Concise Dictionary of Twenty-Six Languages in Simultaneous TranslationConcise Dictionary of Twenty-Six Languages in Simultaneous Translation
by P. H. Bergman
Hardcover: 406 pages
Publisher: Outlet; Avenel 1981 ed edition (November, 1981)
Reviewer: Erika Mitchell (E. Calais, VT USA)
This is a set of word lists of 1,000 entries in 26 languages. As a dictionary, it's not very satisfying since chances are, the word you are looking for won't appear in the 1,000 entries. Also, each entry is only one word long, so there are no explanations to clarify meanings. On the other hand, the word lists can be somewhat illuminating if you're studying the inter-relatedness of vocabulary across the Indo-European languages.
In that case, you can choose any particular entry at random and see at a glance how close the Indo-European words are to each other and how different they are from the non-Indo-European words. The multilingual words lists comprise the first half of the volume. In the second half are 26 monolingual indices that allow you to look up the meanings of individual words from each of the covered languages.
The languages in non-Latin scripts (Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Japanese) only appear in their native scripts in the indices. To see their entries in Latin scripts, you need to check the word lists- -and vice versa, since the word lists only show the entries for these languages transliterated in Latin script. Due to the small number of entries, the uses for such a book are limited. On the other hand, if you are doing research that involves cross-linguistic comparisons, this dictionary can come in handy.
Reviewer: Victoria Tarrani (FL, USA)
I continue to think how fortunate I am that I found this book when it was first released. I searched many auctions to find a copy for a friend who also writes. If I could give the exciting word adventure that I found in this book, I would give it to everyone I know; not everyone would appreciate it, but the thought counts.
There are only 1000 words, but those words can be the canvas for your word pictures. I find myself thinking about the stories that Scheherazade told every night for 1000 nights; the stories that saved her life. Perhaps that is where the use of 1000 was derived.
The book has sufficient white space and is in a font that does not disappear unless you have a magnifying glass to make it easy to read. The main index is in English, and under each word is the corresponding entry in each of the twenty-six languages; these lists are the only definitions. The languages are: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Rumanian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Finnish, Turkish, Indonesian, Swahili, and Esperanto plus the six which are transliterated from Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish and Japanese into Roman spelling; these include the original script as well.
Many programs and on-line searches will give you other languages for whatever word or phrase you want. However, how many will strike a creative urge? Words such as svila (Serbo-Croation), seiyem (Hungarian), kinu (Japanese), silk (English) can take your imagination into new worlds.
To me, nothing is quite as good as a hardback with a worn cover, the smell of dust, and yellowed pages accumulated from years of usage. This is one of my treasures, and it is always on my desk. For me, it is, and always has been, five stars.