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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Tome
This is an excellent dictionary if you are learning Russian. My only complaint is the sheer size of the thing - a lot of book for your money but not ideal to slip in the schoolbag for nightclasses!
Published 12 months ago by RM Wilkinson

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Russian learner
I agree with the previous reviewer completely and cannot put it better. As a proud owner of the Oxford French and Oxford Polish

Dictionaries, I am disappointed with the Oxford Russian Dictionary, (and how naive was I, in eager anticipation of the 4th edition, to have thought that it would one day live up to its name and rank alongside the great bi-lingual...
Published on 9 Jun 2007 by M. Yung


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Russian learner, 9 Jun 2007
By 
M. Yung (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
I agree with the previous reviewer completely and cannot put it better. As a proud owner of the Oxford French and Oxford Polish

Dictionaries, I am disappointed with the Oxford Russian Dictionary, (and how naive was I, in eager anticipation of the 4th edition, to have thought that it would one day live up to its name and rank alongside the great bi-lingual dictionaries of other major European languages.

In compiling the ORD, OUP did not collaborate with any Russian dictionary publisher. For a bilingual dictionary of this scale, this is a key weakness. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that ORD cannot stand comparison with the OFD and OPD. In fairness to OUP, however, I must point out that good reference books on the Russian language are hard to come by, even in Russia. The most comprehensive and up-to-date monolingual Russian dictionary is Kuznetsov's "Bol'shoi Tolkovy slovar'", published in 1998. Unfortunately, the Mafia seem to have something against this dictionary. Most bookshops prefer instead to stock the much vaunted and outdated (published in the 1960's) Ozhegov Russian Dictionary.

The lexicographers at OUP must have had a difficult job, working on their own with 2nd rate reference materials. Hence the extra "star" for their effort.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best of a bad bunch?, 14 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
There are a couple of reviews that say this dictionary could and should be a lot better than it is. I presume they are right - but I don't think that will ever affect us. I bought this for my daughter to use as she studies for GCSE - and it is more than adaquate. For her needs, and probably lots of potential buyers, this is excellent.

It is a shame if Oxford's flagship dictionary in any language falls short of the mark. But, I looked at what else was available, and this seemed to be the best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best of a bad bunch, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
I read some of the reviews above and decided to buy the dictionary anyway. My last one dated, with the emphasis on "dated", from the late 'nineties and so much has happened in 10 years.

Let's be clear, for me any Russian dictionary is measured against the two volume Oxford English-Russian / Russian-English Dictionaries 1984 (1987 reprint) that were the compulsory purchase for my University degree course. 45 a piece for a student in 1987! They are both extremely well-thumbed and still frequently used with an irrational affection that is hard to shake. I do not know how they compare to older editions, but any new edition has the bar set extremely high.

There are both pluses and minuses to the presentation of the current edition. The overall feeling is vastly more modern and "user-friendly" than it's older counterpart with the now ubiquitous explanatory boxes on points of interest, model correspondence and the like. The font is somewhat lightweight, but this probably just reflects my personal feelings of lofty academic superiority in choosing Russian rather than French (of which English is merely a dialect according to one of my erstwhile professors).

I have to agree with other reviewers that the omissions present a real problem. I had looked for some while for a comprehensive, advanced Russian dictionary before deciding that the Oxford was my only real hope. However, within a few minutes of starting my first game of solitary dictionary word association I'd come up with several glaring omissions. It seems pointless to name any particular examples, but these are words and phrases which are common and not the fare of technical dictionaries. When translating, this could present real difficulties. And this is where my other experience comes into play. More and more when translating I find myself turning to tools like the multi-language paged Wikipedia or Google for Russian vocabulary (almost exclusively nouns, admittedly). Okay, I know I said I wouldn't give examples, but take "strimmer" - not there. Within a few clicks on Wikipedia you find the strimmer page in English, choose the Russian page in the list on the left-hand side and hey presto with the added beneift that there are pictures so you can be sure you've found what you're looking for.

