15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2009
This is less a simple dictionary and more an inclusive book of Tagalog that also happens to be a first class dictionary. What I mean by that is this: as well as the dictionary (more heavily-weighted towards Tagalog-English than English-Tagalog, but that's great for my purposes), this work also contains a nicely detailed section on Tagalog grammar. It has a coda that includes songs and poems in Tagalog, and a section on Tagalog morphology, which is, of course, famously complex. On top of that, there is even a brief outline of Baybayin, the pre-Hispanic Tagalog writing system. What more could you ask for?
There are very few flaws, if any, although occasionally looking up the odd Tagalog word has been problematic, due to the obvious morphological issues. My purpose in buying this text, and in learning Tagalog, is this: I speak quite reasonable Indonesian/Malay, and I find it a wonderfully simple and interesting language. It is quite closely related to Tagalog, and to the Philippine languages. Although it displays a much reduced grammatical complexity as compared to Tagalog, Indonesian also has a relatively large number of verbal affixes, some of which are potentially unnecessary. My question when learning Indonesian was, where did these affixes come from, and why are they there, when the vast majority of the meaning is in the root of the verb? To find the answer, I decided to look a more morphologically complex language where the affixes add a large degree of meaning - in terms of mood, number and so on. So far, it's been an interesting academic voyage through the Austronesian languages, and using this dictionary, with primary texts, has brought me a very large step closer to my aim.
I am also very interested in the aboriginal languages of Taiwan, and when I was living there, I picked up a number of books on two native languages (Seediq and Paiwan), the books being in Chinese. My Chinese is quite good, but trying to understand the western Austronesian focus system (unique in the world's languages) is difficult even in English, and it is exceedingly hard to find English language materials dealing with the particular languages I wanted to learn. In order to gain a good working understanding of the Austronesian system, if not the particulars of the Formosan languages, I thought Tagalog would be a good idea, and so it is proving to be. The grammar section of this dictionary is good enough for this purpose, and that should tell you how good it is generally.
And of course, Tagalog is a useful language by itself, and another aim of mine is to be able to read newspapers, encyclopedias or novels in it. This is why I say that this is more like a handbook of Tagalog than a simple dictionary: if you had only the aim of studying Tagalog for a job, or to go on holiday, then you'd get a lot out of this book. It's very useful.
It's also printed very nicely, with high quality bindings. Aesthetically and academically, it can hardly be faulted. I therefore recommend it highly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2012
the book seems to be informative. I just received it today and did an instant peek already :D and actually it was a foreign friend who will use it.But as described,it could be so much helpful depending on use. It wont be ordered for critiscm,right? So far,this dictionary satisfy me and i am recommending it to those who's wanting a much elaborated dictio.Some words are slightly old fashioned but that helps too especially if it is to be use by a native Filipino. The phrases and stresses are well done too.Very good book!