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The best dictionaries

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July 31, 2004 12:41:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

After having looked through the available dictionaries for PalmOS, I've
reached the conclusion that you need more than one application program
in order to use the best dictionaries.

In general, UltraLingua has got the best bilingual dictionaries.
However, the English-Latin and Latin-English are really bad. Here you
should use LatEngWhi [RoadLingua]. It is based on Whitaker's Words
[http://users.erols.com/whitaker/words.htm] and contains 74,408 entries.
It also gives the declinations of the nouns and the conjugations of the
verbs - and mentions variations. Something missing in the UltraLingua
Latin dictionaries.

But in the UltraLingua dictionaries between English and modern languages
[German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Nowegian], gender is
correctly mentioned and verb conjugations directly given [except for
Norwegian].

When coming to unilingual dictionaries like English-Engish, it is not
that good. Here I will point to A-lex:

http://palmsource.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=sof...
e&prodid=35543

mainly because it gives good explanations, contains a synonym dictionary
- and has the proper RP pronounciation using Daniel Jones' phonetic
characters. 136,000+ words and it is based on the WorldNet lexical
database.

And of course if you need a large English-English dictionary, it should
be Webster's Unabridged. But you will still need the A-lex since
Webster's probably doesn't give the proper RP pronounciation.

I've purchased BDicty with the English Pro-dictionary. But it is not
really that good [pronounciation missing] and its are really bad. An
English-German dictionary that spells nouns without initial capitals and
ignores grammatical gender, what use is it for?

SlovoEd is really slow, and in general it isn't as good as UltraLingua.
It does, nevertheless, have some extra dictionaries not found in
UltraLingua. Swedish-Danish and Danish-Swedish [only relevant to Swedes
and Danes], and dictionaries like Greek-English and English-Greek [if
you are a student of classical languages!].
--
Per Erik Rønne

More about : dictionaries

Anonymous
July 31, 2004 4:43:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

In article <1ghs48d.1qp8iz5bt7f40N%spam@husumtoften.invalid>,
spam@husumtoften.invalid (Per Rønne) wrote:

> After having looked through the available dictionaries for PalmOS, I've
> reached the conclusion that you need more than one application program
> in order to use the best dictionaries.

Per,

Thank you for sharing your thoughtful and well-researched comments on
the selection of dictionaries for PalmOS.

However whenever I see the term "best" used in a discussion of software
choices, a yellow flag pops up in my mind. People of good intention
often debate which software is the "best" because they value the
criteria differently.

For example, when searching for an English dictionary I didn't put
much weighting on pronunciation keys. Partly this is because I am a
native speaker, but more embarrassingly I have never made the effort
to learn how to use the pronunciation syntax used in dictionaries.

On the other hand, etymologies are very important to me, as an aid to
learning and remembering the meanings of seldom used words. Also
important to me are elegant user-interfaces -- interfaces which are
true to the "Zen of Palm". (Yeah I'm also Mac user and a fan of HP
RPN calculators as well.)

So while something like PalmDigitalMedia.com's "Webster's Third New
International Dictionary, Unabridged" meets my must-have requirement
for etymologies, as well as offering 476K entries, it IMHO offers a
poor interface. Its reliance on eReader Pro, an application optimized
as an e-book reader, results in a compromised interface for a
dictionary which poorly utilizes the limited display area available
on a PDA.

So WRT English dictionaries, I ended up with Pocketlingo.com's
American Heritage College. I think it too wastes some of my PDA's
limited display area. And its inclusion of UK variant spellings is
sporadic. But it's got ~250K entries, etymologies, and a neat
"MyWords" feature.

With respect to multilingual dictionaries, I agree that the
Ultralingua.com interfaces are elegant. I think however I found the
vocabulary in their English/French dictionary insufficient (I last
looked at it in 2001), so I ended up with tomtom.com's Collins
English-French dictionary. Collins E-F's minimalist interface is less
aesthetically pleasing than Ultralingua's, but in its minimalism it
too exhibits the "Zen of Palm".