I also agree with other reviewers that critics should suggest a better alternative rather than just criticising this dictionary. I am increasingly afraid that, if they haven't, it's because it doesn't exist.
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed flagship, 18 May 2007
By 
C. R. Howlett - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
The title under review is a very modestly revised, and slightly expanded, fourth edition of the Oxford Russian Dictionary (ORD), the flagship of OUP's Russian dictionary range, which was first published in 1993, reissued with corrections in 1997, and, with a new editor at the helm, republished in a 'Major New Edition' (ORD 3) in March 2000. In addition to a complete typographical overhaul, ORD 3 incorporated new vocabulary and a number of editorial refinements. Unbeknown to most purchasers, however, in one key respect it marked a huge backward step in the title's development: the work's already paltry A-Z content (i.e. the dictionary proper, as opposed to the non-lexicographical 'extras') - of around 470,000 words, phrases and translations (WPT) - was reduced by tens of thousands of items. More than 6,000 headwords alone were stripped from the Russian-English section of the 1997 edition, often with quite breathtaking disregard for their literary or cultural significance. Curiously, although it had fewer pages, larger type and significantly less A-Z content than its predecessor, ORD 3's jacket copy continued to claim to offer the user 470,000 WPT. ORD 4's WPT claim has been upped to 500,000 items, despite the fact that the number of A-Z pages is once again down on the previous edition and OUP's web site states clearly that the new edition includes only "HUNDREDS of new words, in both Russian and English". Clearly, OUP's WPT claims should be viewed with some scepticism.

Since it is one of a suite of unabridged OUP bilingual dictionaries, ORD 4's exceptionally low WPT count has a striking value-for-money aspect. With an RRP of 35, it is significantly more expensive than all but one of the other unabridged bilingual dictionaries, but offers dramatically less content than any of them. Professional Russian linguists and value-seeking advanced students alike will lament how badly its claimed 500,000 WPT compares with, for example, the claimed 910,000 WPT in the just-published fourth edition of the Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary (RRP: 29.99). In case there are doubters, be assured that the lexical resources of Russian are at least equal to those of French or any other European language. Value-for-money considerations aside, the fact that OUP's flagship Russian dictionary is so vastly inferior to its fellow bilingual offerings and, nothwithstanding WPT claims to the contrary, offers the user less A-Z content in 2007 than it did on its launch in 1993 should be a matter of deep concern to all of those with a serious interest in the development of Russian studies.

Although dwarfed by the huge content deficit, another fundamental shortcoming of ORD 4 is the inadequacy of its pronunciation guidance. Whilst a phonetic transcription is generally provided for English headwords, common variant pronunciations of words like 'contribute', 'controversy' and 'research' are frequently lacking and no transcriptions are provided for the thousands of 'nested' (see below) headwords, such as 'twopenny-halfpenny'. Furthermore, no attempt is made to reflect often sharply differing American usage (as in the words 'clerk', 'derby', 'fertile' and 'vase'). As for in-text pronunciation guidance in the Russian-English section, none whatever is provided, despite the increasing inclusion of such assistance in monolingual Russian dictionaries. Not least because it glosses over important points, the two-page Russian pronunciation guide at the front of the work is no substitute for in-text guidance.

Another fundamental shortcoming is the practice in the English-Russian section of 'nesting' compound headwords at the expense of overall alphabetical order. As a result words like 'cocktail', 'peanut', and 'so-so' are found not in their alphabetical place, but under 'cock', 'pea', and 'so' respectively. Efficient consultation is further hampered by the ill-judged downgrading of many multi-word lexical units to the status of example phrases: e.g. while 'ice floe' and 'hand grenade' ARE treated as headwords, 'Ice Age' and 'hand luggage' are not.

