Volume 39, No.1 - Spring 1993
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas, University of Rochester 
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1993 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.

Evelyn Kolupaila-Masiokas and Bruno Masiokas, Words — Words. Lithuanian-English (with Explanations). Pronunciation. Parts of Language. Declensions. Conjugations. Accent Croups. Synonyms. Expressions. Raguva Press, Aurora, Colorado, 1992. Paperback. 1,339 pages.

This is a very unusual Lithuanian-English dictionary. It differs from the more usual bilingual dictionaries in several respects. We shall mention the most important differences here.

First of all, with each main entry, this "fat" dictionary lists several related, or derived words. E.g., (pp. P -83, 84): with "pilnai fully, thoroughly; pilnokas — rather full, on the full side; pilnoka — on the full side (fem.); pilnuma — fullness, abundance, entirety; pilnumas — thoroughness, completeness; pilnutëlis — completely full; pilnutëlë — very full (fem.); pilnatis — full moon; pilnaties — of full moon; pilnavertis — having full value, valuable; pilnavertë — having full value (fem.); pilnaviduris — one with solid core; pilnavidurë — not hollow (fem.)." In such a way, this dictionary becomes, to a certain degree, a dictionary of semantic areas, semantic families, or semantic groups.

With each simple verb, we find FIVE principal parts cited: the infinitive, 1st person singular present tense, 3rd person present tense, 3rd person simple past tense, and 3rd person future. Thus, "pilti — to pour; to rain hard; to assault (figurative meaning)" is followed by "pilu- I pour (something) out, pila — it rains very hard; pylë — she poured; pils they will pour." Then, usually several prefixed verbs, derived from the main simple verb, are listed. Thus, with pilti, we find ten verbs derived from pilti, with the usual Lithuanian verbal prefixes: apipilti, atpilti, ápilti, iđpilti, nupilti, papilti, perpilti, supilti, and uţpilti.. All these verbs are, again, listed in the separate "Index," which is also an unusual feature of this dictionary. This index is rather copious: it has 222 pages: from p. "Index 1" to page "Index 222." Now, these prefixed verbs are listed purely alphabetically in this all-embracing Index. Whether this full Index was really necessary, it's difficult to say. Some 150 pages of the dictionary would have been saved, if the index had listed only those words which are not in their proper alphabetical order in the main Lithuanian-English part of the dictionary.

With each noun, three forms are given: the nominative singular, the genitive singular, and the nominative plural. Thus, under "pilvas — stomach, abdomen, belly; potbelly" we also find "pilvo — of the stomach," and "pilvai — potbellies", etc.

With each adjective, next to the normal main entry which traditionally is the nominative singular masculine, there is the genitive singular and the nominative plural masculine; in addition to that, there is the feminine nominative singular form.

Every Lithuanian word in this dictionary is followed by its pronunciation given in a peculiar but, perhaps, practical transcription. This transcription is the invention of the authors. It is somewhat similar to the transcriptions used in the so-called travel guides and similar practical handbooks. Take, for example the pronunciation given for the entry Lithuanian pilis (p. P-62): pilis — (peelee's). In other words, the short Lithuanian 'i' is given as 'ee'. On the other hand, the long Lithuanian 'y' is always given as 'eeh': pilys — (pee'leehs). For practical purposes, it is not too bad.

Some users of the dictionary may think that the authors should have used the IPA (International Phonetics Association, Copenhagen, ca. 1933) system, but very few people are familiar with the IPA system anyhow. In other words, the pronunciation here is given in a somewhat amateurish but practical way.

In this dictionary, each noun has also a full grammatical "index", as it were. Namely, for each noun, there is a double number: the first indicates the declension, and the second one indicates the accent class, or group, as the authors prefer to call it.

A very unusual feature of this dictionary is the fact that for many Lithuanian words, in addition to several meanings, or equivalents, given in English, there is also an explanation in Lithuanian! For example, let us take the word suktas: "suktas- (sook'tahs) — cunning, deceptive, insidious, tricky, sly, crooked", there is also an explanation of the word in Lithuanian: "apgaudinëjantis, susuktas, dvigubas", literally 'the deceiving one, twisted, double.'

A second very unusual feature of this dictionary is also its treatment of the Lithuanian accentuation system, pp. "Kirčiavimas 1-43". It is presented in a strange way: first, you have both the nominal declensions going together with various accentuation classes, but all of this is divided into two large groups: the two-syllable nouns, and then come the poly-syllable nouns. Next, we see the adjectives presented the same way. And, finally, there are a few pages on the verb. I really fail to understand why the authors did not use the accepted standard method of presentation. In my opinion, this rather long and tedious presentation may make this difficult problem of Lithuanian accentuation even more complicated. I hope I am mistaken.

On pages "Bibliography 1-4", there is the basic bibliography — mostly dictionaries and similar works.

I am sure many people will find this dictionary useful: both learners of English as well as of Lithuanian. It will be also useful for interpreters, translators and other people using both Lithuanian and English.

Antanas Klimas
The University of Rochester