The Multilingual Illustrated Dictionary is a seven-language glossary, fully illustrated with colour pictures and photographs. The seven South African languages are English, IsiZulu, Sesotho, IsiXhosa, Setswana, Afrikaans and Sepedi. The word lists are arranged in 12 everyday themes, ranging from My body, Family and friends, Clothing and My home to Nature and us, Food and drink and South Africa.
The words that make up each theme are presented in labels attached to the illustrations. Each label combines the equivalent terms from the seven different languages, allowing for immediate comparison. For easy recognition each language has its own colour code running throughout the book. The illustrations and photographs are brightly coloured and attractive and portray scenes from present-day South Africa.
Each theme is concluded with a table of commonly used phrases pertaining to that theme, once again translated into the seven languages. Separate to the 12 themes there is also a table with useful words arranged by parts of speech. The comprehensive index shows that the book contains at least 2500 terms for each language.
The Multilingual Illustrated Dictionary is aimed at the Senior School Phase (Grades 7 to 9), but is suitable for other grades as well, for learners both younger and older. The book would also make an excellent communication tool for the home and workplace.
John Bennett is a freelance book designer who has been involved in the publishing industry for many years. He has compiled African language textbooks for...