Larousse Concise Dictionary: Portuguese-English/English-Portuguese

Score:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8) 9 10
“Eight outta ten!”
Pros:
large number of useful words and phrases for a dictionary this size; language and meaning usage hints guide your choice of ambiguous translations; more detailed than smaller pocket dictionaries, less than hefty full-coverage tomes; irregular and orthography-changing verb chart; Brazilian IPA pronunciation given
Cons:
no indication of irregular verbs in text; you’ll need a more detailed dictionary for thorough coverage of usage and translation (later intermediate students and beyond); a bit pricier than similar choices with nicer layout, color, or other features you might prefer


Larousse’s red and green cover Concise Portuguese Dictionary is larger and thicker than the Oxford New and Oxford Color I last reviewed on this site. As you might expect from its size, it offers more coverage of terms, phrases idiomatic expressions than those dictionaries at a reasonable price.

The start of the book has a quick introduction to IPA used for phonetically representing the pronunciation of Brazilian and English words, but these one and a half pages hardly count as a pronunciation guide. There is a goodly number of usage examples and clarification on basic terms. Meaning cues in brackets guide learners to the right meaning choice if there are multiple, ambiguous translations for a single term (a crucial feature missing from the NTC and Langenscheidt Portuguese language dictionaries). In the middle of the book you’ll find samples of written letters, following a trend that’s popped up in learner dictionaries.

Irregular verb tables at the end of the volume don’t only cover irregular verbs, but also spelling-changing (“orthography-changing”) and stem-changing (or “radical-changing”) verbs that plague those who learn Portuguese during their early years. Still, the chart typically only gives the “eu” (first person singular) form of a verb, leaving your grammatical intuitions to fill out the other five forms. Knowledge of Portuguese verb conjugation and grammar is best left to a more specialized reference work, anyhow, like Barron’s 501 Verbs, also reviewed on this site.

This dictionary will be a great sidekick for beginners and intermediate students in the market for a reference dictionary. It offers more coverage than basic dictionaries, but isn’t too large, detailed, or unabridged, so it’s great for on-the-go use.

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