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Tajik English English Tajik Dictionary Phrasebook [Paperback]

Joseph Conroy
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

Nov. 30 1998 Hippocrene Dictionary & Phrasebook
Tajikistan is one of the many newly-independent states which made up the former Soviet Union. Located in Central Asia, it is bordered by China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgystan. Tajik is the main language of Tajikistan. It is a a remarkably accessible language for an English-speaker, especially in this phrasebook, which uses the Roman alphabet throughout. Tajik is a member of the West Iranian group of Indo-European languages and is closely related to Farsi. The Iranian languages are distant relatives of English. About four million people speak Tajik in the republic of Tajikistan as well as in the bordering areas of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. This phrasebook contains useful phrases in everyday Tajik, covering a wide variety of situations.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a very useful dictionary April 2 2004
I purchased this book before leaving for a two year job contract in Tajikistan. I was very excited to find this pocket dictionary. Unfortunately it was never very helpful to me. My new Tajik friends felt that it was inaccurate in many places. It rarely seemed to have the words or phrases that I needed. And finally, the transliteration system didn't seem to correctly reflect the pronunciation used by natives (I was living in the capital, Dushanbe.)
To be fair to the authors there was nothing else available at the time they published this and the situation in Tajikistan was one of violent transition. Tajikistan has become much more stable now and there are now a few more resources available in English. Although there was discussion in Tajikistan at one time aobut making either Persian or Roman script official alphabets, Cyrillic is still the oficiall alphabet and the one used by Tajiks 99% of the time. To be really useful a Tajik-English phrase book should use Cyrillic, which this one does not.
The most effective method I found for learning the Tajik language was making Tajik friends who spoke a little English and learning to speak Tajik from them.
I also got a lot of help from two books published by STAR:
The Official Beginner's Guide to Tajiki, by Azim Baizoyev
Standard Tajik-English Dictionary, by Randall and Rochelle Olsen
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By A Customer
I was very happy to find the book, but after purchasing the book and reviewing the materials, I discovered not one or two but numerous mistakes ranging from misspellings to certain words that do not make sense at all. Now, the reason I know this fact is because I am a native speaker of the Tajik language and yes I do feel that the authors should have done a better job. After all, no one should write any language using the Esperanto language becuase it has many and many problems - the biggest one being the lack of one on one meetings between the two authors of this dictionary. Also, I think the book has failed at representing the actual language (alphabet) of the country of the Republic of Tajikistan. After all, while it maybe helpful to learn a new language using the Roman alphabet, the people of Tajikistan do not write or speak using the Roman alphabet, but rather the Cyrillic. Nonetheless, I do want to thank both authors for the time that it required to complete this project and ask to present an accurate Tajik-English Dictionary. Thank You.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ignoring contemporary Tajik script is incorrect Jan. 25 2003
The authores should definitely get a credit for writiing a book on such a rare language as Tajik. However, I am not sure what to think about the script used throughout the book. It is not clear what script Cyrilllic, Romance or Arabic will be used for this language in the future. However, even if the Romance alphabet is approved for use, it will probably look different from what is presented by the authors. I doubt that digraphs like GH, KH, SH, and ZH will be in use. We also do not know how the Tajik are going to use the Romance alphabet to present their vowels. So, ignoring the modern Tajik alphabet lowers the value of this book. E.g., what if the reader finds an authentic Tajik sentence ? Then, knowing all the words and grammar, will not help figure out what it is about. So, I believe that the authors should have given a table presenting contemporary Tajik script at least for references.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Negative Nancies Miss The Big Picture Nov. 1 2002
By A Customer
First, you should know that this book was written in conjunction with a Tajik national living in Dushanabe. It's not like the text didn't have any authentic input. On that count, maybe you're better off taking up a gripe with the publishers. Second, there was debate as to whether this book should be presented in Cyrillic, something which would have been no problem for the collaborators. However, it was decided that due to political sensitivities within Tajikistan itself, the Roman alphabet would prove a better option. Third and last, just how many English speakers do you believe are aware of the Tajik language or Tajikistan itself? This book does something that few books are able to do--provide a clear window onto the Tajik world which may otherwise never exist. This book opens up the world in a very real way, and any text that can do this deserves five stars and lots of applause.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good guide for Tajik Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
Although when I first found out about this book, I was very excited, I was totally disappointed when I got it. I am an ethnic Tajik, and a professional translator, and this book was very poorly done. As another Tajik reader said, this book is full of misspellings, and words that are just completely wrong. Also, many of the words that are given do not reflect the Tajik dialect of Persian. Even the introduction (in English) is factually incorrect, because Tajik is not a separate language, it is a dialect of Persian/Farsi, that, during Soviet times, was written in Cyrillic. A Tajik who speaks English should have assisted in this project, in order to have a more satisfactory outcome.
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