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on 8 October 2013
It might seem extravagant to buy this great breezeblock of a dictionary when there are so many pocket-sized versions available, but for the serious student of Italian, this is really the only way to go. There is so much content here about language in use, so beautifully printed in easy-to-read fonts, with a brand-new section on business and financial terminology, that will be a boon to anybody trying to penetrate the labyrinth that is the Italian legal document. Molto bello!
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on 5 February 2010
Oxford-Paravia Italian Dictionary
I bought the Collins dictionary a couple of years ago, shortly after starting to learn Italian. I assumed that bulk alone would ensure that it would meet pretty well all my requirements on the Italian front for, well, the rest of my life! And it was OK to start with, as long as there was the de Mauro online facility available to look up any Italian words not covered by the Collins. However, de Mauro disappeared last year and the shortcomings of the Collins have become increasingly evident. Too many words that appear in Italian books (e.g. by Ammaniti) that I try to read are simply not included. I have therefore had to buy the Oxford-Paravia dictionary, that is physically similar in size, but has a 1000 more pages - with better coverage to match. Apart from a wider vocabulary, one only has to compare the depth of treatment of a key Italian word like "avere" to see that the Oxford-Paravia book is on a different level to the Collins.
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on 1 January 2013
I was eagerly awaiting the release of this dictionary, thinking a "Complete & Unabridged" Collins Italian-English dictionary would be at least as good as the superb Collins Concise German-English Dictionary. Sadly it's not a patch on it. If you want a dictionary for reading Italian literature, you're far better off with Lucio Nicolato's much cheaper offering.

When the Collins was finally released I happened to be reading Chapter 22 of Manzoni's "I promessi sposi". In the first passage I tried, a mere 35 words, the Collins failed on 5 that Nicolato recognised: lasciala, guarda, sveglierà, chiederti, dille. These failures look like poor Kindle implementation but the underlying dictionary seems also to have less coverage than Nicolato: a little later it failed with seco - OK, a literary word, but Nicolato had it, and it's just the sort of word I'm looking for from a "Complete & Unabridged" dictionary.

The Collins has the advantage that it gives pronunciation and examples of usage, though to my mind the latter manage to be both less comprehensive and less discriminating than those in the Concise German-English offering. It also gives a verb list and a "Language in use" section (both of limited use for a Kindle dictionary).

Overall, a big disappointment. Nicolato will continue as my default Italian dictionary and when it lets me down I'll turn to the excellent lo Zingarelli, free with the Kindle. If I use the Collins at all it will be rarely - perhaps to check the uses of a tricky preposition.

Update, 12 January 2013. Kindle implementation for the Collins Concise German-English was done by Intangible Press; Collins did it themselves for this Italian dictionary. Since the Kindle lacks any capability to analyse words, every verb conjugation etc needs to be added to the word list in the underlying dictionary if it is to be recognised. No one does this perfectly but both Intangible Press and Lucio Nicolato seem to put more effort into it than Collins.

See also the one star review of the Collins Unabridged Spanish-English Dictionary by "Javier" on amazon.com ("a lousy job identifying verbs"), where he recommends instead the smaller HarperCollins Spanish-English College Dictionary - Kindleised by Intangible Press, not HarperCollins.

Further update, 15 Aug 2013. When I wrote the above review I was using a Kindle. I have now acquired a Paperwhite, which offers much improved dictionary functionality: if a word is not found in the default dictionary the PW automatically tries the others for that language. This being the case, for the PW (not the Kindle) I find the Collins an acceptable default dictionary when supported by Nicolato and lo Zingarelli, albeit one that remains somewhat disappointing in view of its price and provenance.

Note that if you have more than two dictionaries for a language you can prioritise these on the PW by setting each as your default dictionary in sequence, ending of course with the one you actually want as default.

Yet further update, 16 November 2013. It appears from a couple of customer reviews that dictionary functionality has gone backwards on the All-New PW. If this matters to you go for the Previous Generation PW, which is cheaper anyway.
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on 16 October 2000
Although initially sceptical at the sheer size of the dictionary, it has become absolutely invaluable in assisting my wife and I in our quest to learn and understand Italian. The book is now, without doubt, the most thumbed book in our possession.
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on 15 July 2002
This is a tome and a half - but then it does cater for Italian Translation, and then English Translation, so you can expect it to be quite fat! You won't ever need to buy another Italian dictionary again once you own this one. Content is excellent; each entry gives the word, A-Z, then provides several usages of the word, in different contexts, as a short phrase. Also included are colloquialisms, and the best part is the middle section with several pages of translated sentences, again in Italian then English, designed for conducting business, writing and replying to correspondance, and other useful categories. Overall I am extremely pleased with my copy of the Collins Italian Dictionary, and am confident it will help my studies no end....
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on 20 February 2013
I don't know why other reviewers gave this low marks - it's so much better than all the others available on kindle. It gives you much more information and idiomatic phrases. It may not be suitable for beginners as it does not include all verb conjugations so sometimes you have to work out what verb your word comes from but for more advanced learners it is excellent. I have been waiting ages for this to be available on kindle and I am not disappointed.
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on 31 October 2004
When learning a foreign language it is essential that the reference material that you refer to contains words, phrases, sentences and language context so that you know what you are saying in which situation! This dictionary provides all of that ... and more!
In the centre section of this hardback edition is a great source of exam reference material and language examples dealing with all things from writing a letter of application to essential set phrases for essay writing! I am positive this book helped me achieve my B grade and would advise to those who are laeaning this particular language purchase this book from amazon.co.uk as it is a must buy item !
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on 6 January 2013
A previous reviewer has quite rightly pointed out that this dictionary has weaknesses. But I think that the reviewer has overemphasised these weaknesses in comparison to its strengths. And I certainly think that it is worth more than the two-star rating that the reviewer has given it. If I could, I would give it three and a half stars. But as I can't do that, I'll be generous and give it four rather than three.

The main weakness of this dictionary is indeed that it fails to recognise more words than the Nicolato Electronic Italian Dictionary does. For example, in the story I'm currently reading in Italian on my Kindle from "Tutto Sherlock Holmes", this dictionary does not recognise "proporrei" as being from the verb proporre. (But it does recognise "indossammo" as being from indossare.)

The Nicolato Electronic Italian Dictionary does have a higher successful recognition rate, but it is not perfect. For example it doesn't recognise "sia" as being from essere, and it sometimes tells you that a word is part of a verb without telling you what that verb means.

By the way, if the dictionary does not recognise a word, why could it not at least take you to the nearest word in the dictionary? Neither of these dictionaries does that. At least if you could press the "full definition" option you could then search around without having to leave the book you're reading and go into the dictionaries section of the Kindle and type the word in. (If you have to do that, it's as quick to turn to a print dictionary.)

The previous reviewer acknowledges that there are two good points about this dictionary, but I think that these points to some extent outweigh the weaknesses and should be emphasised. Firstly, the entries in this Collins dictionary are much fuller than those in the Nicolato. Secondly, the fact that the entries include the pronunciation gives it a big advantage over the Nicolato. If I come across a word that is new to me, I want to know which syllable is stressed: the Collins gives me that information.

For the moment at least, I have set this Collins as my default Italian dictionary in place of the Nicolato, which I was using before. But whether the Collins is worth the price difference really depends on how highly you value the point about pronunciation.

Phil Webster.
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on 23 May 2014
Excellent dictionary. Very comprehensive, gives much more detail and explanation than others. This is an essential dictionary if you are studying Italian.
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on 5 October 2001
Absolutely the best Italian - English Dictionary. You can always find what you are looking for, as far as no technical words are concerned.
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