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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
READ BELOW * FOR COMMENT RE KINDLE 4 suitability
This must be the third Italian-English Kindle dictionary I have looked at and confess to being even more impressed with this than with the Merriam Webster, which I thought was good, even at nearly £5. However, this is MUCH bigger, and consequently contains a great many more entries and more complex/subtler definitions and, currently, is less than half the price.

The earlier reviews are right in pointing out the problem of getting translation of words preceded by say "l', del'," etc. This IS a problem when reading an Italian text on the Kindle as, to get the definition, one has to go into the dictionary as main text to find the word - in the world of Kindle ease, that is an inconvenience. However, those reviews seem to have missed something regarding their other key complaints relating to infinitives plus pronouns (eg chiederla, farsi, dirmi, mangiarlo all of which are included).

For those who need convincing of the process for this particular function:

If you use the dictionary with an Italian text on the Kindle and place the cursor next to an infinitive/pronoun compound (eg attraversarlo) it gives "attraversarlo Verb - compound of attraversare and lo;" click on 'return' for 'more', you get a page with that explanation at the top, plus other variant forms below. Use the 5 way to scroll down one line to 'attraversare' and you get "attraversare Verb - to cross, to go through, to span;" etc. (To be clear: you do NOT have to scroll through pages and pages of text - the process is very quick, far quicker than handling a hard copy.)

Similarly with non-infinitive verb forms in a text eg "erano". When the cursor is next to it we get "erano Verb form - third person plural, imperfect tense of essere;" Select 'more' and we get a page with that repeated at the top, but scroll the cursor one line to essere and the definition is given. With two touches on 'back' you return to the text you were reading.

The specific verb form explanation is not ALWAYS provided. For example, with 'subivano' in the same text, I get "conjugation of subire", with no indication of tense or person. However, going into 'more' and following the above procedure, I get the definition of the infinitive. Which verbs get a more thorough explanation seems a bit random, but the fuller treatment is applied to many. This process is NOT time consuming: from reading 'subivano' to finding the definition and being back in the Italian text is a 30 second process, if that. The only minor inconvenience might be that the cursor resets to the top of the page of the Italian text.

Using it as a straightforward dictionary not linked to an Italian text in Kindle: type in 'attraversalo' and the process follows as above. I think it's also worth mentioning that for a word like 'farsi' you could be looking for a long time in a conventional dictionary until you realised it might be a compound: this one tells you it is a compound of 'fare' and 'si' and the definition is seconds away.

Others say this isn't perfect (things rarely are!) But for me anything less than 5* would be churlish: it's the best I've seen by some margin and at £2.14! This would get my vote at 3 or 4 times the price! If only there was a similar English to Italian version: I'd snap it up even at a tenner! And after 3 weeks in Italy, I found this incredibly useful and easy to access when set as my main dictionary. It is infinitely more inclusive than any pocket/travel dictionary I have come across, as was illustrated repeatedly when friends vainly searched for a word or compound verb form in their hard copy. Yes, pronunciation/stress guidance would make this even better, but that doesn't take anything away from its inclusiveness and remarkable cheapness.

* I upgraded to K4 recently: the `edition' which prompted the above review had been on my K3 and I transferred it to the new K4.

When I upgraded to K4, the dictionary could NOT be set as the primary or Italian dictionary without `throwing away' my original download, which I did, and buying the newer version. Then it can be set as the primary ITALIAN dictionary ie if you are reading an English book, you can still use the English dictionary you have chosen: the Italian one only kicks in in Italian texts.

BUT IT DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK IN ALL ITALIAN TEXTS. WHEN READING A PENGUIN BOOK OF ITALIAN SHORT STORIES, AND SCROLLING THROUGH TO HIGHLIGHT A WORD FOR DEFINITION, IT'S THE ENGLISH DICTIONARY WHICH IS FUNCTIONING!!!! TRYING TO LOOK UP 'SEI' (6) IN AN ITALIAN TEXT GETS AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEFINITION TO DO WITH WHALES.

YET THE ITALIAN DICTIONARY FUNCTIONS IN 'EASY ITALIAN READER: A 3 PART TEXT FOR BEGINNING STUDENTS'. IN THAT TEXT IT WORKS PRETTY MUCH AS DESCRIBED ABOVE.

