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Now, a dictionary with a text messaging guide

Imagine a dictionary that offers tips on text messaging abbreviations for Indian cell phone users and has a Shakespeare guide too...

books Updated: Sep 10, 2009, 15:02 IST

Imagine a dictionary that offers tips on text messaging abbreviations for Indian cell phone users and has a Shakespeare guide too. Well that's exactly what two new Collins dictionaries have to offer.

HarperCollins India, Ratna Sagar Publishers and the British Council are launching the two new dictionaries - the Collins Co-build Advanced Illustrated Dictionary and the Co-build Learners' Illustrated Dictionary for those "who find it difficult to frame sentences in English", said Rob Scriven, managing director of the Collins Language Division.

The Collins Cobuild Learner's Illustrated Dictionary has a separate section on Shakespeare for children who study plays by Shakespeare from Class 8 in (Indian Council of Secondary Education) ICSE modules and text messaging abbreviations for cell phone users, he said.

"Dictionaries have changed over the years. They have become more local in flavour incorporating indigenous words so that they are more friendly for non-English speaking users," Scriven said.

The dictionaries will make the Queen's English easy for those Indians who are not used to speaking English either at home or outside but need the language to transact their daily business in school, colleges and offices, the Collins official said.

The Collins Language division, known for its dictionaries, is targeting the non-English markets in India and South Asia, which fall back on dictionaries to hone English as a language of communication, the managing director of Collins Language Division said.

The Co-build dictionaries, Scriven said were "a must for all learners, in schools, institutions and libraries". The Advanced Illustrated Dictionary, according to Scriven, "transforms the learner's dictionary from an occasional reference into the ultimate source".

"It has 83,000 bold references and 61,000 sentences. It has a good defining style where full sentence definitions show the meanings of words in their natural context and provide information on usage. There are 'picture dictionary' boxes that illustrate vocabulary and concepts," Scriven said, describing the dictionaries. The Collins Cobuild Learner's Illustrated Dictionary, on the other hand, has over 37,000 bold references and 26,000 sentences.

"This edition has been specially created to meet the needs of students in India and contains a brand new supplement of key words and phrases used by Shakespeare for those children who study Shakespeare in ICSE. Dictionary definitions are written in a clear full-sentence style, and there are thousands of simple examples from corpus. This dictionary covers all the essential words, phrases and idioms that students need to learn," Atiya Zaidi, head of publishing at Ratna Sagar, said.

The dictionary also includes an activity guide, which gives exercises in dictionary use; text messaging abbreviations and emoticons; defining vocabulary; places, nationalities; and an academic word list, Scriven said.

"We are trying to redefine the concept of dictionary," Zaidi said. The dictionaries will be launched at the British Council.

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