Translation Tools — Dictionaries vs. Online Resources?

Necessities for Language Students and Translators

My favorite translation site:  WordReference.com

I just remembered that I’ve been meaning to say a little something in praise of my favorite tool for translating between English and Italian. I’ve spoken to lots of people who have had trouble with pocket dictionaries and online translating tools–how could we ever expect a 100 page book to contain everything we would like to express or a machine to know exactly what we want to say with words that can mean many different things, depending on context, tone, culture, etc??–and I always advise them to refer to my website of choice:  WordReference.com

This website, which improves daily thanks to contributors from around the world, now offers the following dictionaries to/from English:

Spanish – Diccionario inglés-español
French – Dictionnaire anglais-français
Italian – Dizionario inglese-italiano
Portuguese – Dicionário inglês português
German – Wörterbuch Englisch-Deutsch
Russian – Англо-русский словарь
Polish – Słownik angielsko-polski
Romanian – Dicţionar englez-român
Czech – Anglicko-český slovník
Greek – Αγγλοελληνικό Λεξικό
Turkish – İngilizce-Türkçe Sözlük
Chinese – 英汉词典
Japanese – 英和辞書
Korean – 영-한 사전
Arabic – قاموس إنجليزي – عربي
Monolingual – Oxford Concise English Dictionary
Synonyms- WordReference English Thesaurus

In addition, if you can’t determine which translation is most appropriate for your specific situation, there are language forums to consult full of responses from native speakers regarding a plethora of subtle differences in meaning and use for each word. I’ve used this site on countless occasions (almost daily, actually) as a reference for personal and professional translations. While it can seem daunting to the first-time user, I encourage you to take a little time to explore the site and the resources it offers and I’m sure that you’ll be convinced of its usefulness!

While dictionaries make great head rests for kitties that keep us company during our linguistic endeavors, they can be cumbersome for traveling translators and language students…So, while I don’t suggest you get rid of those big, beautiful, mono-/bilingual reference books that many of us have in copious quantities, I do highly recommend you get familiar with using online tools that are not automatic translation gizmos.
Buono Studio!

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