Archive for April 10th, 2007

The More You Know: Dictionaries

Dutch Word of the Day
woordenboek: dictionary
Ik heb nou een beter woordedboek.
I have a better dictionary now.

Since there aren’t that many Dutch speakers in the world, it is very difficult to find a quality Dutch to English/English to Dutch dictionary. The one I got for class, the Standaard Klein Woordenboek, isn’t that good because it’s for Dutch speakers learning English. It’s small and has limited explanations. For example, if you look up the word for “to know” in Dutch, it tells you “weten, kennen.” These are used in very different contexts, similar to the Spanish saber and conocer. But there is no explanation because there is only one word in English that the Dutch reader would need: “know“.

The New Routledge Dictionary, on the other hand, is a much better bet. It’s made by an English company so all of the noun/ adjective/ verb markings are in English. They also give longer explanations of contexts in which the words should be used.

Routledge is more expensive than the Standaard (37 euro to the Standaard’s 7) but you can go to The Slegte, the used bookstore and get a good deal. I also had these gift certificates as part of the refund for my lousy internet service, so I used that too. Between the gift certificate and my own money, I only paid 7 euro for the Routledge. Totally worth it.


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