The Preface to ORD 4 states that "it has been updated to include the most important new words and meanings that have entered Russian and English in recent years". Just how scientifically this task has been performed may be judged from the following selection of omissions: 'anorak' (as person), 'bubble wrap', 'carbon footprint', 'celeb', 'chemo', 'civil partnership', 'couch potato', 'CPS', 'dis(s)', 'ER', 'fair trade', 'fatwa', 'geek', 'Green' (as in 'the Green candidate'), 'grunge', 'ICU', 'indie', 'intifada', 'Islamist', 'jihadi', 'jilbab', 'laddish', 'liposuction', 'login', 'madrasa(h)', 'makeover', 'malware', 'MPEG', 'MSP', 'NGO', 'pilates', 'rapper', 'silver surfer', 'slapper', 'smoothie' (as fruit drink), 'spliff', 'suicide bomber', 'USB', 'webcam', 'Wi-Fi', and, of course, 9/11. Lack of space prevents me from even getting started on the vast number of recent newcomers to the Russian language unrecorded in the Russian-English section.

Further evidence of the amateurishness of the work's execution is its wholesale disregard for frequency counts and corpora of both English and Russian. For example, of the 10,000 most common Russian words listed in frequency order in Nicholas Brown's Russian Learners' Dictionary (Routledge, 1996), more than a hundred are unlisted in ORD 4. In the 21st century, decisions on which words and senses belong in a dictionary should be based on scientific criteria, rather than an editorial whim.

Amateurishness is also in evidence in ORD 4's handling of American English, which disadvantages the native Russian user in particular. The riches of American vocabulary are woefully underrepresented (the user will, for example, search in vain for 'busboy', 'goofy', 'movie theater', 'pinkie', 'wetback' or 'zilch') and, as pointed out earlier, American pronunciation is ignored altogether.

The 50-odd pages of 'extras' in ORD 4 are largely recycled, warts and all, from the recent 3rd edition of the Pocket Oxford Russian Dictionary and are, in my opinion, inappropriate in a work aimed at advanced students and professional linguists with ready access to superior treatments of the same material in other sources. The Editor would have done better to use this space to address the fundamental shortcomings of the work and to make more than a token effort to reflect the enormous changes in the vocabulary of both languages in the seven years since the previous edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Tome, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
This is an excellent dictionary if you are learning Russian. My only complaint is the sheer size of the thing - a lot of book for your money but not ideal to slip in the schoolbag for nightclasses!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Russian Dictionary, 12 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
I bought this for my husband, because his old, and exceedingly well thumbed 20 year old edition was missing pages. He was very pleased, not only that he could now look up words beginning with G, but also that the whole range of modern words and usage had been revised. I was amazed at the price, given the quality of the dictionary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What I was looking for, 7 May 2014
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
This is the full-version, Oxford Russian dictionary. I'm at the point in my Russian studies that I am trying to dramatically widen my vocabulary into words I would not be able to learn, and I've found one of the best ways is literally to flip through the dictionary, find words I deem useful, make sentences out of it, and add to my spaced-repetition flashcard app.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best on the market, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
I bought this as a present for my partner as she went to University to study Russian, and was extremely pleased with the serious size and comprehensive nature of this dictionary. I would recommend it to anybody, and after 6 months using it, so would my partner!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Oxford Russian Dictionary (Hardcover)
As a translator, I already have a more expensive Oxford Russian dictionary several years old, but bought this to save me lugging it between two locations, and to keep up to date. Although my old edition is more comprehensive, this new one is adequate so far for my purposes. I would recommend it especially to students.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic dictionary, 30 Dec 2006
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This is a very good basic dictionary to have, providing an extensive vocabulary with solid, sensible translations. The accuracy of translations is a great improvement on earlier editions - I've never been tempted to own an Oxford Russian dictionary in the past 20 years.

This is an extremely useful resource for both a Russian student of English and an English student of Russian. It could do with some notes on Russian word formation, especially prefixes, to aid translation into English.

And it could be more up-to-date. You won't find words like "software", "hardware" or "DVD" in there, or the common terms for webpage or download. It's not the place to look for abbreviations, state institutions, legal and commercial terms or proper names. For that you'd be much better off with a specialist dictionary or updateable dictionary software. However it is a good resource for most general reference between English and Russian.
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Oxford Russian Dictionary by Professor of Russian Marcus Wheeler (Hardcover - 10 May 2007)
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