1. Step 1
Select the right kind of dictionary. Bilingual, second language and standard one-language publications provide necessary definitions and tools.
2. Step 2
Consider the dictionary's size. Choose a size based on use and features. A smaller size is portable and good for the backpack or pocket, a general dictionary for the office or desk drawer and a large advanced bookshelf volume for the home.
3. Step 3
Think of the word level and complexity of definitions that you need. A bookshelf dictionary contains up to 400,000 words, advanced averages 80,000, intermediate around 40,000 and elementary averages 2,000 words.
4. Step 4
Decide what features you want. Dictionaries are specialized and vary in content according to maps, pronunciation guides, reference tables, word histories, synonyms and grammar usage.
5. Step 5
Compare word definitions across several dictionaries before you buy. Note how the words are defined including added material to determine which one best reflects your purpose and usability.
6. Step 6
Choose hardbound, paperback or CD versions. Many publishers offer both paper and digital dictionaries for the same edition.
7. Step 7
Determine your price range for the dictionary. They range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars for exhaustive language sets.
Tips & Warnings
• Check the printing edition in the front of your dictionary to determine if it is time for an update.
Abdallha Abu Qub'a