My favourite dictionaries – part 1: French-English

Right, I know it’s been a LOOOONG while since I’ve posted anything, but here I am again 🙂

I’ve decided to write a post about online dictionaries, since I am now working for one. I have a very different approach to it, since I don’t regard them from a user perspective any longer.

The ones that rock

First of all, since I work for bab.la, I am somewhat biased. Still I’ll tell you what’s I really like about it:

If you search for a word that is missing, you can let us translators know and we’ll add it within a day (or 2 – we have lives ;))

I am also a big fan of the context sentences that come up with words you look up – makes it a lot easier to use it in the right context.

The other English-French dictionaries I cherish? Well Word Reference is like my first love – always been here for me, as old as time (or 1999 more precisely). Too bad it is not updated often enough, some new terms are missing.

I’m a huge fan of Le Grand Dictionnaire Terminologique Québécois: the database is huge, loads of very complex and technical terms – a gem.

Linguee is also something I use. The idea is good, but a bit limited somehow – not enough entries and the content is not 100% reliable. Still a good one to have up your sleeve.

The ones that are more… macarena

Okay, I don’t understand the whole craze about Reverso. Does it have anything? I never find anything in there. Forget it.

The mysterious cnrs.fr is also something I would not recommend. Awful design, poor content – stay away from it.

Finally, the most disgraceful of all: Larousse. Seriously, such an institution should be among the best online dictionaries. Guess what? I can’t tell for the content is invisible due to programming mistakes. Unacceptable. From the content it offers, I would believe it has less to offer than most.

What English-French dictionaries do you use? I’m always eager to read more suggestions!

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About John Barré

English & German into French translator. Interested in languages, literature, video games, localisation & translation - among many other topics.
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