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Русско-английский словарь общеупотребительных слов и словосочетаний научно-технической литературы (Russian-English Dictionary of Words and Word Combinations in General Use by Scientists and Engineers) is unique in several ways. First and foremost, it contains the richly distilled translation experience of its author, Boris N. Klimzo, power engineer, translator, editor, author, lexicographer and linguist.
The precision and thoroughness of the book's title indicates the skill and care with which its contents have been selected. The words and phrases here belong not to any special narrow field, but rather, as the title indicates, to the general vocabulary of technical writing. So the dictionary is useful to anyone involved in Russian-English translation. Klimzo has an astounding ability to pick out very apt, but idiomatic English turns of speech, which may not be immediately comprehensible to most non-native speakers, and cut to the essence of them in simple, straightforward Russian, which also makes the dictionary useful for anyone translating from English into Russian.
Each entry consists of a Russian part, almost always a phrase, rarely a single word, followed by an English equivalent. The English equivalent is given in a context taken directly from American or British technical writing which Klimzo has encountered in his several decades of translation and editing. In order to be included in the dictionary, each English equivalent had to meet two criteria to ensure that its usage is stylistically and grammatically correct. First, it must have been written by someone with an Anglo-Saxon surname. And second, Klimzo had to see it used by more than one author. The result is a reliable and wonderfully varied palette of options for translating the standard, often rather dry phases used so repetitiously in much Russian technical writing.
Another unique feature of the dictionary is its index, which takes up a whole separate volume, with Russian and English sections. Its thoroughness makes it easy to locate not only the key word but any significant word of either language in any entry, using the letter-number system. For example, Д752 indicates entry number 752 under the letter Д. Any translator knows the frustration of using a dictionary, however excellent its contents may be, without a well-organized and complete index. The huge effort that has been put into making this index exhaustively complete demonstrates how well its author understands the process of good translation.
As the preface states, the dictionary is intended mainly for native Russian speakers translating into English. For them it is invaluable and indispensable. But they are not the only ones who will benefit from it. Native English speakers will find an immense store of original English technical writing at its best, at tool for raising technical translation from tedium to art. And no one translating English to Russian will be disappointed by the succinct Russian renderings of difficult English phrases.
This dictionary is unique in its content and organization, which reflect the author's insight into the heart of translation and his appreciation of even technical translation as an art. The artist needs tools and inspiration; Klimzo's dictionary provides both.
James E. Walker
ATA accredited Russian>English