Most helpful positive review
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2007
No bi-lingual dictionary is perfect and this, being a first edition, has a number of faults but it is a truly excellent and practical piece of academic work.
Before its publication the best dictionary on the market was the infamous Stanislawski which featured mistakes such as translating 'hamburger' as 'hot dog' (more embarrassing now that the Polish word for 'hamburger' has become... 'hamburger') and stating that 'slut' is a funny way of saying 'girl'. This book brought the Polish-English dictionary to world standard and it would be foolish to buy anything else.
The two most important considerations before purchasing:
1. It has been prepared almost completely by Poles and it is clear that it is much easier for Poles to use than native English speakers. For example, if you look up 'took' it will direct you to 'take' but if you look up 'bierze' it is not there to direct you to 'bra'' even though the key word is twelve pages away and it translates as 'take' and is therefore an extremely common word in any text.
2. The translation gives emphasis to being useful for translators, so efforts are made to keep the flavour of the word in the translation (e.g. 'myszkowa'' - lit. 'to mouse' - has its first translation as 'to ferret' rather than 'to poke around'). This is undoubtedly useful but as phrases veer towards the idiomatic or slang, the meaning can be rather skewed to preserve the literal meaning and (should you be interested) can make vulgarities sound hilarious rather than effective.