Sunday, 28 August 2011

Offline dictionaries for Android: user interface of Euro Dictionary got a tiny little bit better, but keep a copy of DictionaryForMIDs

There are plenty of dictionary and translation apps for Android that tap into Google Translate, but if you need a free offline translator there's not much choice.

The Android port of DictionaryForMIDs lets you download many dictionaries (including WordNet and an ancient version of Webster). Too bad that its user interface is a mess.

The user interface of Euro Dictionary is equally bad. Most screen space is unused, with almost every option hidden under the menu button. Not that there are many options, though.

The latest version of Euro Dictionary adds language pair reversal, so you don't have to scroll the language list twice to switch from english-french to french-english. This option is hidden in the menu instead of being available in the main screen. Worse yet, it's not accessible from the start screen, so you'll need to do a dummy translation before you can reverse languages.

The dictionaries of Euro Dictionary are not that good. It only supports 11 languages, the vocabularies are limited, and most four letter words are missing.

On the bright side, Euro Dictionary will speak the words if you tap 'em. The language has to be supported by Android's text to speak engine to make it work, so you may need to download extra languages.

DictionaryForMIDs has better dictionaries and many more languages, but Euro Dictionary supports text to speech. Maybe they'll join forces one day to produce a really good free offline dictionary and translation powerhouse? Until then, don't choose. Just use both of 'em.

Euro Dictionary (Android Market)
DictionaryForMIDs (Android Market)
DictionaryForMIDs (SourceForge)

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