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Editing Failure of English-Hebrew Dictionary

December 20, 2011

I recently purchased the Oxford English-Hebrew/Hebrew-English Dictionary published by Kernerman – Lonnie Kahn. This is a hardcopy dictionary, just to be clear. It was edited by Ya’acov Levy. And it has a significant usability failing: that means you Mr. Editor Levy.

Hebrew is gender-based. Nouns have a gender and that’s important to writing and speaking. You need to know the gender of a word and it’s not always apparent by a look. Some words have “irregular” plurals that appear to be in the opposite gender.

So, if you look up a word in the English-Hebrew side of the dictionary, you would expect to see the gender along with the listing of the Hebrew words. But no. The English listing provides the part of speech for the English word and just the Hebrew words. No gender listing. To find that out, you have to flip the book over to its Hebrew side and search for the listing. Two steps.

There’s plenty of room on each line for the information, the gender and plural even (if irregular).

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