I wish however that both dictionaries would let me add words.
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 7:09:45 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Hi Per,

Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> But in the UltraLingua dictionaries between English and modern
> languages [German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and
> Nowegian], gender is correctly mentioned and verb conjugations
> directly given [except for Norwegian].

The best English <-> German dictionary in terms of contents is the
PONS. Find it at

<http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/BookDetails.asp?Boo...;

You can download a free sample on that page (the free mobipocket
reader must be installed as well).

Contents are the same as in the paper edition (about 1400-1500 pages).

Note however, that it is implemented as indexed ebook, that is you
have keyword searching and full-text searching available, but not in
resident mode which means you cannot search directly out of another
application except Mobipocket Reader.

In terms of usability, I find SlovoEd to be the best. Wish I could
have a combination of both.

Regards,

Guido
Related resources
July 31, 2004 9:57:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Guido Ostkamp <gueltig-bis-15-07-2004@nurfuerspam.de> wrote:

> The best English <-> German dictionary in terms of contents is the
> PONS. Find it at

> <http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/BookDetails.asp?Boo...;

> You can download a free sample on that page (the free mobipocket
> reader must be installed as well).

I've downloaded it. I hope I've guessed correctly on my PalmOS. PalmOS
4.2 for the Pam m130? Or PalmOS 5.0?

> Contents are the same as in the paper edition (about 1400-1500 pages).

I didn't know it before, but it seem large.

> Note however, that it is implemented as indexed ebook, that is you
> have keyword searching and full-text searching available, but not in
> resident mode which means you cannot search directly out of another
> application except Mobipocket Reader.

It isn't really necessary. I'll only be using it when I haven't got a PC
or Mac available - and nevertheless have to make something in German.

> In terms of usability, I find SlovoEd to be the best. Wish I could
> have a combination of both.

In my experience, SlovoEd is extremely slow. Furthermore, some of the
dictionaries seem to come from UltraLingua so why not use UltraLingua?
But as I said in my original post, it seem necessary to use dictionaries
using different readers.
--
Per Erik Rønne
August 1, 2004 12:38:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Schmidt <bt_schmidt@hotmail.com> wrote:

> With respect to multilingual dictionaries, I agree that the
> Ultralingua.com interfaces are elegant. I think however I found the
> vocabulary in their English/French dictionary insufficient (I last
> looked at it in 2001), so I ended up with tomtom.com's Collins
> English-French dictionary. Collins E-F's minimalist interface is less
> aesthetically pleasing than Ultralingua's, but in its minimalism it
> too exhibits the "Zen of Palm".

What, then, do you think about these dictionaries:

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/edict.asp

I haven't tried them yet.

> However whenever I see the term "best" used in a discussion of software
> choices, a yellow flag pops up in my mind. People of good intention
> often debate which software is the "best" because they value the
> criteria differently.

Of course, but some of the dictionaries I saw were simply "below
contempt". English-German or English-French dictionaries which don't
give the gender of the German or French word are useless.

> For example, when searching for an English dictionary I didn't put
> much weighting on pronunciation keys. Partly this is because I am a
> native speaker, but more embarrassingly I have never made the effort
> to learn how to use the pronunciation syntax used in dictionaries.

Well, I have English as my minor subject [two years full time, computer
science is my major] at the university. Still I like to have
pronounciation information. RP pronounciation with Daniel Jones' system,
as that is the one I know.

I don't really need etymological information on my Palm, just a little
help when I read books or use the German->English or German->French
dictionaries. After all, proper dictionaries aren't available between
Danish and the major European languages /for the Palm platform/ [not
even for the Mac platform].

