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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Preference For Reference

For many decades in the Soviet era, dictionaries and encyclopedias were among the least expensive and scarcest books in this country. Reference books were automatically considered political propaganda and were given low prices. But because they had such a high percentage of factual information, demand for them was much higher than the number of printed copies. Now the situation has changed. Demand for dictionaries is higher than ever, and they are some of the most expensive books on the market. And they still sell like hotcakes. Fortunately, this has resulted in a rapidly growing list of titles, both new and reprinted. So if you can wait for several months, you can get exactly what you want from a bookstore without having to shell out twice the sum to street book vendors for a previous edition. Most of the new Russian-language dictionaries are printed by the Russky Yazik publishing house, including a 106,000-word orthographic dictionary, an 11,000-word book of Russian synonyms, and dictionaries explaining stress and grammar rules in the Russian language. The best of the new English-Russian dictionaries also come from Russky Yazik: a revised edition of "New Muller's" dictionary, first published over 50 years ago. A new three-volume English-Russian dictionary, edited by academician Yury Apresyan, contains 250,000 words. The third volume is due before the end of the year. This dictionary is available by subscription, which you can get from the subscription department of any large bookstore in Moscow. The price is 5,000 rubles for the first volume and 8,000 for the second.