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Azerbaijani-English/English-Azerbaijani Dictionary & Phrasebook (Hippocrene Dictionary & Phrasebook) Paperback – 15 Jul 1999
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About the Author
Nicholas Awde is a writer and regional consultant based in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Peter Maghashyan is a freelance journalist, analyst, and consultant on regional, political, and economic issues. He is based in Yerevan, Armenia.
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This is without doubt a very good start for the traveller to the country and the obvious benefit being that the Azeri language uses the Latin alphabet so its not that hard to pick up. Just a tip but you may want to have a look at some Turkish dictionaries or phrase books to start yourself off with (as they may be more easily available) as it is pretty much the same language.
Yes the purists will complain that Azeri Latin script isn't used but anyone with basic intelligence will soon get the hang of the easy transliterated script used. The dictionary has a good range of vocabulary and even some idiomatic expressions. The phrasebook section is surprisingly comprehensive across a wide range of situations and subjects.
My only small disappointment was that the grammar section was so brief. Overall I have no hesitation in recommending this as an excellent overview of Azerbaijani for the tourist or business traveller.
Please publish it again with the correct alphabet. Then it will be a great resource. There are few available here.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
1) The font is inaccurate. I can not imagine it would have been that difficult to print the book with a font pack that includes the 4-5 different letters in the Azeri language. Instead, the authors attempt to write the Azeri words with a sort of phonetic text with German-language characters (for example, they use an "A" with an umlauts, instead of the correct local character). This can become quite confusing when I have been training to read the signs locally.
2) Even accepting the poor font choice, I find that the words are not spelled correctly often times. Again, I believe this is the product of trying to write the words phonetically, rather than as they should be spelled correct. Imajin if sumwon rote an inglish fraze book like that.
3) I found that the actual translations are not really the accepted normal words. There are some very simple phrases (like "thank you") in this book which are not at all the commonly accepted translation. I have become a very basic speaker of the Azeri language, but I see translations in this book which I have literally never seen nor heard while living here. I will not say they are incorrect, but an odd adaptation at the very least.
Combining all of these things, I feel that it would be better to try to find another book rather than this one. I would have given it 1 star, however it might prove a helpful reference in some cases (and due to the lack of alternative options). Azeri is not exactly a very common language. In fact, I even find errors in the Google translations, so I can not begrudge the author too much.
I wish there was a Rick Steves or Lonely Planet Azeri book available, as they have produced other excellent travel companions; they are, however, absent.