Collins German Unabridged Dictionary / Edition 7

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The Collins German Unabridged Dictionary is simply the best German dictionary you can buy. Here's why:

Hundreds of thousands of entries and translations: The Collins German Unabridged Dictionary contains the most comprehensive coverage of both German and English and the most up-to-date business, political, and technical terms.

Most up-to-date: This edition has been extensively revised and updated to cover the recent worldwide German spelling reform. Its vocabulary of today's German, including thousands of new phrases and indicators, is complete and exhaustive. This edition also includes full coverage of key words and full treatment of irregular forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives to create the most complete and accurate picture of the German language available today.

More colloquial usage than any other German dictionary: With its emphasis on current German and English—both written and spoken—including all areas of modern life and featuring regional usage, this dictionary gives you the edge in understanding and choosing the most appropriate translation.

New terms in this edition include:

Billigjob low-paid job

Biokraftstoff organic fuel

Chillen to chill out

Handyverbot cell phone ban

Radikal-fundamentalistisch radical fundamentalist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061374906
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/11/2008
  • Series: Collins Language Series
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 2136
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 2.49 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Collins German Unabridged Dictionary, 7th Edition

By Bill HarperCollins UK HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008
Bill HarperCollins UK
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061374906


Since it was first published in 1980, the Collins German Dictionary has become one of the standard reference works of its kind. The scale of its coverage as well as the clarity and accuracy of the information it provides have made it a recognized authority in both English- and German-speaking countries.

The scope and nature of the language treated

The emphasis is firmly placed on contemporary language. The range is wide: the headwords and compounds, phrases and idioms have been selected and arranged to present the user with the authentic language he or she will meet daily in newspapers, journals, books and in the street.

Particular attention has been paid to recent coinages and new meanings not found in existing bilingual dictionaries and even absent from some monolingual volumes, but essential if the dictionary is truly to reflect current, living language as it is spoken and written today.

Space has been found, too, for a considerable representation of the vocabulary of literature and science, and especially of those areas which have contributed notably to the modern consciousness -- business, computing, education, the environment, medicine, politics, and so on.

One of our primary concerns has been to make the dictionary equally valid for German-speaking and English-speaking users. Our rigorous policy that every German word in thedictionary has been created and vetted by German lexicographers and every English word by English lexicographers, with constant discussion between them, means that German-speaking and English-speaking users can approach this dictionary with equal confidence. In addition, we have taken care that each side of the dictionary is equally helpful for translation from and into the foreign language.

The geographical spread of language is not neglected either. A wide coverage of American English is given. Swiss, Austrian and former East German usages are treated. And regionalisms from within the main body of British English and German are covered.

Layout and help

However well-chosen the content of a dictionary may be, much of its value is instantly lost if the user cannot easily and quickly find his or her way to the meaning that meets his needs. So we have put considerable effort into devising and implementing a comprehensive system of indicating material.

Not only are all complex entries clearly divided into separate areas of meaning, but the sense of each area is signposted by 'indicators' which immediately highlight the group of meanings in that category. In addition, variations of meaning within each category are precisely pinpointed by further indicating material. The systematic and consistent use throughout the dictionary of indicating material, which may take the form of field labels, synonyms, typical subjects or objects of verbs, and so on, is a feature of the dictionary to which we attach the greatest importance. This indicating material is a very effective way of helping the user to pinpoint the exact translation he or she is looking for.

One of the most insidious linguistic traps that besets the student of any foreign language is to use words or expressions inappropriate -- occasionally grotesquely so -- to the context. The complexities and subtleties of register, especially of social overtones, are impossible to acquire from the printed page, but we have created for this dictionary a range of 'style labels' that accurately characterize the stylistic restrictions that should be placed on any word or expression in the text -- both in source language and in target language.

Words and expressions that are unmarked for style or register in source or target language are to be taken as standard language appropriate to any normal context or situation. Wherever this is not the case the nature of the restriction is indicated: formal, literary, school slang, humorous, pejorative, and so on.

A new, user-friendly style of presentation has been chosen for selected longer entries (for example, common verbs and prepositions) to make finding specific meanings or expressions easier.

Another feature of this dictionary is the wealth of phrases provided within many entries. These greatly expand the validity of the information provided by showing how translation and sometimes structure change in different contexts and by giving examples of the idioms and set expressions relating to the headword.

The pages that follow describe these and other features of the dictionary in greater detail.

Cultural Information

The fifth edition of this dictionary contains in-depth entries with information on important aspects of culture and everyday life in German- and English-speaking countries.

German Spelling Reform

This dictionary has fully implemented the German spelling reform. All headwords on the German-English side of the dictionary which have been affected by the spelling changes are marked accordingly in the text, while the supplement (pp 2087-2110) gives explanations on the extent of the spelling reform and the way it affects relevant entries in this dictionary.

Up-to-date usage

The aim of any new edition of a dictionary is usually to update the text to incorporate those words and phrases which have only recently come into the language -- this dictionary does have several thousand new words and meanings on both sides of the text. However, to create a new edition fit for the 21st century we have moved beyond this and developed several other features which make this book more user-friendly and up-to-date than ever before.

The decisive factor in this was the determination to analyse the meaning and usage of existing entries and to expand or restructure them where appropriate. To achieve this, both traditional lexicographical methods and the latest electronic tools were used. The dictionaries we produce today benefit from use of the huge electronic corpora for English ("Bank of English") and German ("Deutsche Textbörse") developed through the groundbreaking research into computational linguistics carried out by Collins in partnership with the University of Birmingham since the 1970s. These corpora are collections of texts held on computer, which provide numerous examples of how words are actually used in the widest possible variety of contexts, be it in newspapers, in literature, in official reports or in ordinary spoken language. In much the same way as scientists who analyse objective data to confirm their hypotheses, dictionary editors now have access to vast databases of hard facts and evidence to back up their own linguistic intuition. The result is a degree of accuracy and depth of coverage that would be impossible to achieve using traditional methods alone. Here is an example of how authentic usage, as documented in our corpora, the Bank of English and the Deutsche Textbörse, is reflected in our dictionary entries.


Excerpted from Collins German Unabridged Dictionary, 7th Edition by Bill HarperCollins UK Copyright © 2008 by Bill HarperCollins UK. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful book

    This dictionary is awesome. Where other dictionaries cannot provide translations, this dictionary has them listed. This book might be overwhelming for beginners, but anyone who is an advanced speaker of both languages will most certainly appreciate this dictionary. I personally am a native German speaker, and after 11 years in the United States I am fluent in English as well. However, I am still learning new words all the time. Especially books often use a more advanced or even older language with words that are simply not listed in normal dictionaries. Also specific words for animals, food, and business are translated. If you need a comprehensive German/English dictionary, then this is the right choice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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