When I need information on the etymology, I will open my Oxford English
Dictionary on one of my two Windows computers: a desktop and a laptop.
--
Per Erik Rønne
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 1:46:52 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> I've downloaded it. I hope I've guessed correctly on my PalmOS.
> PalmOS 4.2 for the Pam m130? Or PalmOS 5.0?

The Palm130 is an old model which runs Palm OS 4.x or earlier. To
determine the exact version try the application launcher, than menu
entry "Info" and inside this "version" (hope that exist in earlier
version as well).

>> Contents are the same as in the paper edition (about 1400-1500
>> pages).
>
> I didn't know it before, but it seem large.

It definitely is. The full file sizes for the registered versions are

pons-de.prc, 4900258 bytes (German -> English)
pons-ed.prc, 4790078 bytes (English -> German)
pons-busi-eng.prc, 422386 bytes (Business English)

IIRC that's more than any other Palm dictionary of this kind has to
offer.

The "PONS" series from Klett publishing and "Langenscheidt" from
Langenscheidt are the most renowned dictionary series in Germany.

You get everything included in a paper dictionary, e.g. gender,
phonetic hints, multiple meanings, phrases and so on - not just a
single word translation like with many other simple dictionaries.

> In my experience, SlovoEd is extremely slow. Furthermore, some of
> the dictionaries seem to come from UltraLingua so why not use
> UltraLingua?

SlovoEd allows you to use more dictionaries under the same interface
and also supports a resident mode. And you can choose from several
companies which supply content even for the same direction, e.g.
"German <-> English". There are also intelligent modes allowing you to
change direction of translation, lists of recently used words, you are
allowed to edit the dictionary and thus add your own words, modify
existing entries and so on.

I've never run SlovoEd on a PalmOS 4.x machine, so can't talk about
performance, but on PalmOS 5 it's fast. Mobipocket is a lot slower.

> But as I said in my original post, it seem necessary
> to use dictionaries using different readers.

Yes.

Regards,

Guido
August 1, 2004 10:49:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Guido Ostkamp <gueltig-bis-15-07-2004@nurfuerspam.de> wrote:

> Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> > I've downloaded it. I hope I've guessed correctly on my PalmOS.
> > PalmOS 4.2 for the Pam m130? Or PalmOS 5.0?
>
> The Palm130 is an old model which runs Palm OS 4.x or earlier. To
> determine the exact version try the application launcher, than menu
> entry "Info" and inside this "version" (hope that exist in earlier
> version as well).

It did. It was version 4.1.

> >> Contents are the same as in the paper edition (about 1400-1500
> >> pages).

> > I didn't know it before, but it seem large.

> It definitely is. The full file sizes for the registered versions are

> pons-de.prc, 4900258 bytes (German -> English)
> pons-ed.prc, 4790078 bytes (English -> German)
> pons-busi-eng.prc, 422386 bytes (Business English)

And for French and Spanish as well, it seem:

• Dictionnaire Cambridge Klett Compact für PDA
Teil 1: Français-Anglais
(ca. 115.000 Stichwörter und Wendungen und ca. 155.000 Übersetzungen;
ca. 3,7 MB)
14,- €

• Dictionnaire Cambridge Klett Compact für PDA
Teil 2: English-French
(ca. 115.000 Stichwörter und Wendungen und ca. 155.000 Übersetzungen;
ca. 4,3 MB)
14,- €

• Paket-Angebot:
Dictionnaire Cambridge Klett Compact für PDA
Teil 1 (Français-Anglais) + Teil 2 (English-French)
26,- €

> IIRC that's more than any other Palm dictionary of this kind has to
> offer.

> The "PONS" series from Klett publishing and "Langenscheidt" from
> Langenscheidt are the most renowned dictionary series in Germany.

> You get everything included in a paper dictionary, e.g. gender,
> phonetic hints, multiple meanings, phrases and so on - not just a
> single word translation like with many other simple dictionaries.

