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Larousse Gran Diccionario: Ingles-Espanol, Espanol-Ingles (Spanish Edition) (Spanish)
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I find the leaders in the field to be Collins (HarperCollins), Larousse, and Oxford. Each publisher appears to be trying to one-up the others with the newest and best edition. The real winner is the consumer. My joint review of these three dictionaries is found here and duplicated under both of its competitors.
Here are a few of the factors which distinguish a good bilingual dictionary from a bad one.
To begin with, ignore certain publishers' marketing ploys such as entry and translation counts. They says nothing about the value of the words chosen. Likewise, ignore the word "unabridged" in the title. No work is truly unabridged except the monumental monolingual Oxford English Dictionary.
The first valid factor to consider is lexicographic technique. A bad dictionary simply lists translations. Take, for example, the entry in the Cassell's Spanish Dictionary under the English headword loop: "lazo, gaza, nudo; ojal, presilla, alamar; anillo; recodo, comba, curva, vuelta," etc. For the English reader writing in Spanish, this is hopelessly inadequate, as the dictionary provides no clue as to which translation to use in which situation.
Compare the treatment of the same word in the far superior American Heritage Spanish Dictionary. "(length of line) lazo; (coil) vuelta; (bend) curva; (circular path) vuelta, circuito; (fastener) presilla" etc. Here, the user is given glosses in the native language to assist in identifying the right word for the context. Example sentences are also a tremendous help.Read more ›
1) Unabridged. There has not yet been a word I couldn't find.
2) Diverse. Includes scores of common phrases and usage, which I like because it's helpful to understand how the words are used, and the nuances of usage between languages.
3) Informative. The added sections provide a lot of cultural background, etymology, and atlas-type data that is interesting and sometimes useful.
1) Verbose. Phrases can be difficult to find, because there are so many, but that's a problem of the language and not the dictionary. It can be difficult to find the phrase you want, but with patience, I've found it every time.
2) Unwieldy. Don't purchase if you're looking for something to bring with you to class. I made that mistake. A smaller, cheaper paper back would be a better option for something to keep in your bag.
I especially appreciate the contextual information given with most entries. If a word is usually accompanied by a specific preposition, that preposition is given, so that, for example, we see that «in love with» is «enamorado(a) de». To help the user understand the different meanings of a word, complete phrases are translated where needed. Most entries have several such translations, with idiomatic usage well represented.
There is a 14-page section of verb tables, encompassing the three regular conjugations and 72 other model forms, each keyed with a number that is used in the Spanish-English section of the dictionary, to show which pattern is used for a particular verb. Forms other than first-person singular are not generally shown, nor are some of the compound tenses, but that information is usually available in first-year Spanish grammar texts and in books such as Gordon & Stillman's Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs.
No dictionary is perfect. This one contains a few omissions, e.g., where a technical term was translated from Spanish to English but not from English to Spanish, or a common English usage is not translated. I very occasionally wish for even more examples, especially when I am not sure which preposition to use. I was slightly disappointed to see an English example with a misplaced modifier. These are trivial complaints and in no way detract from the value of this magnificent dictionary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the absolute best translating book. It gets no better.Published 2 months ago by Maria Reyna
This is the BEST!! It's very large and heavy, but so complete and helpfulPublished 3 months ago by allgirl
Great deal for the money but not perfect specimens. Some defects like a missing page, etc. Shouldn't be a problem though for most users most of the time.Published 11 months ago by Baja Diver 770
An invaluable companion to the serious Spanish-translator. Big enough to have entries on all sorts of idiomatic expressions involving all sorts of swear words---and many within... Read morePublished 11 months ago by QuothTheRaven
This is the Complete version of a well - known and well respected line of Language dictionaries, available in many languages. Read morePublished on July 24, 2014 by Paul
they're not all aimed at american english speakers, is something dictionary purchasers might want to be aware of. mine was aimed at british english users. Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by busker joe
I researched Spanish/English dictionaries before I searched on Amazon, so I had an idea what I was looking for. Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by Conway