Sunday, August 2, 2009

What are your favorite free, online language dictionaries?

I've got some opinions on this one (ALC, holla!), so I'm putting together a series of posts for the best free online dictionaries between English and each of Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German (which is probably the rough order I'll do them in). I'm also considering adding Korean and Russian to that list (two languages I've been known to dabble in), but since I don't use those as heavily my opinions are less-well formed.

Before I do, however, I'd like to put a call out for any of the free, online dictionaries that you might like. I've found before that sometimes the best dictionaries don't turn up easily in searches, so I thought I'd see if a little crowdsourcing might be able to find me some new and interesting hits.

4 comments:

  1. multilingual dictionary - elovivo.com

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  2. Yes, i've had the same problem finding good dictionary sites. I'd really like to find an nciku equivalent for german, but i haven't found it yet. So far i've been using a combination of dict.cc, canoo.net, de.wiktionary.org, and occasionally dict.leo.org.

    dict.cc is the best for german-to-english, always with many of the different alternate meanings of each word, but is usually low on example sentences.

    wiktionary usually has some good example sentences, as does canoo.net. canoo.net is also good for having links to related words, such as synonyms and hypernyms.

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  3. I love wordreference.com for Spanish, French and Italian. It's pretty easy to use, pretty thorough, and best of all if there's a usage not listed you can often find a discussion of it in their linked forum.

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  4. @ Anonymous
    What elovivo.com is doing looks pretty cool, but they're just not they're yet in terms of having enough definitions. I tried to look up the word "fat" to see what I'd come up with, and there wasn't a single foreign-language translation. That just won't cut it, although I look forward to see how they progress.

    @ languagefixation
    nciku is a lot like ALC, which is why nciku'll be in my Chinese list. German is one of the languages where I've been hoping for something more. Dict.cc and canoo.net are new to me, so I'm gonna give them a swing with an article my friend just published in German. At a quick glance, they look very promising.

    @ gbarto
    Yes! I've long been a WordReference.com fan. It's particularly good with Romance languages, and not bad for others either.

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