The UltraLingua has full verb conjugations too for all languages except
Latin and Norwegian. This is relevant for Scandinavians who learn or use
foreign languages - our verbs aren't inflexed in person and number. We
say:

I am Ich bin Jeg er
you are du bist du er
he/she/it is er/sie ist de er
we are wir sind vi er
you are ihr seid I er
they are sie/Sie sind de/De er ["De" almost extinct]

But it is correct that the Pons series [English<->French too, I noticed]
seem to be good. And the Oxford Electronic Pocket dictionaries seem
better than I thought - are they different from the paper versions?

> > In my experience, SlovoEd is extremely slow. Furthermore, some of
> > the dictionaries seem to come from UltraLingua so why not use
> > UltraLingua?

> SlovoEd allows you to use more dictionaries under the same interface
> and also supports a resident mode. And you can choose from several
> companies which supply content even for the same direction, e.g.
> "German <-> English". There are also intelligent modes allowing you to
> change direction of translation, lists of recently used words, you are
> allowed to edit the dictionary and thus add your own words, modify
> existing entries and so on.

> I've never run SlovoEd on a PalmOS 4.x machine, so can't talk about
> performance, but on PalmOS 5 it's fast. Mobipocket is a lot slower.

Actually, Mobipocket seem faster than SlovoEd. But of course, there are
two Mobipocket versions: for the PalmOS 5 and for the PalmOS 4.x
--
Per Erik Rønne
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 11:28:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> And for French and Spanish as well, it seem:
>
> ? Paket-Angebot:
> Dictionnaire Cambridge Klett Compact für PDA
> Teil 1 (Français-Anglais) + Teil 2 (English-French)
> 26,- ¤

Yep, seems so. I didn't know they are offering dictionaries without
German as one of the two languages, but nice to know.

IMHO these offers are quite cheap compared to the others - e.g.
different SlovoEd editions - which usually have a lot less to offer in
terms of contents though they are sold at the same price level.

> And the Oxford Electronic Pocket dictionaries seem better than I
> thought - are they different from the paper versions?

Unfortunately, I can't help you with this - you have to download the
stuff and go to your local bookstore to compare the contents. But if I
remember correctly it wasn't as comprehensive as the PONS.

My search was over when I found PONS - this and/or Langenscheidt's
stuff (which isn't available on PDAs yet) is usually used by most
pupils though there are a number of no-name or less-known products
available as well.

BTW, for English->English schools usually recommend the "Oxford
Advanced Learners Dictionary of current english" (don't know if I got
the title 100% correct). The latter was the only one allowed in
examinations for English courses when I was in school.

Regards,

Guido
August 2, 2004 9:24:45 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Guido Ostkamp <gueltig-bis-15-07-2004@nurfuerspam.de> wrote:

> Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> > And for French and Spanish as well, it seem:

> > * Paket-Angebot:
> > Dictionnaire Cambridge Klett Compact für PDA
> > Teil 1 (Français-Anglais) + Teil 2 (English-French)
> > 26,- ¤

> Yep, seems so. I didn't know they are offering dictionaries without
> German as one of the two languages, but nice to know.

Eventually, I think, I will purchase these dictionaries.

> IMHO these offers are quite cheap compared to the others - e.g.
> different SlovoEd editions - which usually have a lot less to offer in
> terms of contents though they are sold at the same price level.

> > And the Oxford Electronic Pocket dictionaries seem better than I
> > thought - are they different from the paper versions?

> Unfortunately, I can't help you with this - you have to download the
> stuff and go to your local bookstore to compare the contents. But if I
> remember correctly it wasn't as comprehensive as the PONS.

I'll try next time I go to the City - it's only half an hour on bicycle
and after all we still have our summer vacation. The Copenhagen suburbs
haven't got proper bookshops.

> My search was over when I found PONS - this and/or Langenscheidt's
> stuff (which isn't available on PDAs yet) is usually used by most
> pupils though there are a number of no-name or less-known products
> available as well.