SUCH UNPREDICTABLE USE IS UNACCEPTABLE. IF I'M READING AN ITALIAN LANGUAGE STUDY BOOK, THE K4 RECOGNISES THAT AS AN ENGLISH TEXT SO I CAN"T ACCESS THE ITALIAN DICTIONARY AUTOMATICALLY FOR ITALIAN WORDS IN EXERCISES.

AS A STRAIGHTFORWARD LOOKING-UP-THE-WORD USE, THE ABSENCE OF A KEYBOARD MAKES IT A LITTLE CLUNKY, BUT I CAN LIVE WITH THAT.

Still 5* for the Dictionary on K3: it's the best I've found, but I'm really not sure it's even 3 stars any more on the new K4, largely due to lack of predictability: if I want to buy an Italian based book, I want to know the dictionary will work: at the moment it seems it might, but might not! (The move away from a primary dictionary on K4 is probably the key: the K4 will not allow you to choose this, or any other non-English Dictionary as the main one) How it works on the Kindle Keyboard, I can't say, though if f that is configured as K4 is, it will be just the same.

So from being the most enthusiastic advocate of this dictionary, I now find myself thinking I wouldn't even buy it! NEW BUYERS ON THE LATEST DEVICES, BEWARE! (I have returned the dictionary, in fact.)
PS Sorry about all the upper case: not really shouting, just trying to emphasise!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2012
I know some reviewers have had some issues with reliability on the Kindle 4 but I've just downloaded it to mine and so far it's worked very well. I have only tried it with Italian texts ("Il gatto con gli stivali" and "Corriere della serra" for the Kindle) but so far it is exactly what I've been looking for. Following the directions on the product page I've set it as my default dictionary and, when the cursor is directed to a word, the English translation appears. Perfect!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2012
I love the fact the my Kindle knows of its own accord that I'm reading an Italian book and automatically selects the correct dictionary.

But ... it's a little cumbersome. If you click on a word that is a part of another word it takes you to a definition of that part (e.g: "volta" = "second-person singular imperative of voltare". You then have to click the cursor to the word whose meaning you need (e.g. "voltare"), or hunt around in the dictionary for that word (which may be as many as 12 pages away). And at times the definition isn't that helpful ("voltassero" = "conjugation of voltare" - well, which conjugation, please?).

I'm sure that someone could work out how to make this simpler, so that one could click directly to the meaning of the word.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2011
This is a seriously helpful dictionary for reading Italian text. It has an impressive number of entries and certainly beats the more expensive Merriam-Webster hands down since it doesn't stick to the words you are most likely to know anyway.

It even manages words with eg. ne added to the end although, like all dictionaries in baulks at having instant access to words that start with l'. I don't find this an enormous problem since I just find any other word on the page which does appear in the dictionary, press the symbol button which opens the actual dictionary itself and then look up the word I originally wanted to find.

For those with lazy thumbs, you may object that conjugations or plurals of words will display only the main word without its translation necessitating a press of the symbol key to let you look up the main word within the dictionary but you will bless the ability to find conjugations when trying to look up an irregular verb.
This is an incredibly convenient reference book and could justify a higher price than its current. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the author decides to reprice this at some stage, so if you are thinking of getting it, I would act soon.)
PS. I was getting bogged down with having to look up the root of a conjugated word eg stizze is defined as the plural of stizza - but I've just found that instead of having to turn to the word stizza in the dictionary, I only have to put the cursor next to the word stizza within the definition of stizze and the translation will appear. Further thumbs up!
PPS. One unfortunate drawback with this is that that if I have another Italian Dictionary on my kindle, this one won't remain my Primary Dictionary, how ever often I set it. I actually have to archive the other dictionaries if I want this one to remain my prime dictionary. A great pity!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2011
There are now at least three Italian dictionaries available for the Kindle. All can be used as primary dictionaries (you highlight the Italian word you are unsure about and your Kindle provides you with the English translation) and all share some common faults. These faults are an inability to understand a word with "l" in front of it (eg l'astronave = the spaceship) and a similar inability to understand a verb infinitive with a pronoun attached (chiederla). It seems that I am not alone in finding this a disappointment - see the excellent review above by DrPenn. Until these issues are addressed I cannot see myself giving any dictionary the full 5 stars.

