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Chernov, Ghelly V. (2001). Amerikanskii Variant: American - Russian / Russian - American Dictionary.

Moscow: Glossarium. pp. 971

This new American - Russian / Russian - American dictionary has a purely practical purpose: to record the American variety of English. This purpose was dictated primarily by the fact that in a wide range of human life and activities – in cultural affairs, economics, education, healthcare and many other areas – the American variety of English is becoming ever more widespread around the world, progressively superseding British English; secondly, the teaching of English in Russia has traditionally been focused on Britain, which has meant that American English vocabulary could only be acquired by visiting America.

This dictionary has a number of distinctive features. Although small in size, it contains detailed entries (sometimes more detailed than in the larger dictionaries) for all words which are the basis of set expressions and phrases. This applies in particular to phrasal verbs, such as: make (up), get (in), set (off), put (away), which are highly numerous in idiomatic English. Such combinations are frequently used in everyday speech – in the home, in the street, etc. In the English – Russian section the author has included examples which reflect contemporary American life and reality, and, in the Russian – English section, those which reflect Russian realia. This is achieved through numerous explanations (italicised or bracketed) given after the respective translation or example, and also in the appendices. The dictionary's practical orientation is seen also in the fact that in many cases a word is used less frequently by itself and more frequently as part of a set expression or phrase; in such cases it gives only the expression or phrase, after the transcription and a colon.

The dictionary includes comprehensive guidance on specifically American pronunciation, grammar and spelling. It also caters generously for the enormous body of lexis which is of a slang or highly colloquial nature. For economy of space, the author has not included words whose equivalent is very close in the other language, e.g. orthopedic / ortopedicheskii. An exception to this are those Latin-derived words in both languages which have become "false friends", i.e. which require a different word in translation, e.g. ethnic group / natsional'naya gruppa.

The dictionary contains around 35,000 words and expressions: 18,000 in the English – Russian section, over 16,500 in the Russian – English section, and nearly 2,000 geographical names in the two appendices.

Amerikanskii Variant is the first dictionary of its kind to be published in Russia.

Michael Colenso

Department of Language, Cultural and International Studies,

University of Surrey