EC -- Biological Sciences

Wörterbuch der Tiernamen: Latein, deutsch, englisch; deutsch, Latein, englisch [Dictionary of Animal Names: Latin-German-English, German-Latin-English]. Theodor C. H. Cole. Heidelberg; Berlin: Spektrum, Akademischer Verlag, 2000. 970 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-8274-0589-0. DM 148.00 [01-1-204]

This two-part dictionary contains ca. 16,000 animal names, and claims to have a special focus on European fauna, which one may come to doubt while browsing the entries. In any case, it is not, as advertised, a "cross-section through the entire animal kingdom;" this would entail a larger number of entries, considering that there are some 1.4 million species of animals known today.

The English text of the Preface has not been fully checked against the German text of the "Vorwort," so that important information contained in the Preface (such as a list of libraries consulted) is missing from the "Vorwort," and vice versa. The intended audience for this reference work is evidently quite wide, taking in everyone from the scientist through special interest groups to the amateur biologist.

The dictionary is in two parts. The first consists of an arrangement of names in three columns, Latin-German-English, so that a user who knows his Latin terms (which of course are used around the world) can locate the German and English equivalents with relative ease. It should be noted, however, that in a number of entries the English names are simply missing. The second part, in which the columns are laid out in the order German-Latin-English, raises substantial difficulties through its efforts, only partially successful, to deal with the plethora of German popular names, especially in their many combinations of adjective and substantive (the commonly used designation "Miesmuschel," or common edible mussel, is not found under M, but under G, as "Gemeine [common] Miesmuschel"). [N.B. It would appear that the English-language user, attempting to search under a known English name, is at a great disadvantage here, since neither of the dictionary's two parts is organized according to the order of the English terms.]

A four-page bibliography lists important reference works that can be consulted for particular groups of species. This dictionary fills a gap in the realm of zoological reference works and can be recommended for academic libraries in spite of its hefty price. A CD-ROM exists as an accompaniment to this book, but book and CD-ROM are sold separately, and for this review it was not possible to test whether searches were more effective in the CD-ROM version than in the print version. [jr/crc]

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