Where this dictionary differs from the one I used previously on my Kindle is the file size - a massive 14MB here against 1MB on the other one. This allows for a vastly greater number of translations and, just as importantly, a vastly greater explanation of each translation. So, for now, 4 stars, and I hope to be reviewing a dictionary with these issues addressed in the near future so that I can award the full 5 stars.

Edit 27 April 2012. I have now bought a Kindle Touch. Whilst my comments above still hold good for the Kindle Keyboard, this dictionary does not work AT ALL with the Kindle Touch. If you look at the Product Details for this item, you will see it says "Language English". As a result, you can only install this as a default ENGLISH dictionary. Not much use, really. For use with the Kindle Touch I found that Italian-English Dictionary (Italian Edition) works much better.
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... when you highlight a verb on the Kindle Paperwhite it often tells you kindly that it is the third person single of the verb (so and so), which is nice, BUT it does not tell you what the verb (so and so) means! And there is no possibility to click that verb to ask it. All that is needed is to include the short definition of the infinitive in parentheses after the mention of the verb, e.g. I would prefer to see "accesi verb first person singular past historic of the verb accendere (to light, to ignite, to kindle, to turn on a device)" - but you don't get the useful bit in the parentheses.
Another problem is that quite often the first letter is missing from the definition of the word, or there is spurious punctuation such as a hanging parenthesis. I am guessing that this is because some automatic script has processed some word bank to produce the dictionary but the script is not quite bright enough to cope with some situations.
These make it quite annoying to use on the Kindle Paperwhite - perhaps it works better on the older devices - I don't know.
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I got this after being disappointed with the Collins Unabridged Collins Unabridged Italian to English (One Way) Dictionary: Complete & Unabridged (Collins Complete and Unabridged) (Italian Edition) but it was even less useful, chiefly in having a smaller word-list.

On my Kindle Paperwhite, it also often fails to give the English translation -- which is the chief point of having an Italian dictionary in the first place. Instead, it identifies the verb form (eg third-person reflexive) and then refers you to the entry where you will find the English meaning. However, there isn't a link to do that -- you would have to re-enter the verb in its first-person form. That slows down your reading greatly.

A Kindle dictionary should work seamlessly, and this has too many seams. There is obviously still some way to go before looking words up on a Kindle is quick and foolproof.

Three stars, however, since it's cheap, and works on a basic level
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on 8 August 2013
Having not read an Italian book for 20 years I started reading 'Le avventure di Pinocchio' and definitely needed a dictionary. The reviews suggested that the Collins would give pronunciation which I thought would be useful. Well, it did but only for the odd word that I could find in it. I appreciate that Pinocchio is an old text and didn't expect too much but it was an exception rather than the rule to find a word that I was looking for. I then bought the Nicolato and I was pleasantly surprised that almost every word I searched for was there. Sometimes you have to look a little further, for instance for the infinitive of the verb. Although some translations refer to modern times and are clearly not the right word for an older text, I found the dictionary very helpful. At the price it is very good value for money. I'll look at the Collins only when I need to find the pronunciation of a word.
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on 9 September 2012
The prompt lookup makes reading a foreign language much less of an efforty than it would otherwise be. Contrary to some comments, the dictionary works perfectly on a Kindle Touch (I imagine it is cumbersome on other Kindles), and gives definitions of the verb for most (but not all) conjugated forms. The exceptions are indeed annoying, eg. plurals of past participles are simply recorded as 'plural of X'. The word 'anche' is certainly present.

I'd love to see the idea carried through: to truly compendious dictionaries which gave the right definition every time, including etymologies and articulating a word when you looked it up, fixing its pronunciation in your mind.
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on 6 August 2013
This dictionary has its limitations. In addition to those mentioned by other reviewers, it offers no help with pronunciation/emphasis and little with regard to how words are used in phrases. In these respects, the Collins dictionary is superior, but it is fatally flawed in that its claim to be «complete and unabridged» is very misleading indeed. The vocabulary is so limited that I find that the likelihood of it including a word with which I am unfamiliar (or cannot guess at) is very low. It is so dismal in this respect that I am reverting to the Nicolato as my default dictionary: it has a much better hit rate.
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