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Paola Di Muzio
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Dear ESL All subscribers from all around
In answer to some of your requests, here's
the May issue of the ESL All monthly newsletter dealing with top
unilingual and multilingual online dictionaries. As you are probably
aware of, there are thousands of language dictionaries on the Internet
and English learners are often at a loss when it comes to choosing
the one that best suits their needs.
Unilingual or bilingual
Inasmuch as we encourage our students to use an English
unilingual dictionary as often as possible, the fact
remains that using a bilingual dictionary is not only
useful but also at times essential, especially in the
case of less advanced language learners.
For this reason, we have decided to introduce
you to some of the best British and American online dictionaries
as well as to multilingual and picture dictionaries. Moreover,
those of you who are in an adventurous mood will find some sites
pointing to hundreds of multilingual online dictionaries covering
numerous aspects of the English language.
Dictionaries are more than a dull collection
of words, they reflect old and new ways in which we share our experiences
and speak or write to one another. Noah Webster, the author of
what is probably today's most famous American dictionary, has expressed
this idea better than anybody else:
"Language is not an
abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers,
but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys,
affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has
its bases broad and low, close to the ground."
Do not hesitate to send us your comments or questions
if you have any.
The ESL All Team
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: A
free online dictionary (based on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R)
Dictionary) and thesaurus. It features audio pronunciations,
a new spelling helper, Word of the Day, word games, and
word for the wise (a 2 minute radio show script that
explores the English language).
2-The American Heritage® Dictionary of the
com: Free online
version of the American English dictionary
featuring over 90,000 definitions,
most with audio word pronunciation
guides, 10,000 new words and senses,
900 full-page color illustrations,
language notes and word-root appendixes.
3- Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Cambridge Advanced Learner's
Dictionary: Your guide to six Oxford English
Dictionaries available online: 1) Cambridge Advanced Learner's
Dictionary, 2) Cambridge Dictionary of American English,
3) Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, 4)
Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms, 5) Dictionnaire
Cambridge Klett Compact (French-English), and 6) Diccionario
Cambridge Klett Compact (Spanish-English). Best of all, use
of these dictionaries is free, so check it out!
Oxford Dictionary Online: Searchable
online version of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary,
as well as thesauri, quotations, foreign language dictionaries,
a word of the day, lexicography, and games.
5- A few Online Picture (visual) Dictionaries
Visual Dictionaries: Although rather
limited, there exists a few interesting and useful online
viusal dictionaries for beginners and low-intermediate learners.
Most of them are multilingual and cover a great variety of
topics. Some have audio support while others are merely text-based.
Answers.com: Answer engine, with talking
dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, bios, tech terms, news,
sports, weather, and much more. Get answers from over 100
encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, and atlases.
Look Dictionary Search
OneLook.com: Meta-search dictionary
tapping hundreds of general and highly specialized reference
sources. A comprehensive index of over 5 million words in
more than 900 online dictionaries. Contains a database search
that allows you to find a word contained in any of the dictionaries.
If you can't find a word here, odds are it doesn't exist!
Encarta® World English
Talking Dictionary: Enter
a search term and find dictionary definitions and thesaurus
results from Encarta. Also features an encyclopedia, atlases,
and multilingual word translations.
HyperDictionary.com: A continuation
of an educational project to provide free dictionary services
to any user on the web. Features the following dictionaries:
an English Dictionary, a Computer Dictionary, a Thesaurus,
a Dream Dictionary, and a Medical Dictionary.
list of hundreds of other online dictionaries available on
the net in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, French,
Dutch, German, Hebrew, and Italian.