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Best It/Eng Pocket Dictionary--not just a phrase book

Best It/Eng Pocket Dictionary--not just a phrase book

Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Best It/Eng Pocket Dictionary--not just a phrase book

Hi Everyone, I have searched the archives and need clarification: I am looking for a good, compact, small "pocket" Italian/English dictionary. NOTE: I already have the Frommer's It. Phrasebook, which is good, but I wish an actual "dictionary". Please advise. Thank you in advance.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:09 AM
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How small do you want it? Langenscheidt dictionaries are quite small about 4 in. by 3 in. and about an inch thick (centimeters:10 x 7 x 2.5). Berlitz has one that's 6 x 4 x 2.5 (inches), 15 x 10 x 3 (centimeters). What's nice about both is that they have flexible plastic covers, which makes them much sturdier than the paper ones. Berlitz is a lot more inclusive. I forgot my French dictionary and picked up the Langenscheidt in the airport. Because my French is a lot better than my Italian, I found it lacking when used for reading books and such. The Berlitz was more than enough for my needs in Italian, and the Langenscheidt would probably have served because I wasn't trying to read books in Italian.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:37 AM
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gustave, thank you for responding. Do either of the two you mentioned have the pronunciation right there next to the Italian word--for instance: "i formagi" "ee fohr- MAHD-jee" ? As far as the size goes, the Langenscheidt size sounds perfect...but is there pronunciation?

I know very little Italian and want to be able to look up a word on a sign or building, menu. (Even tho' most people here say you don't need to know any to communicate...)...and, needless to say, I am not planning on reading any books in Italian, LOL.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Now for the weird part. Neither of these dictionaries gives the pronunciation for the Italian or French. In both dictionaries the pronunciation is given for the English. Maybe you should look at an English>Italian dictionary rather than an Italian>English one (that's the format you're likely to find if you buy a dictionary in another country).
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:18 PM
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gustave, that is weird indeed! My Frommer's phrasebook gives English word/phrase and then the It. translation and pronunciation!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:35 PM
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The good thing about Italian is that it is 100% phonetic; everything sounds exactly the way it is spelled. If you study a pronunciation guide found in many phrase books and guide books, you can pronounce whatever word you find in the dictionary.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Nikki's comment is correct, which is probably why none of the dictionaries have the Italian pronunciation. BTW, the Oxford Italian-English Minidictionary is also very small but likewise does not have the Italian pronunciation.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:51 PM
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It not exactly 100% phonetic but pretty close... Ciao....
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 02:05 PM
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lovesroses,
I tutor people in Italian and also teach English to Italians (among other people).
I use the Oxford Mini for personal needs (I bought my edition in Italy) and a Garzanti for my mre srious needs (too big for you to carry)
but more and more language students are using electronic "speaking" dictionaries. They all bring these to my classes, so I think maybe they would be something for you to check out, because they include spoken prounciations.

try this link to see of it is something you would be interested in (I had to insert spaces at the lines breaks to get to to fit in this reply):


www.languageteacher.com/19_italian_
english_hand-held_talking_dictionaries_
speaking_digital_translators.html

My only other advice is that you would be best served by a phrase book. I've been studying Italian and traveling to Italy for years, and found that I was always much too distracted to stop what I was doing long enough to page through a dicttionary to look up one word at a time! A phrase book might be very useful!
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 04:06 PM
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topping for lovesroses
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Thank you bellastarr for your wise counsel and the link--I will check it out.
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