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Atkins, Beryl T., et al.

Don Mills (Ont.), Collins, 1987. 1,700pp, cloth (plain) ISBN 0-00-433452-3 (cloth, thumb index) $36.95, 0-00-433451-5 (cloth, plain) $34.95.

Grades 4 and up
Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

Nine years ago the first edition of the Collins-Robert Dictionary was published. Having gone through six printings the present volume is a completely revised work of a number of experts in the field of both languages.

In spite of its hefty build the authors have made every effort to make this volume a useful and practical tool.

The margins are adequate. Although the print is small, it is clear. The boldface words and phrases assist the reader in finding information easily.

The chief function of a bilingual dictionary is to facilitate the easy, rapid, and reliable communication between French and English. With the addition of more than 20,000 new items, the authors have included new words in the areas of science and technology, current affairs, modern living, and even slang. An added feature includes words of informal usage and those requiring special care in using.

The student of a second language will find this volume valuable. The section on verbs, on both sides, is particularly suitable. The major weakness in this section is the lack of tense translation on both sides. One would hope that the authors will remedy the situation in the next printing.

A unique feature of this lexicon is its section entitled "Language In Use." Its seventy-two pages offer the reader numerous ways of expressing thoughts and ideas in both languages. Such themes as making suggestions; offering advice; making requests; making comparisons; offering opinions; expressing likes, dislikes, preferences; asking for permission; expressing approval and disapproval; making apologies; expressing thanks and best wishes, sympathy-to mention but a few—permit the student to actually use the language.

The authors make the point in the introduction that British and American idioms, spelling, etc. have been given due recognition. On the French side the same recognition is given to French Canadian idioms as much as possible. Yet, one finds the definition of depanneur as a "breakdown mechanic. . . ." with no reference to the neighbourhood grocery store which is the usual meaning of the word among French Canadians.

Nevertheless, this newly revised edition is a welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone communicating in both languages. For easier reference, the thumb index edition is worth the added price.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomedey, Que.
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