Hindi-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary (DK Bilingual Dictionaries) Paperback – 2 Jun 2008
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Top customer reviews
Pro: This book is undeniably nice to look at and is a joy to casually flip through. The huge range of areas covered, organised thematically, is a big plus point. The giving of words in both Roman and Devanagari is particularly useful, as is the brief section at the end covering common phrases and useful grammatical words. Additionally the dictionary is handily sized and quite cheap.
Con: Like the other reviewers here I find the whole 'one size fits all approach' of these Visual Dictionaries to be rather disconcerting. The publishers are to be commended on releasing dictionaries for Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi etc. rather than just the usual suspects (German, French, Spanish etc.); however all the books are almost exactly the same and clearly designed with European languages in mind. Surely the books should be tailored for each language as appropriate. For example the family section is well suited for European languages which generally have a limited range of terms for relatives but is ill-suited for Hindi with its myriad terms for each specific relative.
Another quibble I have is the fact that despite 90% + of the terms in the book being nouns, their gender is not given (Hindi has two genders - masculine and feminine). This oversight is hard to fathom seeing as you will need to know a noun's gender when inflecting it for number, adjectives etc. Surely the compilers could have put an `m' and an `f' in brackets after each noun?
Overall this dictionary is worth buying for aspiring `Hindi-wallahs' but only in conjunction with other resources.
So there is, for example, a spread on architecture. Lovely big picture of the inside and outside of a massive cathedral. This page is chock full of useless words such as: frieze, spire, pediment, neoclassical, choir. The page also has a set of words with no Hindi equivalent: rococo, baroque, renaissance, gothic, art nouveau, and art deco. The learner needs a much more practical approach, based on commonly used words.
Language is intimately connected with culture, and the one-style fits all approach tries to give language without context. Or worse, you get an Asian language taught using European images and culture.
I'm sure some people will find the book useful, and because the price is fairly low I have given it two stars.
However, this dictionary is clearly from a range of identical dictionarys in different languages which all have the same pictures. How can I tell? Well, there are lots of words in this book which are completely useless, because it turns out that the Hindi for them is the same as the English. This is largely because there are many words that aren't culturally relevant, or are taken from other languages anyway.
Nevertheless, because it is so cheap and well laid out, I would say that it is still worth buying. There are quite a few useful words in it, and it's nice to have such an attractive and easy to navigate reference book. If it was any more expensive, then all the dud words would make it not worth it, but at this price I would still reccomend it to Hindi learners.
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Most recent customer reviews
Very good value as a prompt.
Firstly it is easy to find words you're looking for as they are classified by themes.Read more
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