top three Arabic > English dictionaries
Thread poster: Eltigani

Eltigani  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
English to Arabic
Oct 8, 2013

can any body help
what the top three Arabic > English dictionaries in the world and identify their editors.


Ele Breckell (X)
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:39
Arabic to English
Hans Wehr Oct 8, 2013

Hi there,

I find my Hans Wehr dictionary absolutely invaluable. Edited by J. M. Cowan. I know you asked for three, but for MSA it's the first one I turn to.

I also own a dictionary of Egyptian Arabic, by El-Said Badawi and Martin Hinds.


Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:39
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Hans is great Oct 8, 2013

Ele Breckell wrote:

I find my Hans Wehr dictionary absolutely invaluable. Edited by J. M. Cowan. I know you asked for three, but for MSA it's the first one I turn to.

And yet for some reason there is a deep hostility among Arabic teachers in the US to "Hans" as we always call it. Hans is great but beware of some dated definitions - the meaning you want is likely in there but make sure to disregard the meanings that don't fit your context.

You can find it online here in conjunction with the excellent Lane dictionary for classical Arabic.

For most things that are too new for Hans and Lane, I end up on which has a limited Arabic > English dictionary as well as an excellent Arabic > Arabic dictionary.

Happy translating!


United States
Local time: 04:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
Bilingual (AD <-> EN) Dictionaries Oct 10, 2013


Kindly clarify if you are looking only for global/general bilingual dictionaries (a la Hans Wehr et al) and/or references on specialized fields / industries / professions / medical & clinical practice areas / technologies, etc.?

If the latter, glad to recommend some items of suitable interest.

Hope this helps. Today is Thursday, October 10, 2013.

Khair, in shaa' Allah.


Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California (Los Angeles Harbor Area)


atmorris0228 (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Arabic to English
+ ...
Dictionaries! Apr 3, 2014

Hans is by far the most comprehensive Arabic-English dictionary I've ever used for MSA (though it does take some digging to find the best translation some of the time). For Iraqi Arabic Georgetown has a really great one cleverly titled "A Dictionary of Iraqi Arabic" that I've found very helpful as well (it also offers some snarky example sentences in the definitions)

Hope that helps!


Timothy Gregory  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
Arabic to English
Hans & more May 7, 2014

I, too, recommend Hans Wehr as my primary Arabic into English dictionary. I also follow with the others and caution that the first definition is not always best.

For Arabic into English - which I practically never do professionally, but sometimes for fun or to back-check something I've translated, I am a huge fan of the hard-to-find Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary of Current Usage. I came across a copy in my local used bookstore, and I have used it a great deal.

For Arabic-Arabic, my primary choice is المنجد في اللغة والأعلام, which includes a mini-encyclopedia and can be a useful reference. On the other hand, as a native speaker of English, when it defines a word by using the same root word in other forms, I find that less than helpful.

The Almaany website is very useful, fast, and available as long as you have an internet connection, and covers all three of the above pretty well.




United Kingdom
Hans Smartphone App Dec 15, 2014

Just to let you guys know that Hans is also available as a smartphone app, you can find it here:


United Kingdom
Local time: 12:39
Arabic to English
+ ...
I recommend online dictionaries Jan 6, 2015 is my favourite.

Babylon: the paid version which has user-added dictionaries that will help you a lot. In addition it shows results from Wikipedia in Arabic.

Lingvosoft is OK, but not as comprehensive as the previous two.

All three are EnAr.


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top three Arabic > English dictionaries

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