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I need a good dictionary! (book)

7 Aug 2008 /  #1
Money isn't an object!

Can anyone recommend a good one?

7 Aug 2008 /  #2
if money isn't an object...then this one is probably the best one around:)

Pocket Oxford-PWN Polish Dictionary (Paperback) p/0199214913/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218136472&sr=8-3
7 Aug 2008 /  #3
In case a pocket dictionary is not enough, I'll give my recommendations.

Students' and librarians' choice: The Great Oxford-PWN Dictionary
A big, heavy 2 volume (A3, about 1500 pages per volume) monster, also available on a CD:
Polish>English volume -,508004.html
English>Polish volume -,297694.html

This inconspicuous-looking little thing (A4, I can't find number of pages but no so thick) only looks very unprofessional but it is useful as hell when it comes to translation.

Collins dictionary by Fisiak -

I'd recommend you to get both ;)

And what do you need it for?
OP cjjc  
8 Aug 2008 /  #4
And what do you need it for?

Just generaly to help with my learning, I'm also looking for a good starting point for grammar and such things...I know it sounds funny but I think a childrens book wopuld be cool you know..nothing complex.

I'm learning the alphabet today or I'm going to try to!

14 Aug 2008 /  #5
There's loads to choose from.

I was in my university bookshop recently and I found about seven. I spent at least an hour looking through them to try and make up my mind.

But don't ask us. What sort of dictionary do you need?

Money should never be a problem with a dictionary. They're not really dear unless you want a multi-volume brute.

And, if you're only learning basic Polish, will you really need it?

Mind you, I think that, if your level is fairly basic, Usborne do a "First Thousand Words in Polish" book aimed at children.

Actually, that's a good idea. I've just checked it out and I'm going to buy a copy myself!

Jestem aktorem. I'm not, but you begin to understand how words change.

So here's my big leap of faith. To jest Warszawa. Chciałbym dojechać do Warszawy. Mieszkam w Warszawia.

Cjic, I'm no expert in Polish and I've no idea what level you've achieved but I would recommend the easiest approach you can possibly take.
14 Aug 2008 /  #6
w Warszawia.

w Warszawie.

just trying to help...
14 Aug 2008 /  #7
Thanks polishgirltx.

Any time you see a post of mine and I'm using rubbish Polish please correct it.

14 Aug 2008 /  #8
no problem Ian... actually you've got some good points....some people like to complicate their life by learning too many things too fast...i like your simple style which helps you to understand actually more...step by step....good job Ian...
16 Aug 2008 /  #9
Mind you, I think that, if your level is fairly basic, Usborne do a "First Thousand Words in Polish" book aimed at children.

That sounds like a really great way to start learning Polish! I am arriving at Wroclaw tomorrow. Any suggestions on a good bookstore in Wroclaw that will stock it? Anyone.....?
21 Aug 2008 /  #10
I wouldn't recommend a basic dictionary, even for a beginner. It can be very confusing. You might not get all the meaning of certain words and therefore misunderstand something, you may misuse a word because you are not given enough context in the dictionary etc..

I often see elementary level students having problems because their dictionary is too basic. E.g. when I give them a short text to write as a homework (stuff like: describe what the person in the picture is wearing), they have problems with finding any new word if they don't have a proper dictionary. Most of the attempts to find new words end in a failure because basic dictionaries give them only the translation of a word, without examples of usage, collocations, context etc.

A dictionary cannot be used as an equivalent of a textbook. They are not designed to learn from them, they're just for looking up the vocabulary and there's a lot of other important things in language learning apart from vocabulary, especially for a beginner. So, if you learn basic Polish, it doesn't mean it will be easier with a basic dictionary. On the contrary: it will be harder. You need a basic textbook and a good dictionary. And a good one has:

-examples of usage of the word
-popular fixed phrases connected with the word and basic idioms
in most entries.
The more basic the word is, the more difficult it is to use. The entries for the basic vocabulary are usually the longest ones.

But, of course, for basic learning a two volume giant is not necessary. I think Collins is enough. The most important thing is how the entries look like.

A good-looking entry;-) (Oxford-PWN)

chair [IPA pronunciation]
I. n
1. (seat) krzesło n; (also armchair) fotel m; the dentist's chair fotel dentystyczny; to take a chair zająć miejsce, usiąść; over or on the back of a chair na oparciu krzesła

2. (chairperson) przewodnicząc|y m, -a f; to take the chair objąć przewodniczenie; to be in the chair przewodniczyć; to address one's remarks to or through the chair skierować uwagi do przewodniczącego or prowadzącego; Chair! Chair! proszę o spokój!

