Collins Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2nd Edition (HarperCollins Concise Dictionaries)

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“Eight outta ten!”
great coverage of useful words and phrases for a dictionary this price and size; keyword usage guides your choice when translations are ambiguous; more detailed than a small pocket dictionary, less than a weighty full-coverage one; IPA pronunciation given for all terms; best “bang for your buck” (ratio of number of words and phrases to dollars) among similar dictionaries
irregular words not marked in entries; you’ll need a more detailed dictionary for thorough coverage of usage and translation (later intermediate students and beyond); very little grammar help or extras of any kind

The latest in a string of similar Portuguese-to-English and English-to-Portuguese dictionaries I’ve reviewed, the Harper Collins Concise Portuguese Dictionary broadly offers what the best of the others did (compare Oxford and Larousse): IPA phonetic readings for all entries, parts of speech marked, a list of irregular verbs, meaning cues for ambiguous words, useful phrases and usage examples.

Some slight differences exist. The quick listing of irregulars is found at the beginning of the dictionary, and only gives the irregular forms of irregular words. You’ll need your language skills and grammatical wit to fill in the rest. The dictionary explicitly marks “keywords” (like the preposition “in”) that have frequent and multiple uses. The dictionary is bigger than and has more entries than Oxford’s, and is competitive in coverage with Larousse.

Some Amazon reviewers complained that the binding fell apart after a short while, a worthy complaint if you beat up your dictionaries or carry them around on the go. Picking up a copy at the bookstore, I don’t personally notice any problems with the binding that aren’t found on similar dictionaries. Additionally, the dictionary I find on Amazon is different than the edition at one bookstore, which had blue color entries.

All in all, I’m reluctant to rate this above or below its peers. From my calculations and time spent with the reference, Harper Collin’s translation aid offers the highest number of words and phrases per dollar, making it the best bang for your buck.

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