The current situation regarding Tibetan-English dictionaries is complex. In the past?meaning fifteen or more years ago?translators were forced to rely on outdated materials, such as the works of Chandra Das, Jäschke or even Csoma de Körös. Das? dictionary was the most easily available in the East, and also the best of the three, but it was still completely inadequate for translating Dharma.
Thankfully, the situation has improved dramatically in recent years, and there are now several dictionaries and glossaries available, all well suited to the translation of Dharma, and?in some cases?available electronically. Electronic dictionaries obviously have several advantages over those in the traditional book format, aside from mere portability. The main bonus they afford is speedier consultation, but they are also easier to update and amend.
Why then have I described the situation as complex? Simply stated, although there are several good dictionaries available at the moment, they all have their own particular drawbacks or disadvantages, as will now be explained by looking at the major ones in turn.