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What is the best monolingual dictionary of Spanish?
Thread poster: RafaLee
Local time: 16:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 29, 2003

Dear my fellow translators,

I am going to buy a monolingual dictionary of Spanish, can any1 recommend the best monolingual general dictionary?

Thank you very much


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Depends on what you're looking for... Oct 29, 2003

To begin with, get the desktop link to the DRAE. If you're looking for the proper use of Spanish, try María Moliner, and if you need to consult common doubts (even for native speakers), there's Seco's Diccionario de dudas. That's a good beginning you could browse over.

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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
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Pros and cons Oct 29, 2003

Hi Rafa

My very favourite is "Diccionario del español actual", by Manuel Seco, but:
(1) It is not available on CD-Rom.
(2) Its corpus is based on European Spanish, that is, there's a lot of Latin American Spanish terms that don't appear there.

If you have a good Internet access, I'd suggest not buy the DRAE, as you can use the online version for free (

If you're interesed in dictionaries on CD-Rom,
I'd go for the María Moliner, as it is usually a bit more complete than the DRAE.

I hope this helps.

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Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:37
English to Italian
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another suggestion Oct 29, 2003

I agree with what has been said by the other colleagues about DRAE and M. Moliner dictionaries. This last one is definitely the best on cd-rom. However, I would like to add also CLAVE, which is not as complete as the other two, but it has lots of words that belong to slangs or that are typically used in South America. Moreover it is also quite cheap, which is not a bad thing! Of course, it depends on what you're looking for...

Good luck


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Maria Belarra  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
French to Spanish
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"Diccionario del español actual", o "el Seco" Oct 30, 2003

Definitely, "Diccionario del español actual", by Manuel Seco, or Clave, which is maybe not as good but is the one I work with and has never let me down. My advice is not to use use "Maria Moliner". It was excellent in its time, but the language in it is now it's old fashioned..

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