31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2001
This dictionary, like others in the Oxford Pocket series, takes a fresh approach to setting out material specifically with a learner's interests in mind. Combine this with Gareth King's refreshing approach to presenting the spoken Welsh language in all its variety, as seen in his Colloquial Welsh book and Grammar of Modern Welsh grammar, and you have the first genuinely useful dictionary for learners and one that can teach native speakers a great deal about the language too. The boxes, on individual verbs and usage, for example, mean that those curious about Welsh can find out more than the bare essentials of its grammar from the dictionary. Highly recommended.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2003
This is a very good book for learners (like myself) with many examples of usage and idioms. However there are some notable omissions. The grammar section is an aide-memoire, not a textbook substitute.
A useful feature of most dictionaries is that every translated word offered in one direction should also appear in the other direction. Often, when you look up the suggested word, it has a meaning subtly different to what you had intended. This dictionary often offers a word in the English/Welsh section, which has no entry in the Welsh/English section.
For example, missing in the Welsh/English section are "amaeth (agriculture)" and "amaethwr (farmer)". Ffermwr (farmer) does appear in both sections, but amaethyddyaeth is given as a translation of agriculture, only appearing in the English/Welsh section.
This dictionary is very useful, but you will also need a more comprehensive dictionary to fill the gaps in this one's vocabulary.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
I've just started to learn Welsh and am finding this dictionary (ISBN 0-19-864531-7) a huge help.
Contents are clearly written and explained, and example sentences or phrases of the word in context are given.
For nouns, the plurals and gender are specified, and all words affected by, or causing, mutations are identified too.
The dictionary is very clear and helpful in the way it is written and presented, and is printed in a clear font on good quality white paper so it is easy to find and read definitions. The mutation and grammar guide are also useful, and there are also lists of countries and towns/cities in both languages.
What lost the dictionary the other 2 stars for me is the way the pages are fastened to the cover, i.e. with only the briefest touch of glue. Within 2 hours of using the dictionary (and it wasn't open flat to strain the spine as I'm very careful with books) the pages started to come out. I already have a pile of loose pages and these will get creased and tatty even if the rest of the pages stay stuck to the cover - and I have no doubt that that won't be for long. It is the most badly constructed book I have ever owned.
I've supplemented this with Collins Spurrell Welsh Dictionary (ISBN 0-00-719658-X) which has over twice as many entries, but only a straightforward translation with no context (e.g "bow" is bwa or dolen, but is either of these a tied ribbon or the front of a boat?) and the two are working well together for me. (Incidentally, this book has a waterproof cover, is smaller, thinner and of way better construction despite costing only £2.49 including P&P)
In summary, I'd highly recommend the content of this dictionary for Welsh learners, just not the very disappointing build quality.
I've now received a replacement for the book - the later edition (ISBN 978-0-19-922874-4) which uses slightly thinner, lower-quality (less white) paper, but seems to be constructed much better, so I'm confident this won't fall apart. The content appears to be identical to the previous edition, but as a result of the paper quality change, the book is slightly thinner and lighter making it a little more "pocket" sized, even though that part of the title has been dropped. The addition of a shaded letter of the alphabet being printed on the edge of each page makes searching for a word quicker. I'd give the later edition the full five stars!
on 17 October 2007
I've just started learning Welsh, on my own, and I'm finding this dictionary very useful - not just for vocabulary, but also in helping me understand the way verbs work, tenses etc.
The only problem is, I've only had it a couple of weeks (if that), and already the crumby paperback binding is coming adrift and pages are beginning to come out. I've in no way abused the book and I'm certain every copy will be exactly the same - it's just that kind of half-hearted binding.
I'd recommend it for the content for complete beginners though - it seems to be helping me, and it's very clear. Shame Welsh seems so complicated! I will keep studying.