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HarperCollins Beginner's Spanish Dictionary    by HarperCollins order for
HarperCollins Beginner's Spanish Dictionary
by HarperCollins
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2001)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Language dictionaries have come a long way since I last acquired one. HarperCollins Beginner's Spanish Dictionary cleverly uses color and shading to highlight text and give its user fast access to the information sought.

The dictionary is divided into two main parts - Spanish-English and English-Spanish. Each includes pronunciation tips for vowels and consonants, instructions on how to use the dictionary effectively, and a special 'Spanish in Action' / 'Inglés Activo' section. Dictionary words are printed in blue, and notes are included in shaded, light blue information boxes, for example a tip for English speakers that 'Although sistema ends in -a, it is actually a masculine noun.'

The 'Spanish in Action' section includes a set of wordgames. It explains how to write a personal letter or an email, and provides phrases to facilitate telephone calls. Numbers are listed from 1 to a million, as well as first to thousandth, fractions, and time. 'False Friends' / 'Falsos Amigos' explains the different meanings in English and Spanish, of words that look similar, e.g. libréria is not a library, but rather a bookstore. Verb tables are provided for groups of regular verbs and common irregular verbs.

This is an excellent, practical dictionary for beginners, enhanced by color highlighting, by very useful 'Spanish in Action' / 'Inglés Activo' content, and by helpful tips in information boxes.

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