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General. Although a number of pocket-sized dictionaries exist, as well as bi-directional single volume dictionaries, these are intended more for travelers. The serious student of BCS should invest in one of the following.

Note: Although this dictionary dates from before the breakup, it is still probably the most valuable reference work for BCS. It distinguishes (E) and (W) variants (corresponding to present-day Serbian and Croatian, respectively), gives both ekavian and ijekavian forms, and is the only bilingual dictionary to give accentual information. Also exists in CD-ROM version.

Note: Despite its name, this dictionary also gives many Serbian and Bosnian forms, although not usually identifying them as such. It includes a wealth of examples, especially of idiomatic usage, and indicates which items (in the compiler’s opinion) are to be preferred in Croatian.

Note: This is a more basic dictionary than the other two, lacking the ekavian/ijekavian span and accents of Benson, and lacking the full idiomatic detail of Bujas. However it gives all the necessary lexical information (from a Croatian base), and is more accessible in price than either of the other two.

Also of interest:
Note: If you are having trouble finding the dictionary of your choice in your local bookstore, you might first search on one of the used books sites such as Abebooks or Bookfinder (worth a try because these are expensive books), or you can order it new from: Schoenhof's Foreign Books, a bookstore specialized in dictionaries, grammars and textbooks for foreign languages.


General. These dictionaries are intended for the non-native speaker of English; one should be aware that they often include information which the English speaker does not really need.

Note: No extra appendices.
Note: Includes a pronouncing gazeteer, a list of English abbreviations, conversion tables of weights and measures, names of military ranks, common proverbs, a long article on “Coping with America” by Peter Trudgill and one on “Coping with England” by Jean Hannah.

Note: Includes abbreviations, pronouncing gazetteer, and a list of irregular English verbs.

Also of interest:
Note: Organized by English idiom, entries largely consist of English phrases, but the corresponding Serbian basic phrase is also given.


General.  Other than the multi-volume academy type dictionaries, there has been a general dearth of monolingual dictionaries. Recently this gap has begun to be filled in Croatia; similar dictionaries in Bosnia and Serbia are forthcoming but lag behind the Croatian ones in depth of coverage.

Note: This is one of the best single-volume monolingual dictionaries. The “veliki Anić” also exists in CD-ROM version. Includes accents, and most Serbian forms (marked as Serbian or “regional”).

Note: Massive, extremely valuable resource. All entries accented (including all personal and topographical names). Numerous appendices.

Note: Massive undertaking covering nearly the entire period of belief in Yugoslav unity. Comparable in scope to the Oxford English Dictionary, including a wealth of examples from many sources. Criticized by Croats for limiting the data base to štokavian material alone.
Note: First published in 1966 and banned at that time for political uncorrectness.


General. These are not full dictionaries, but rather word lists focusing on that which is “different” from something. Usually the difference is between Croatian and Serbian, but it can also be that which is markedly Bosnian, or Turkish-derived. Dictionaries of “foreign” words focus on words borrowed from Western languages, but also include certain Turkish-derived words.


General. The orthographical dictionary (Pravopis) has always been a highly important reference tool. Although its explicit function is to provide information on spelling and punctuation rules, its implicit function has generally been to define the state of a language at any one time.
Note: Monolingual dictionary of idiomatic usage.

Note: Reverse dictionary of Serbo-Croatian, extremely useful for locating words formed with particular suffixes.

Note: Near-identical manuals, except for the fact that one is printed in Cyrillic with ekavian variant listed first and the other is printed in Latin with ijekavian variant listed first.