional Hebrew script version as well.
2.
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