Tutorial Transcript

Hi everyone, and welcome back to my channel! How are you? Well, I hope, today too! In today’s video, we are talking about Italian language dictionaries. Lately I’m getting lots of questions regarding dictionaries. Many students ask me, mostly on Instagram, “what is the best dictionary for Italian?”, “which one do you recommend?” and so, rather than responding to all of the messages individually, I thought it would be a nice idea to make a video on this topic and thereby share the information with you too, here on the channel. As with anything, these days we have the possibility of choosing between print and digital. Consulting an online dictionary is easy and free, but I also recommend that you invest in a good printed dictionary. So, the printed dictionaries that I want to recommend to you are the Zingarelli 2018 or 2019; the complete version for those at an advanced level in the language, but also intermediate. If you have only just started, or if you just don’t want a really big dictionary, I recommend this one here that I showed you before, i.e. the new Zingarelli Minore, which, as you see, is just a little one, but still has 65 thousand entries, so to get started it’s fine; in any case it’s a good, solid dictionary. Another printed dictionary that I absolutely recommend, which is very very useful, is the Devoto-Oli, in its most recent edition, of course. When you buy the Devoto-Oli, you’ll also get the digital version, so there are some digital resources so you can take full advantage of the dictionary online too. So that’s a factor to take into consideration. But I have to say that nowadays, practically every dictionary offers content for online use. So obviously this is an extra feature to take account into account. Amongst the printed dictionaries, I want to recommend a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms (a thesaurus), because it’s fundamental to broaden one’s vocabulary via synonyms and antonyms. So the thesaurus that I recommend is the Devoto-Oli Sinonimi e Contrari. This is a great tool for to enrich your language. So basically I recommend three printed dictionaries. Now let’s move on to online dictionaries. At the top of the list there is obviously the Treccani online dictionary. Treccani is the encyclopedia of knowledge. The Italian encyclopedia of information and knowledge; now it’s possible to search this encyclopedia online. When I have any doubts about a word or expression, I go and check the Treccani dictionary. So it’s a super valuable tool and I absolutely recommend it to you. What’s more, there’s also a thesaurus: if you go to the Treccani website, you can choose between various resources, among which (you’ll find) an online dictionary and thesaurus. Next, another resource for synonyms and antonyms is sapere.virgilio.it Here we have a very intuitive website to use, very easy. And up until now, we’ve been talking about resources for the Italian language, that is, Italian-Italian dictionaries. If instead you want online dictionaries from Italian to your language and vice versa, you can check out the online dictionaries of Corriere della Sera and WordReference.com. That’s my list of resources. I know that many people use Google Translate. I advise you to refrain from using it, because it just gives you a sterile translation of a word, and so long as we’re talking about single words it can still work OK, but when we want to translate sentences, the results you can get are quite outlandish and sometimes some sentences pop out that are totally devoid of meaning. So, if you want to use an online translator, I recommend that you use Reverso, because at least it gives you the context from which the program has taken the translation. So at least you can figure out from the context whether or not that’s the translation you’re looking for. Finally, why is it important to use a dictionary, whether print or online? Because it gives you so much information about the word you’re looking up. It says what part of speech it is, whether it’s variable invariable, whether it’s masculine or feminine, it tells you what the plural is, it provides you with some examples in which you can find that word and its usage contexts, if a word has multiple meanings. So the dictionary is really a precious tool that, if used well, is a formidable ally in the study of the Italian language. Let me know if you use a dictionary and, if you do, which dictionary you use. The month of January has turned into a month of knowledge and discovery of new resources for learning Italian. If you have other questions leave them in the comments below. Thanks again for having watched this video, and we'll see each other in the next one. See you soon, byeeee!