Here are two Spanish-language dictionaries, originating with the Real Academia Española, that will meet the needs of a range of Spanish speakers. Designed for both native readers and advanced students, the updated Diccionario práctico del estudiante is more compact than the somewhat unwieldy Diccionario esencial de la lengua española. It includes many Latin American regionalisms, especially important because Spanish is spoken in so many countries and particularly because of the present-day globalization of business. Aside from the obvious definitions, usage rules, and idiomatic phrases, this edition includes word origin, very helpful sample sentences, related words and synonyms, grammatical observations, common acronyms, difficult-to-pronounce words, punctuation, and much more. All the information that a student (or anyone interested in using the Spanish language correctly) could possibly want can be found here. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
An invaluable resource for Spanish speakers, the Diccionario esencial de la lengua española offers more (and longer) definitions than the Diccionario práctico. The coverage includes colloquialisms and technical vocabulary, and the definitions are enriched by sample sentences, etymologies, and commentary regarding usage and contexts. In addition, five appendixes cover conjugations, foreign words, prefixes, suffixes, and spelling. Like the Diccionario práctico (and in fact most modern Spanish dictionaries), the Diccionario esencial integrates words beginning with the letter CH with those that begin with the letter C. Finally, both dictionariesare sufficiently comprehensive to include two words that this reviewer always searches for in dictionaries: chícharo (chickpea) and hormiguero (anthill). The truly authoritative Diccionario esencial would be an excellent addition to any library. Highly recommended.
Dolores M. Koch