Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Collins Unabridged Italian to English (One Way) Dictionary: Complete & Unabridged (Collins Complete and Unabridged) (Italian Edition) (Kindle Edition)
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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