Who hasn’t happened to go abroad and live the moment of communication with the local people with embarrassment? Or, how many times reading a book in a foreign language did you promise to find the meaning of that word and in the end, passing the time, did you forget it?
Just in situations like these, the electronic dictionary can help, a device that you can quickly consult when you have a linguistic doubt or are looking for the right term for the context. Read this guide to find out what are the features to consider when buying.
Right here we had selected the latest and advanced models of the best electronic dictionaries.
Buying Guide to Select the Best Electronic Dictionaries
What It Is and What It Is Used For?
With the expression “electronic dictionary” you can understand several things. Take, for example, WordNet: in this case, we are faced with a database designed primarily for the computer in which nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs of the English language are organized systematically and according to different cognitive schemes. It is an incredibly vast and well-ordered database that is accessible and downloadable for free.
Then there are the monolingual electronic dictionaries, that is, real vocabularies of Italian or other languages: each of these provides the definition of an unknown word, synonyms and perhaps some other explanation.
These are useful tools for two categories of users: children who read a book and want to deepen their knowledge of the words they have never heard or are not sure of; people who are learning a foreign language and who love to read books in their original language.
In many cases, when we speak of an electronic dictionary, we are actually referring to a real translator from one language to another. If this is the type of product you need, check if the language combination is chosen is bidirectional.
For example, if you are interested in a translator from English to any language, check that the translation from any language to English is also present. The price of these translators is higher than that of simple dictionaries, but the functions are much more numerous.
There are plenty of dictionaries/translators to choose from on the market, and many share the same functions: for example, if you want to search for a word but are not sure how to write it, just enter the root, and the dictionary will list the various possible options.
Another generally integrated function is the spell checker, just like what is on the primary Word processing programs such as Word. Inside these small devices, there are also the most common idioms and phrases divided into situations such as restaurant, hotel, shopping, airport and so on.
For many, the models of the best brand are those that contain not two but many language combinations, even more than ten and very different from each other: Chinese, Russian, Italian, Spanish, etc.
These are not complete and exhaustive dictionaries, but they can still help those who are learning a new language and especially those who travel abroad and need a little quick help in many different situations.
Those who compare prices and services know that the cost of these multilingual dictionaries is higher and that even the rarest language combinations, for example, Italian-Japanese, are more expensive than the more common ones such as, for instance, English-Italian.
Having said that, it should be remembered that dictionaries often also integrate other minor functions which, however, can further help those abroad. Among them: calculator, currency converter and unit of measure, time zone. Some also teach how to pronounce a word correctly and allow you to send emails.
Dictionary or Translator?
Electronic dictionary generally means a device that mechanically translates foreign words, providing the equivalent in the target language. It can be bilingual or monolingual, to help those who do not have unusually developed skills in the style of the origin or for those who enjoy the right level of knowledge.
For a child, for example, who is starting to study the new language, it is better to choose a bilingual dictionary, which provides the description and meanings of the different term in Italian.
Choose the combination you need: from English to Italian, from Spanish to English, from French to Spanish. On the market, you will find dictionaries for the most common and the most particular languages.
The cost tends to be higher in the case of non-European idioms, such as Japanese, Chinese or Arabic, so consider the context of the use of the device carefully.
If you are completing your studies at the school of interpreters and translators, and therefore knowing the meaning of a word well is of fundamental interest for your business, concentrate your research on a complete model, created by integrating the databases of the best dictionaries in circulation (Garzanti for Italian, Clave for Spanish, Larousse for French, to name just a few).
Choose an electronic pocket dictionary, perfect for taking in the cabin or to the written translation test, which also has the currency converter and the spelling correction function (like that of Word, so to speak), because these are two very delicate aspects of the craft.
If the knowledge of another language is your passion and you do not need to have a specific product designed for professional needs, you will find complete dictionaries on the market that provide additional sections: the synonyms and antonyms or the phonetic characteristics of the term.
These will allow you to acquire and deepen other skills, such as oral and listening skills, making you more fluid and safe when communicating.