> BTW, for English->English schools usually recommend the "Oxford
> Advanced Learners Dictionary of current english" (don't know if I got
> the title 100% correct). The latter was the only one allowed in
> examinations for English courses when I was in school.

And it is available for Palm too, though it seem smaller than the
Electronic Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Which is why I think the latter is
larger than the Pocket Oxford Dictionary as it is extremely small - you
can easily have it in a blazer pocket! But they are both lacking
pronounciation, something as well my OED as my NODE [New Oxford
Dictionary of English] have got.
--
Per Erik Rønne
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 10:13:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:
> Eventually, I think, I will purchase these dictionaries.

There also one advantage we haven't talked about yet:

Before downloading registered dictionaries and documents, Mobipocket
requires you to 'personalize' them. You can do that for up to two
reader installations (each reader has it's own serial number somehow
depending on the hardware).

This allows you to use the same dictionaries on the Palm as well as on
the PC at the same time with only one license.

AFAIK it is also possible to change the serial number and re-download
should you change your Palm device later.

>> BTW, for English->English schools usually recommend the "Oxford
>> Advanced Learners Dictionary of current english" (don't know if I
>> got the title 100% correct). The latter was the only one allowed in
>> examinations for English courses when I was in school.
>
> And it is available for Palm too, though it seem smaller than the
> Electronic Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Which is why I think the latter
> is larger than the Pocket Oxford Dictionary as it is extremely small
> - you can easily have it in a blazer pocket! But they are both
> lacking pronounciation, something as well my OED as my NODE [New
> Oxford Dictionary of English] have got.

The paper stuff I was talking of is by "A. S. Hornby" (author) and
about 1500 pages thick. If I remember correctly it had pronounciation
etc. included - I don't have it here, unfortunately.

Regards,

Guido
August 3, 2004 8:06:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Guido Ostkamp <gueltig-bis-15-07-2004@nurfuerspam.de> wrote:

> Per Rønne <spam@husumtoften.invalid> wrote:

> > Eventually, I think, I will purchase these dictionaries.

> There also one advantage we haven't talked about yet:

> Before downloading registered dictionaries and documents, Mobipocket
> requires you to 'personalize' them. You can do that for up to two
> reader installations (each reader has it's own serial number somehow
> depending on the hardware).

> This allows you to use the same dictionaries on the Palm as well as on
> the PC at the same time with only one license.

I've got better dictionaries on my PCs already. In English-English the
Oxford English Dictionary and iFinger [The Oxford Popp-up English
Language Reference Shelf] with New Oxford Dictionary of English [NODE]
and New Oxford Thesaurus of English [NOTE]. In English-??? the Oxford
3-in-1 Bilingual Dictionary [Oxford Duden, Oxford Hachette, Oxford
Spanish] for Win and Mac. Plus the best Danish-English and Danish-German
dictionaries available. So I don't see any need to install it on my PCs.

> AFAIK it is also possible to change the serial number and re-download
> should you change your Palm device later.

> >> BTW, for English->English schools usually recommend the "Oxford
> >> Advanced Learners Dictionary of current english" (don't know if I
> >> got the title 100% correct). The latter was the only one allowed in
> >> examinations for English courses when I was in school.

> > And it is available for Palm too, though it seem smaller than the
> > Electronic Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Which is why I think the latter
> > is larger than the Pocket Oxford Dictionary as it is extremely small
> > - you can easily have it in a blazer pocket! But they are both
> > lacking pronounciation, something as well my OED as my NODE [New
> > Oxford Dictionary of English] have got.

> The paper stuff I was talking of is by "A. S. Hornby" (author) and
> about 1500 pages thick. If I remember correctly it had pronounciation
> etc. included - I don't have it here, unfortunately.

I looked in my NODE [paper] and the Electronic Pocket Oxford Dictionary
only had around every fifth word from this dictionary, and with less
information.
--
Per Erik Rønne
!