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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In my view, this is a good dictionary with several neat features. It has a very clear way of dividing the multiple meanings of a word. This is often confusing in dictionaries. It has a nice feature where the most important 2,000 words are highlighted. For nerds like me who like reading dictionaries but aren't particularly interested in chemical formulae and botanical names, this is wonderful. It has a 15 page summary of German grammar plus 4 pages of irregular verbs. This could have been a bit longer. I still have an old copy of Clapham which is sadly no longer available and more comprehensive at a cost of only a few extra pages.

It also has 40 pages on life and culture in German speaking countries, 6 pages on writing letters and sms, and 25 pages of basic phrases for specific situations like hotels, restaurants, sports and going to the dentist.

Here's a quick example of a word entry. For "dawn" it gives you the verb dämmern, and the noun die [Morgen]Dämmerung. It also shows you that "at dawn" requires a different word, Im Morgengrauen, and it gives a separate entry for dawn chorus, Morgendlicher Gesang der Vögel.

It is paperback and relatively light, weighing about as much as two paperback novels. It is ideal for travelling and quick reference. It will, however, never replace a full dictionary, especially for translating English into German. It is a while ago since I bought mine but I did a lot of research at the time and found the Collins to be the best. It is packed with examples of phrases and really shows you how to use new words correctly. Of course, it is much heavier and takes longer to look up each word.
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on 27 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the first edition of a dictionary providing translation between English and German, published by Oxford University Press. Described as compact it is quite bulky and probably beyond what you want for travelling. It follows the standard format of one section defining German to English translation, and the second providing English to German. In terms of breadth of vocabulary it is superb, and I would suggest way beyond what a tourist would need, and possibly sufficient for A Level. The verb table at the back also helps with all those irregular verbs.

My only objection really about this dictionary is I am unsure the level of reader it is aimed at. It is bulky and has a load of cultural history in the middle - if you're travelling this is wasted space as you would probably have a travel guide. However, there is a section of ready made phrases aimed perfectly at the traveller. Conversely, the translations are meticulous with all words being provided with pronunciations using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and the most common words being highlighted.

If your needs are somewhere between the two (perhaps GCSE level, or post-grad education) then this is great, although I wish the cultural history bit had been removed. The grammar at the back is quite thin as well, but I am not a regular user of that in a dictionary anyway.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a decent enough dictionary for English to German and German to English. Nevertheless, as other as others remarked this is a `compact' dictionary rather than a mini or pocket version. The book is rather `weighty' and something you would nearby, rather than portable and carry about. The dictionary layout is good and intuitive and navigating should be relatively easy. There are additional useful trappings contained within such as grammar, cultural nuances and bundled in you get 12 months' access to Oxford Language Dictionaries that is useful to have, these are just a couple of examples. However, as another reviewer has pointed out there is a clear lack of `pronunciation' guide.

With the wide spread and use of iPhones, windows, android and smart devices people will probably say well a dictionary App will be all we need; I would disagree as some search can be complex, at times, and need further investigation. Therefore, the tactile nature of dictionary is the better choice.

For me this dictionary is good for study, business and beyond.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Dictionaries described as 'compact' often fit into a pocket; this German - English, English - German dictionary doesn't quite fit into that category. There is also the argument that the Internet has made dictionaries largely defunct, but the internet is packed with misinformation.

Buying this book entitles the purchaser to a year's access to Oxford Language Dictionaries Online subscription service, which rules out inaccurate sources of information, mistranslations and misunderstandings.
One frustration commonly encountered in large language dictionaries is of scanning pages of relatively obscure words looking for a simple key word like 'heavy'; in both sections these important words, 2000 in all, are marked with a key symbol to make them easier to spot.

The two dictionary sections are separated by some very interesting and useful content (in English). There's a guide to festivals and holidays in German-speaking countries, an alphabetically listed guide to German culture, covering such mysteries as using Entwerter ( compulsory ticket cancelling machines on transport) and why you shouldn't sit at a Stammtisch in a pub if you are a tourist. There's guidance on written German, also a brief useful phrase section. Right at the very back are those standards of every German language guide, verb tables.

Overall, this is an excellent guide, up to date (one key word is 'Handy' for a mobile phone) and useful.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this dictionary to supplement Oxford's Take Off in German, which is a good, if somewhat scary, introduction to the language including spoken German. It has limited vocabulary, which sometimes left me struggling to understand - it's useful that German speakers often know quite a bit of English, but I feel it's rude to assume that they will.

The dictionary is compact in the sense that it packs a lot on, not that it's physically small. It actually is fairly small, at rather less than the size of a house brick, but it's pretty heavy. Because of the nature of a bilingual dictionary, there's a need to fit in two lists of words (German and English), together with a brief summary of German grammar. In the middle of the book, there are some notes on German culture and on how to write letters and text (SMS) in German and English. This last section for example tells German speakers that "3sum" is an English text abbreviation for "threesome", which seems slightly ambiguous territory for a dictionary to tread.

