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SPN 355 - Translation: Spanish into English

Spanish Language Dictionaries
Escutcheon of the Royal Spanish AcademyReal Academia Española. Diccionario de la lengua española. 20a. ed. Ref. PC 4625 .A3 1984.
This product of the Royal Spanish Academy is the single most authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language. Emphasis primarily on Castilian, or the Spanish of Spain, prescriptive rather than descriptive in intent. Apps available for iPhone and Android phones.

Real Academia Española. Diccionario panhispánico de dudas. PC 4460 .D5155 2005.
Deals with problems: common confusions, complexities and sources of error.
Also available online

Moliner, María. Diccionario del uso del español. 2a. ed. Ref. PC 4625 .M6 1998.
Describes common usage for a comprehensive selection of Spanish words. For the English speaker, good for understanding nuances of usage beyond what is typically found in other dictionaries.

Vox diccionario de uso del español de América y  España. Ref. PC 4625 .V69 2004.
Reflects contemporary common usage, including both Iberian and American sources.  Definitions are identified by region or country.


Corominas, J. Diccionario crítico etimológico de la lengua castellana. [1954] Ref. PC 4580 .C6.
Corominas, J. Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua castellana. [1961] Ref. PC 4580 .C58.
The standard work on the etymology, or derivation and historical development of words in the Spanish language. Emphasis primarily upon Castilian although some words of American origin are included.

Gómez de Silva, Guido. Elsevier's concise Spanish etymological dictionaryRef. PC4580 .G65 1985.
“Containing 10,000 entries, 1,300 word families,” this dictionary is more current than Corominas, and would be a first choice over the latter’s Breve diccionario.

Casares, Julio. Diccionario ideológico de la lengua española: desde la idea a la palabra; desde la palabra a la idea. 2a. ed. Ref. PC 4625 .C31959.
Casares includes along with a standard alphabetically arranged dictionary section, a thematically grouped word clusters.

Sainz de Robles, Federico Carlos. Ensayo de un diccionario español de sinónimos y antónimos. Ref. PC4591 .S25 1967.
A Spanish-language thesaurus not unlike Roget's in English.

Batchelor, R. E.  Using Spanish synonyms. Ref. PC 4591 .B38 1994.
This Spanish-language thesaurus is the most current we have, and includes English glosses and equivalents.

Vox. Diccionario de sinónimos. Ref. PC 4591 .V6 1977.
More concise and current than Sainz de Robles, it also features a dictionary arrangement similar to that of Webster's Thesaurus in English.

Regionalisms and Colloquialisms

Caballero, Ramón. Diccionario de modismos (frases y metáforas) primero y único de su género en España. [1900] Ref. PC 4460 .C2.
"Modismos" are sayings, proverbs, slang usages, and picturesque metaphors whose understanding is often difficult when simply translating word by word. Although quite dated, this work is still useful particularly for the English speaker who may have trouble comprehending "modismos."

Santamaría, Francisco J. Diccionario de mejicanismos. Ref. PC 4832 .S3 1974.
Includes words arising from or given distinctive expression in Mexican Spanish. Less prescriptive, more descriptive in orientation than the more Castilian works.

Jergas de Habla Hispana (Ref. PC 4971 .F57 2006)
Also available online
Guide to current slang or argot in Spanish worldwide.

Diccionario de coloquialismos y terminos dialectales del espanol (Ref. PC 4971 .F58 2011)

Los que dicen ¡ay bendito! : dichos, modismos y expresiones del habla coloquial puertorriquena (PC 4854 .P8 N87 2001)

Spanish/English Dictionaries

Bilingual Dictionaries

  • Cassell's Spanish-English English-Spanish Dictionary. Ref. PC 4640 .C35 1978.
  • Collins Spanish Dictionary (online) Print ed: Ref. PC 4640 .C53 2003.
  • Appleton's new Cuyás English-Spanish and Spanish-English Dictionary. Ref. PC 4640 .C8 1966.
  • Larousse. Gran diccionario español-inglés = English-Spanish Dictionary. Ref. 4640 .G73 1993.
  • The Oxford Spanish Dictionary: Spanish-English/English-Spanish. Ref. PC 4640 .O94 2001.
  • Random House Spanish-English, English-Spanish dictionary. Ref. PC 4640 .R32 1999.
  • Simon and Schuster's International dictionary: English/Spanish Spanish/English. 2nd ed. Ref. PC 4640 .S5 1997.
Consult a variety of Spanish-English dictionaries and compare arrangements, definitions, inclusions and exclusions. Simon and Schuster's is particularly inclusive of regionalisms that may not make it into the other ones; Collins and the Oxford are obviously more current and thus likelier to include new words from both languages.

Visual Dictionaries

  • Corbeil, Jean-Claude. The Facts on File English/Spanish Visual Dictionary. Ref. PC 4625 .C65 1992.
  • Macmillan Visual Dictionary. Ref. PC 4629 .M36 1997
  • Bilingual visual dictionary. Ref. PC 4640 .B55 2005
Direct visual access makes it possible to look for words from drawings, without having to know the English or Spanish term beforehand. Especially good for contemporary and technological terms.

Specialized Sources
  • Dictionary of Spanish Law
  • Business Spanish Dictionary
  • Webster's new world English-Spanish/Spanish-English business dictionary. Ref. HF 1002 .K375 2006.
  • Vocabulario vaquero = cowboy talk : a dictionary of Spanish terms from the American west. Ref. PE 3727 .C6 S64 2004.
  • Accounting dictionary. English-Spanish, Spanish-English, Spanish-Spanish = Diccionario de contabilidad. Inglés-Español, Español-Inglés, Español-Español. Ref. HF 5621 .S26 2003.
  • Say it in Spanish : a guide for health care professionals. Compact Disc - Circulation Desk R 121 .J69 2004.
  • McGraw-Hill's Complete Medical Spanish: Practical Spanish for Quick & Confident Communication (PC 4120.M3 R56 2010) Lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced audiences on the body, physical examination, interviewing, and treating Spanish-speaking patients.
  • Spanish for Health Care Professionals (PC 4120.M3 H37 2008) Reviews common clinical terminology and expressions in Spanish, including the body, physical examination, emergency situations, and speaking with pediatric or geriatric patients.
Internet Sources
Diccionario de la lengua española. Vigésima segunda edición

The online version of the 22nd edition (pub. 2001) of the Real Academia’s dictionary.  Includes updates that will make it into the next edition, complete verb conjugations.

Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española

Also known as the NTLLE, this prodigious lexicographic masterpiece of the Royal Spanish Academy allows the user to search all past editions of the Diccionario from 1726-1992. The results are given in full-image scanned directly from the pages of the dictionaries.

Breve diccionario de mejicanismos

Published by the Academia Mejicana de la Lengua (the Mexican establishment of the Real Academia), this is a concise guide to uniquely Mexican words and usage.

Wordreference.com: Online French, Italian and Spanish Dictionary

A multilingual dictionary including also a direct link to the Real Academia’s dictionary from within search results.

Yourdictionary.com--Romance Languages--Spanish
Copious, well-arranged site having extensive links to both general and specialized dictionaries.

Hosted by the famous Vox dictionary company, including various idioms.

Spanish-English dictionary
Hosted by the University of Granada.

A handy English-language thesaurus site.

English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary Access limited to OU students, faculty, and staff

The great dictionary of the English language, compendious, extensive, with complete etymologies, morphologies, histories of usage, containing hundreds of thousands of quotations illustrating usage.

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