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on 27 December 2008
It is a great idea to have a visual dictionary, but this book follows the flawed approach of many publishers who want to put out a single product in as many languages as possible. It uses the same set of pictures and words no matter what the language is!

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.
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on 27 June 2010
I am currently learning some Hindi in preparation for a trip to India later this year; it is a language I've got much interest in owing to my passion for Indian culture - I'd already picked up some basics from the lyrics of various Bollywood films! However I have mixed feelings about this Visual Dictionary - below are my personal positives and negatives.

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.
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on 13 February 2009
As a complete beginner learning Hindi I found this to be an accessible and user friendly reference to Hindi vocabulary, using both Hindi script and transliterated Hindi. The book is divided into categories e.g. shopping, food, study, travel, work etc. enabling quick access to words relevant to a number of purposes. There is also a helpful reference guide and index at the back of the book. I would definitely recommend this book to learners of the Hindi language.
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on 3 August 2010
I agree with some other reviwers here, the product does not reflect the cultural context of Hindi language. In Hindi you will need to learn how to catch a rickshaw, how to shop for a shawl, how to order Indian food at a restaurant and so on... nothing like that is shown. A major problem is that for most Western items (those used in the book) Hindi speakers only use English. The music secrtion, for examples, gives a vocabulary for Western genres and instruments. For those, Hindi speakers use English, they will use Hindi only for Indian instruments and genres. The translations also make me think they were done by some English speaker or some Hindi speaker who is not keen on reflecting the everyday language. It's the same old problem with Hindi books, some words are mainly chosen from the Urdu and English vocabulary in colloquial Hindi, learning a Sanskritic equivalent will make you sound funny in Hindi. For example, nowadays, no one says 'chaalak' for 'driver', even in small villages this is happening, they will say 'driver'.
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on 3 August 2011
I'm sending my copy back immediately. I wish I'd read the reviews here before buying this!

I wanted a book that would help me in India, not describe the minutiae of British life in Hindi. Unless you're keen on learning how to write in Hindi items that don't even have Hindi names (i.e. English in Hindi pronunciation).

So, editors, back to the drawing board - you may have thought you scored by producing the same book in all languages, but really, this is not worth buying at any price. Too bad, because the principle is sound.
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on 5 May 2014
I love this book and have already learned a great amount of vocabulary from it as it gives the Romanised script as well as the Devenagari (which I haven't quite got to grips with yet!) I love the lay out and look of the book but I do have to agree with a review I read before purchasing that it's not been individualised for the country(ies) it represents. For example, there are no descriptions of Indian-style dress, including sari or dhoti; it's only westernised clothes that are mentioned. The same for the food/transport section; there are no Indian-specific food or transportation items mentioned. It is for this reason I haven't given the book 5 stars, which, but for the issues mentioned, I definitely would have!

It is still a good book though and would help anyone wanting to learn Hindi as there are 1000's of words/phrases in it.
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on 2 April 2010
First things first: This is a really attractive looking dictionary. Every page has nice colourful photos and it's very easy to read. It would be perfect for kids, as it's so bright and clear. Also, it is an excellent price.

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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on 13 June 2015
Could have been better if at least included a chapter on commonly used verbs and abstract/general nouns that don't fall under any given category. And yes some of the words are rather archaic sounding.
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on 22 June 2012
This dictionary is a useful tool for anybody learning Hindi.
Firstly it is easy to find words you're looking for as they are classified by themes. Secondly it contains up to date modern terms. It is also pleasantly illustrated and it is easy to "dip" into it from time to time just to check words or to learn a few new words. I'm very pleased I've bought this book.
Namaste!
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on 19 June 2013
Wonderful coverage of Hindi. Previous teaching aids in the language have been more confined and dictionaries much more discouraging. This is just what learners need.
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