Software recommendaiton (English-English dictionary)

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Software recommendaiton (English-English dictionary)

Post by stromfi » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:23 pm

I'm looking for an English-English dictionary that has the following features:
1. A single click on the word will pop up the definition.
2. Can be used on any text.
3. I can listen to the pronunciation of the word.

Does any of you have some recommendations?

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Post by beyn » Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:43 pm

Well I certainly advise you to have babylon programme. You can downlaod it from its site or can find from somewhere else....
Also after completing set-up, you should load glossaries which also can be got from ...

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Post by stromfi » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:55 pm

Hi beyn,

Thank you for your recommendation. As a matter of fact, I was on myself before posting my message. Babylon-Pro 5.0 is indeed a very nice and sophisticated program, but isn't it more of a bilingual desktop dictionary than a monolingual one? I wouldn't need all those fancy-shmancy features, such as conjugation tools, writing help, translation in 12 different languages, weather report, conversion tool, etc. I just need a monolingual desktop dicitonary that gives me the basics: English definition + pronunciation with a single click. Do you know of such a software?

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Post by fluffyhamster » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:48 am

I know they aren't free, but why not just invest in one of the advanced learner dictionary plus CD-ROM packs now available (if you haven't done so already)? They aren't at all expensive, and all of them* allow you to click on any word in any Windows-based program (e.g. Word, or an IE/web window) to be automatically shown the relevant dictionary entry.

For example, the Cambridge CD-ROM has a "QUICKfind" function:

Macmillan's QuickFind (in smaller QuickSearch display mode), and the Longman Pop-up mode, are similar to Cambridge's.

I've had a quick look in the instruction manuals for the Macmillan and Longman, and it appears that you can select a setting whereby the pronunciation will play automatically when an entry opens, so you should get pronunciation along with the entry at a single click (not 100% sure about this though, because being a native speaker I rarely need to hear the pronunciation and can make easy enough use of IPA instead, so I haven't made use of this type of setting yet myself).

As for which exact package to buy, I reckon the Cambridge might have the edge in terms of simplicity, speed and reliability, but the updated version of the Longman apparently offers recordings of not just every headword but also many many sentences, as well as the Longman Language Activator to boot (but I recall you need to go to dictionary entries to get pronunciations for any words, though). I'm presuming the Oxford is almost as good value for money (it includes the Wordfinder, and entries from the Oxford Guide to British and American Culture etc) as the Longman.

Lastly, the Macmillan is a great package, but the copyguard is a pain because simply re-inserting the CD-ROM after your initial 30 days are up isn't sufficient (you'll need to keep the CD-ROM in the drive ALL THE TIME whenever you're using the software after that, which increases wear and reduces speed of access somewhat...not sure how to get around this flaw, if it is typical of every CD-ROM that Macmillan has produced, could just be mine or my PC perhaps). You could always get a friend who's bought the Macmillan already to help you gain access to the online version of the dictionary - you'd need to complete a quiz to prove "you" have bought a copy - see second paragraph of the following post: ... 2835#22835

It's been a while since I used the online version of the Macmillan, but if memory serves me correctly, it may well be the only one which offers audio pronunciations (because the users granted access have ostensibly paid for the dictionary package already).

Obviously, none of the free online dictionaries has click/jump functionality (outside of the dictionaries/dictionary webpages themselves) between them and whatever Windows programs (not sure about the Macmillan online, though I doubt it), so you'll be needing to cut and paste or manually type in the words into the online search box (assuming that there will actually be a pronunciation available online once the search has been done). EDIT: Fancypants, below, reports that the Merriam-Webster online has audio of the pronunciation.

*The Oxford Compass CD-ROM (sold with the the OALD 7th edition) probably has technology similar to if not an improvement on Oxford's previous "Genie" stuff, which is similar to the other "quick click" stuff from Oxford's competitors, above, if some of my students' comments about the OALD 6 Genie CD-ROM were anything to go by.

P.S. I don't have my "Collins COBUILD on CD-ROM" package installed on my PC at the moment, so I can't tell you from memory if it offers the same "quick click" jump functionality (in Windows applications) as the above Cambridge etc packages, and in any case, mine is of the Third edition dictionary etc, so it could well differ from the less "packed" CD-ROM now offered with the Fourth edition of the paper dictionary.
Last edited by fluffyhamster on Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:28 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by stromfi » Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:01 pm

Hi fluffymaster,

Thank you very much for your extensive reply. I really appreciate it and I find all you wrote very helpful and informative. Can you also recommend a desktop dictionary that is similar to the ones you mentioned (though not the Macmillan-type where you have to keep your CD-ROM in the drive all the time), but is for American English?

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Post by fluffyhamster » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:47 am

Hi again Stromfi! Sorry for the slight delay in getting back to you.

I reckon the Longman Advanced American Dictionary+CD-ROM package could be just what you're looking for: ... e&n=283155

Bear in mind, however, that it lacks a lot of the features of the updated/v.2 LDOCE4's CD-ROM (namely, the addition of the Language Activator, inclusion of entries from the Longman Dictionary of Emglish Language and Culture, audio recordings of many of the example sentences, and the new Longman Writing Assitant), and the book is black and white only, not full-colour...that's a lot of stuff to be missing out on just to get a dictionary with "American" on the cover! (That is, the LDOCE itself provides perfectly good coverage of American English, with the added bonus that British English won't be being neglected either :wink: ).

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Post by dvasas » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:05 am

Many of my students have a hand held dictionary and they can use them instantly in class too!!

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Post by fancypants » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:40 pm

the merriam webster on-line dictionary has audio.

i forbid the use of electronic dictionaries in my classroom - i find Ss tend to hide behind them, to use them as security blankets and to over-rely on translation from L2 to L1.

instead, i encourage them to ask other students and if nobody knows what the word means, to use the english-english dictionary or thesaurus i bring to every class. if they STILL have questions, they can ask me as a last resort.

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Post by stromfi » Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:20 am

Hi everybody,

I think I've found what I was looking for! :) It's offered by and it's basically a one-click access to an online encyclopedia. Check it out! You might like it, too. Thank you very much again for your helpful hints and suggestions, though. :)

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Post by Pronunci » Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:00 pm

Try You can use this software surfing online. Just double click any words to take you to multiple online dictionary sites with pronunciation. You can actually save the audio files on the system to practice them later.


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