You probably wouldn't want to carry a dictionary like this with you everywhere, but it's useful to have on your desk or in your suitcase. If nothing else, you can go back over the new words you've learned each day and make sure you understand the sense correctly.

There is a code hidden inside the book (and it's not obvious where until you visit the website) that gives you a year of online access to the dictionary and associated language services, which in many circumstances might be more convenient than having the book with you.
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I studied German at school many moons ago; having not had to use it for a very long time, I can safely say that my knowledge of the language is somewhat rusty. My current job, however, requires an increasing ability to use bits and bobs of German and, my old Collins vocabulary book no longer being up to the job, I thought I would have a look at this compact dictionary from the Oxford University Press.

Compact is, perhaps, not the best word to describe it, though: it's quite a chunky tome at nearly 1000 pages. As a desktop dictionary, it is comprehensive and has some very useful sections on German grammar (although if you don't have at least a passing knowledge of it in the first place, I can see certain sections being a bit confusing).

There is also an interesting, if slightly bemusing, section on German culture with an associated small phrasebook. I say bemusing because the book is far too big to take anywhere as a tourist guide, and much of the information in it isn't touristy (how useful is it to know the ins-and-outs of German unemployment benefits when on holiday, for instance?).

My main issue with the dictionary (and the phrasebook) is the pronunciation guide or, rather, the useful lack of one. Perhaps it's just me, but the official phonetic symbols are very difficult to translate (as I find them to be in any dictionary), and the assertion that "The pronunciation of German is largely regular, and phonetic transcriptions have only been given where additional help is needed" is of no help whatsoever. There are many odd (to a non-German speaker) pronunciations that are not explained, and I could only manage some of them because I had studied it once before - a complete novice would be really struggling. There is no guidance at all in the phrasebook section, the place where you need it most of all if it is to be of any real use.

If you are looking for a good, solid dictionary to cross-check spellings and terms, this is an excellent resource. If you want to know how to pronounce something, though, a phrasebook would be a better bet. Still, I can see this book being very well used.
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VINE VOICEon 27 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really liked this dictionary.

Its size is easy to handle, though being about 7x5 inches x 2 deep, it's not a pocket version.

I found it a very good compromise between handleability and content. Testing it for colloquial vocabulary by looking through a book of Jokes in German ("Tausend Neue Witze zum Totlachen" - a series still available on Amazon Deutschland starting (today at any rate) at 0.98 Euros), I found it managed to answer quite a few of the obscure words and meanings that such a work throws up. It coped easily with more conventional novels and newspapers. Not absolutely all words turned up; but then nor did they in my Collins.

I found it easy to find items and to read them, the typeface and layout being particularly clear and easy to follow.

I've used a large Collins German Dictionary for some years and it's been fine, but unwieldy. I find this Oxford one positively refreshing. It's also more up to date, and has interesting extras like a long section on "Life and Culture in German Speaking Countries" and a summary of grammar. Perhaps these make it specially suitable for students or starters in the language.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Compact Oxford German dictionary covers German/English and English/German with well laid out pages which are easy to read. I was very impressed that my 2013 edition has additional information such as tips on phonetic symbols, abbreviations, grammar, useful phrases etc but when I saw that it also has guides on letter writing, German culture, emails, filling in online forms, and even a glossary of German SMS abbreviations I was bowled over. It also includes 12 months' access to Oxford Language Dictionaries Online at oxfordlanguagedictionaries.com

Despite proclaiming itself to be `compact' this dictionary is still going to feel pretty hefty if you're thinking of carrying it around with you. It's around the size of a normal paperback book but roughly three times as thick and heavy. I think the size makes it best suited for reference use, or study at home rather than taking on travels abroad. However it is still very good and easy to recommend.
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VINE VOICEon 2 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Dictionaries, are essential when learning a language, but often, you need something reasonably portable, which has a bit more than just a translation of words from one language to another. When I was at school, dictionaries often came with a summary of grammar, regular and irregular verbs. And this dictionary has that. There is also a section in the middle, which covers the main festivals, general culture, tips on letter or postcard writing, common text abbreviations, and a phrase finder. The phrase finder is divided into useful sections, such as places to stay, shopping, time etc....

I do like this dictionary. It is reasonably heavy to be carrying back and forth in a schoolbag, but would be invaluable to the High School student studying German. Those covering German at University may need something more substantial, but this would still be very useful for day to day use.
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VINE VOICEon 11 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My daughters school recommend Collins easy learning German dictionary for year 7, or similar so tried this product. However I found it to be too big and heavy (900 pages). Compact, which is different to pocket size which I hadn't taken into account.

Designed to meet the needs of students tourists and all those who require quick and reliable answers to translation questions. Besides clear guidance on selecting the most appropriate translation, it provides illustrative examples to help with construction and usage, and precise information on grammar and style.

I have gone on to purchase the easy learning German dictionary about a third cheaper and slightly smaller at 600 pages. This one is designed specifically for anyone starting to learn German and therefore best for our current needs.
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