on 8 March 2010
If you compare this dictionary with other Thai dictionaries on the market, this is undoubtedly the best: it has by far the most comprehensive and the most authentic English coverage.
If you compare this dictionary with other Oxford bilingual dictionaries (such as the Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, OHFD), then it clearly falls short on a number of points.
1. It is overpriced. The OHFD retails at £35. I bought the Second Edition of the Oxford River Books at £45.00 RRP. According to Amazon, the same book has now increased to £75 RRP! Also bear in mind this actually contains only half the content compared with OHFD and other Oxford bilingual dictionaries, because there is no Thai-English content.
2. The editing appears to be substandard. In the first edition, there were at least a few embarrassing spelling and grammatical mistakes in the Foreword and Guide. This was flagged up by a fellow reviewer on Amazon. Now, in publishing the second edition, the editing team have glossed over these mistakes again:
"We sincerely hope that it proves to a valuable resource for language teachers" (p 6)
"word crated in Thai by the Royal Thai Academy" (p 19)
"course and oftensive" (p 19)
My Thai is not good enough to allow me to review the Thai contents in this dictionary. But bearing in mind these glaring English mistakes in the first 20 pages, I have somehow lost trust in learning Thai from this dictionary, although I reiterate that this is the best of a bad bunch of dictionaries. The reality is that proficient bilingual scholars are few and far between, whether in the UK or in Thailand.