Downloading dictionaries to e-readers
Thread poster: Marcus Malabad
Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:47
Member (2002)
German to English
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Jan 9, 2011

Hello folks,

Does anyone know about or has anyone tried downloading dictionaries to popular e-readers such as the kindle or iPad? Do the major dictionary publishers such as Kater Verlag (Germany), Oxford (English dictionaries), etc. already offer such services?

Marcus


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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
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German to English
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Awesome idea but ... Jan 9, 2011

Marcus Malabad wrote:

Hello folks,

Does anyone know about or has anyone tried downloading dictionaries to popular e-readers such as the kindle or iPad? Do the major dictionary publishers such as Kater Verlag (Germany), Oxford (English dictionaries), etc. already offer such services?

Marcus


It's a great idea for cost-saving (towards "traditional" standalone e-dictionary handhelds with a QWERTY keyboard such as the ones from Casio which have either limited or sometimes no options whatsoever to extend the range of usable dictionaries) but the only type of linguist I can think of that might take an interest in making use of it is interpreters as all the other types work on the computer which is unparalleled in terms of speed of handling, cost-efficiency regarding dictionaries and most importantly, multi-tasking capabilities.

And those only so if having understanding clients, because as an interpreter you're expected to be aware of the meaning of just about each and every word spoken during the job. But as that is nearly impossible unless you have been a linguist for 15 years or longer, I decided to get one of the above devices from Casio. They are rather costly but apart from in my case 400,000 high-quality bilingual entries also contain a monolingual thesaurus and a monolingual dictionary as well for looking up very rare terms. The battery run time is really convincing.

To get to the point: the issue I see here in regard to your suggestion is that it takes at least somewhat longer to look up a word entering it or a major part of it using a touchscreen keyboard than a hardware QWERTY one. And interpreters are always expected to produce the translation right away or at least within a few seconds. If you then also have to scroll through countless translation options and pick the right one ... maybe a traditional hardware keyboard might be somewhat faster to handle. I am unaware of there being any e-readers having QWERTY keyboards other than the Amazon Kindle 3, but if there are any, these might be the way go.

I am sure extensive quality dictionaries for e-readers will be out very soon because of the vast storage capabilities of these (Kindle 3: 3,500 e-books) or are already, even though I do not know about this.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Also for paper proofreaders Jan 9, 2011

Sebastian Witte wrote:
...the only type of linguist I can think of that might take an interest in making use of it is interpreters as all the other types work on the computer...


Another type of user that might find it useful is a paper-based proofreader or editor. Not all editing is done using Track Changes -- a lot of editing e.g. academic editing is still done on paper. Such an editor can increase productivity by learning to work with the e-pad in the one hand and his pencil/pen in the other. Still, I think it would be better to get the dictionary onto an e-pad (such as iPad or other notepad computers, or even touch-screen mobile devices) than onto a non-computational device such as an e-reader.


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Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
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Probably soon Jan 9, 2011

Marcus Malabad wrote:

Does anyone know about or has anyone tried downloading dictionaries to popular e-readers such as the kindle or iPad?


I can talk about Kindle: Amazon is slowly working on new dictionaries. I have seen one Italian that will be out this year and that I'm interested in.

I'm very happy with built-it The New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD) that ships with Kindle.

Such dictionaries are perfect for reading, but in case you wish to use them as a productivity tool - they tend to be sluggish due to a slow response of the i-ink screen.

If you are buying a Kindle dictionary pay special attention if it is "Kindle enabled" (available during reading by placing the cursor next to a word), since there are some versions that cannot be searched "within" a book/text.

I have no experience with iPad, but since it is mini-PC, it has more power and thus even the most demanding e-dictionaries should not be a problem. But again, iPad is not a productivity tool.

My preference regarding e-dictionaries is WordWeb with built-in OED and Chambers (on PC).


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:47
Spanish to English
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possible uses of e-reader like the kindle Jan 10, 2011

I have recently acquired a kindle, not so much as a work tool, but as a means of downloading hard-to-find books in my source languages that are hard to get or expensive where I live. The number of these available is growing all the time, and I was delighted to download a copy of Borges' Ficciones recently, as I had lost my paper copy.

It is also very valuable if you want to download foreign newspapers. I have found I can get an edition of El País or Público for a modest fee, without having to take out a subscription (I wouldn't have time to read them every day...)

This helps me keep up to date with my source languages.

I have downloaded a trial version of a Merriam-Webster French dictionary, but find it quite slow to use, so will probably not use it for work purposes at this stage. Quite handy to have though.

The two English dictionaries that came preloaded on the kindle are not bad at all.


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:47
German to Spanish
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Downloading dictionaries to e-readers" Jan 10, 2011

Marcus Malabad wrote:

Hello folks,

Does anyone know about or has anyone tried downloading dictionaries to popular e-readers such as the kindle or iPad? Do the major dictionary publishers such as Kater Verlag (Germany), Oxford (English dictionaries), etc. already offer such services?

Marcus


As many e-readers are able to read pdf files, all the dictionaries in pdf format (text, not drawing) should be readable /searchable with such e-readers.

[Edited at 2011-01-10 15:23 GMT]


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Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:47
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English to Serbian
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Glossaries in PFD, not dictionaries Jan 10, 2011

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

As many e-readers are able to read pdf files, all the dictionaries in pdf format (text, not drawing) should be readable /searchable with such e-readers.

[Edited at 2011-01-10 15:23 GMT]


I have some glossaries in PDF, while dictionaries are in some proprietary database format.


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:47
German to Spanish
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Downloading dictionaries to e-readers Jan 12, 2011

Mlinar wrote:

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

As many e-readers are able to read pdf files, all the dictionaries in pdf format (text, not drawing) should be readable /searchable with such e-readers.

[Edited at 2011-01-10 15:23 GMT]


I have some glossaries in PDF, while dictionaries are in some proprietary database format.


They are some dictionaries with a propietary format, specially with Kindle. However, many formats are convertible from and to e-book formats. You may use Calibre to do this: http://calibre-ebook.com/ .


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:47
Member (2002)
German to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Book Scanner Jan 13, 2011

Hello folks,

I just saw this today. A technology reporter has just come back from the CES (the major annual electronics device tradeshow) and described a book scanner that digitizes books (paper dictionaries!) and the output can then be viewed in an e-reader such as a the kindle or iPad. Here's the article:

http://www.ionaudio.com/content380172

This is very exciting news for us translators as many paper dictionaries are available only in hard copy. I for one would be one of the first customers (the device will be sold this summer by ICON AUDIO, the maker) as I have at least 50 dictionaries that are not available electronically and it makes simultaneous traveling and working much easier.


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:47
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German to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Book Scanner 2 Jan 13, 2011

The device looks cumbersome though...on second thought.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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It's not that big... Jan 13, 2011

Marcus Malabad wrote:
I just saw this today. A technology reporter has just come back from the CES (the major annual electronics device tradeshow) and described a book scanner that digitizes books (paper dictionaries!) and the output can then be viewed in an e-reader such as a the kindle or iPad.




I wonder how small it fold up (for storage). Also, it says "1 page per minute" on one page and "1 page per second" elsewhere... but I'll be happy with page a minute.


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