Review: DK French-English Visual Dictionary
On your path to learn French, before too long it will be worth considering a visual dictionary. In general, visual dictionaries are useful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they allow you to "browse by concept" much more easily than with a traditional dictionary. If the precise word you're looking for is on the tip of your tongue but a related word springs to mind, this can often lead you to the word that was eluding you. Secondly, many learners appear to find it easier to acquire vocabulary when presented with such vocabulary organised by topic. In addition, in technical spheres, visual dictionaries are useful when it's useful what concept or item you're actually translating.
It should be noted from the outset that the DK French-English Visual Dictionary is not a technical dictionary, unlike some other visual dictionaries. On the contrary, it is an extremely attractively presented dictionary of relarively everyday words, on topics that will be useful to travellers and to basic to intermediate learners, such as the body, food, modes of transport, the house etc. The pictures themselves are a mixture of drawings and photographs. Both are generally clear and appealing. A typical page layout consists of three or four labelled pictures, sometimes with an extra vocabulary box for words and phrases that can't easily be labelled.
An advantage of this dictionary compared to other visual dictionaries is that it strikes a good balance of detail. Some other more technical dictionaries would be overwhelming for intermediate learners, but DK's offering gets the balance just right. As well as the clear, attractive layout and good balance of vocabulary detail, I also appreciated the inclusion of up to date terms in the computing and media sections of the dictionary.
In short, the DF French-English Visual Dictionary will be an excellent choice for many French learners. The main caveat is that for more advanced users, a more technical alternative may be more suitable. Before buying, I'd recommend that you use the Search Inside option to check that the level of detail is going to be suitable for you.
All comments and material contained on this page are accurate to the best of the author's knowledge.