3. Univ (professorship) katedra f; to hold the chair of physics kierować katedrą fizyki
4. US (also electric chair) krzesło n elektryczne; to go to the chair pójść na krzesło elektryczne
II vt
1. przewodniczyć (czemuś), po|prowadzić [meeting]
2. GB n|ieść, -osić na ramionach [/i][hero]

A bad-looking entry:

Imagine you want to write: "There's a chair next to my desk"
OP cjjc  
22 Aug 2008 /  #11
You need a basic textbook and a good dictionary. And a good one has:
-examples of usage of the word
-popular fixed phrases connected with the word and basic idioms

Switezianka, Thanks for the advice it sounds like you know what you are doing! Would there be a textbook that you would recommend?

I found this one on amazon
and also this
what do you think?

Thanks in advance.

22 Aug 2008 /  #12
Unfortunately, my only experience in language teaching is in teaching English, so I don't know Polish textbooks. But on Monday I think, I'll be passing by some language book stores, so I may step in and take a look at Polish-for-foreigners books. I must look inside to know what to think. I'd also recommend you getting a teacher - someone with foreign language teaching methodology training. It shouldn't be hard to find one in Poland or UK.
OP cjjc  
23 Aug 2008 /  #13
recommend you getting a teacher

I'm going travelling soon for around 1 year so finding a teacher will be hard work.

I may step in and take a look at Polish-for-foreigners books.

If you could I would be indebted to you.

28 Aug 2008 /  #14
Damn it, I didn't manage to get to the centre during the day, when the bookshops are still open. Sorry. But as soon as I get there, I'll have a look.
9 Sep 2008 /  #15
Czescz all,

Just back from Poland where I bought myself a great kids' dictionary in Empik, the big book and music store. You can't get anything like it on Amazon or anywhere else - you have to be in Poland.

Obviously, it's aimed at Polish kids, but English and Polish words are listed on every page. Illustrowany Słownik: Angielsko-Polski is the title, written by Jacek Lang.

A word of warning, though - it's not for the easily offended. If the thread continues I'll give a few examples.

But not tonight. The flight was delayed and I've just left scorching hot temperatures of 28-30 celsius (scorching for a red-headed, freckled Irishman) and returned to wind and rain!

By the way, there's nothing like going to Poland to improve your Polish. It's a beautiful country and the people are so friendly. My Polish is rubbish, but I believe people really made an extra effort to understand me because I was trying.

And I should know, because the one thing that's worse than my Polish is my map-reading, which meant I had to ask directions about every 200 metres.

Polska jest dobra i język jest trudny ale lubię Polskę. (Did I say that right?)

Do widzenia,

9 Sep 2008 /  #16
Polska jest dobra i język jest trudny ale lubię Polskę. (Did I say that right?)

good post craic-monster.... i'm glad you liked your trip...
9 Sep 2008 /  #17
Thanks polishgirltx,

Enjoyed it so much I'm going back to see all the things I didn't have time to see.

I'd have seen so much more if it hadn't been for the wódka - I've just received an email from a guy I met in Poland who said that he'd an awful hangover the morning after dużo wódka.

I'm actually quite proud that I was able to keep up with a real Pole! But then we Irish have our international reputation to maintain as well. Even if it meant I missed my trip to Wieliczka.

It always takes me about three days to get my bearings, so when I go back to Małopolska I'll know where I'm going - and what tramwaj goes where.

9 Sep 2008 /  #18
I was able to keep up with a real Pole!


I was drinking once with Irish men in Sydney. When we Poles were all lying on the floor completely drunk, the Irish dudes stood up, took more drinks to go and left.... :)
9 Sep 2008 /  #19
We work hard at doing that. You'll notice we don't win too many Olympic we have to be good at something.

(My personal trainer insists I start with two Powers, followed by two Jamesons and finish with three Old Bushmills. Then it's on to the pints!)
10 Sep 2008 /  #20
The Great Oxford-PWN Dictionary

Yes, this is the best Polish-English-Polish dictionary ever !
16 Sep 2008 /  #21
Yes, I just recently bought this 2 volume set.

Nicely done! I dream about getting this dictionary someday. It would have a serious presence on da bookshielf.

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