Score: 7/10

pros: includes nearly all Ancient Greek words beginners & intermediate learners are likely to encounter when you read Greek; formatting & organization are acceptable; actually pocket sized!; affordable

cons: no English-Greek translation section; the word lists are bare-bones, giving a bunch of translations without any aid in choosing between them

The Langenscheidt Pocket Classical Greek Dictionary is a reduced lexicon of the language that helps learners translate from Ancient Greek to English. It packs all of the words found in any text the average beginning student will read, including “the New Testament and the classical Greek authors” (as stated on the back cover), but it makes a few sacrifices to do that.

The formatting and organization are as expected – a list of Greek words in alphabetical order with translations to the right of those words. Ancient Greek entries are given in bold, and the first and last words on each page appear at the top of the page (on either side of the page number) for easy reference.

Ancient Greek nouns are listed in the nominative, with the genitive singular ending and article, as is custom. The dictionary only lists the first person singular of both regular and irregular verbs, with no information about their principal parts or irregular forms. The part of speech of invariable words is abbreviated (adv. for adverb, conj. for conjunction, etc.). For the most part, you’ll need to have some grammar under your belt or a handy grammatical reference to make sense out of these entries.

Apart from long/short marks on vowels, the dictionary offers almost no pronunciation help, as is also custom. Try the pronunciation guide at the beginning of your favorite course book. If you’re up for it, Vox Graeca provides very thorough linguistic overview of phonology of Ancient Greek.

Like other Greek lexicons on the market, this one just lists a few translations for each terms, without any key words or meaning hints to help students select the best translation. There are no examples of words in context, nor will you find clues to the dialect or use of words (the author, region, time period, level of formality). Most dictionaries that deal with major languages include this kind of helpful information. Otherwise, the search for the right term can be confusing – you are forced to guess.

If you’re willing to forgo the small size and low price, you might as well make the jump to Liddel-Scott’s Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. You’ll find far more words, examples pulled straight from ancient writers, and loads more information about grammar and word choice.

If, however, you’re fine with a longish but bare-bones word list, and you’re looking for a small, on-the-go lexicon, Langenscheidt’s Classical Greek Pocket Dictionary comes adequately recommended. It has no extras, and, like all Ancient Greek dictionaries besides the Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary, can’t help you translate between English & Ancient Greek.