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4.3 out of 5 stars26
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2010
I have been learning Welsh for about three years now after retiring and now living in Wales. Now I have a basic understanding of the structure of the language I have found my original learner's dictionary, although excellent, no longer contains some of the vocabulary I require. After consultation with my tutor and visits to various booksellers, this publication appeared to be the most suitable for me. Since purchasing the book it has not disappointed and I am finding it an extremely valuable and comprehensive tool. I find it easy to follow and it is giving me a much greater scope with my Welsh and a better ability to use compound words. Also really useful are the appendices containing personal and place names, animals etc and really valuable lists of prefixes and suffixes.
All in all a very comprehensive tool for Welsh learners after they have learnt some basics of the Welsh language and a very good follow on for the learner's Modern Welsh Dictionary by Gareth King. Excellent value for money too!
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on 13 August 2011
Lets not forget what this book is. It is a bilingual English to Welsh, Welsh to English Dictionary. It never will give as comprehensive coverage of a minority language as an Oxford dictionary will of English.

Stage set, and you are looking for this type of dictionary. This is the largest and most comprehensive that you can buy. There is the Welsh academy Dictionary which is larger but only translates English to Welsh.

There are appendices on many subject areas (for me as en ecology student the plant and animal section is particularly useful). I have also been told (by my Welsh University) that this dictionary will be sufficient to help me write my dissertation yn Gymraeg. Which is an ambition of mine, as an English man.

My logic works like this; this dictionary contains sufficient vocabulary to write a final year degree essay with, is the largest 'both way' Welsh dictionary you can buy, therefore has the most words and recognises both North and South Walian dialect.

There are more 'modern' dictionaries that contain a lot more 'wenglish' than this, if that's what you are after then buy them. They also happen to be smaller and lighter than this book too. If you are after a dictionary that will almost always have the word you are looking for in it then this is the only one that will do the job.
Which, in my opinion, makes it the best.
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on 3 January 2005
Although Messrs. Evans and Thomas point out that Welsh is a living language, the last update of this dictionary was in 1968, so there are one or two words which you might have trouble locating.
Nevertheless, the words and definitions are tightly packed, and for the student of the language, it is an eminently useful tome. (I write as a Scot who worked in Wales for a couple of years and made an abortive attempt to learn the language.) The dictionary's organisation is basic - the first half presents you with a Welsh to English translation, the second half, English to Welsh.
Perhaps the major failing, however, is the limited number of words listed against each definition. "Y Geiriadur Mawr" lacks the sophistication of more modern dictionaries - inevitable, really, given its 'minority' status. English, French, Spanish dictionaries, for instance, are going to sell in their thousands the world over; even Scottish or Irish Gaelic may sell to a wider market, given their North American appeal. So, perhaps, there hasn't been the investment necessary to update and expand this tome more regularly.
Welsh, meanwhile, remains a beautiful, poetic language, and deserves to be supported by a range of dictionaries and thesauri. Evans and Thomas are right - it is a living language. As a Scot I can envy the Welsh and their ability to support their language - even if there is a degree of political/cultural divide. An excellent book, but limited, and one which deserves to be thoroughly revised.
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on 22 July 2014
As another commenter said - the latest edition available is 1968 - hence it is rather outdated. I also found that some of the words have been put in an appendix (ie rather than put in their correct position in the dictionary). The standard of printing isn't very good (legible, but poor quality). On checking some of the words - in the Appendix, for instance, there are some words that don't have the English equivalent given. Other words have given an incorrect English word. As an English person, I was surprised to see that extrovert is spelt "extravert", arosod apparently means "to superpose" (I presume they mean "to superimpose"?) for instance. Some words that definitely did exist in 1968 and are in every dictionary aren't in this dictionary (even though many words I've never heard of are) and I suspect a bit of censoring has gone on due to the authors' personal preferences (ie rather than there having been an objective assessment of what words should go in).

All in all - not a very good dictionary at all and a better one needs to be written by someone else. I had to buy it because that was about all there was in a reasonable size dictionary - but I wouldn't have bought it if there had been a decent one available.

Anyone care to write an up-to-date/non-judgemental/decently-printed one (checking, of course, that they speak the perfect English necessary to write it - as well as perfect Welsh)?
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on 21 February 2013
As a back up and more detailed reference as a dictionary this publication is without doupt the best from my experience. It is an investment for the language and excellent value for money. I reccomend it highly for the Student and for the fluent speaker who wishes to extend his knowledge and vocabulary.

Ieuan
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on 10 August 2010
It's called 'The Big Dictionary' but I'd class it as a standard, desk dictionary. Certainly too large to carry around but, when I think of the size of some of the dictionaries on my shelves, this is quite moderate in comparison.

It hasn't failed me so far, everything I've looked up has been there. Perhaps as I advance in my learning and want more complicated, unusual words I may be disappointed but it hasn't happened yet.

If you're looking for a dictionary to leave on your desk this is the one to choose. If you want a more portable dictionary the 'Modern Welsh Dictionary' edited by Gareth King would be my first choice.
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on 10 August 2010
It's called 'The Big Dictionary' but I'd class it as a standard, desk dictionary. Certainly too large to carry around but, when I think of the size of some of the dictionaries on my shelves, this is quite moderate in comparison.

It hasn't failed me so far, everything I've looked up has been there. Perhaps as I advance in my learning and want more complicated, unusual words I may be disappointed but it hasn't happened yet.

If you're looking for a dictionary to leave on your desk this is the one to choose. If you want a more portable dictionary the 'Modern Welsh Dictionary' edited by Gareth King would be my first choice.
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on 28 November 2012
Does what it says on the tin and quite the best modern welsh dictionary I've seen! Very handy since my welsh is pretty basic, but seems to have plenty of more advanced stuff too.
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on 13 January 2013
I needed a good large Welsh dictionary, this is brilliant, the small everyday one I've now passed on to a friend but this will be one of my heilooms to pass on to my son.
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on 21 March 2014
Bought this to replace an older copy my daughter took to help her children in Welsh medium education. My four children used it in secondary school to help with Welsh homework.This purchase seems just what I need as a learner. I will probably buy another dictionary for modern everyday words that more fluent speakers probably take for granted. I have found Y Geriadur Mawr the best dictionary.
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