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WordReference, a Simple Start


Basic Dictionary

When working on something as complex as a terminological project, sometimes we need a simple start. Today we present what might be considered a rather basic resource, the multilingual online dictionary WordReference. Many of you probably already know it, as it is often considered the first stop for general terminology, but some might be hearing about it for the first time.


Michael Kellogg “started this site in 1999 in an effort to provide free online bilingual dictionaries and tools to the world.” This resource should not be dismissed as a simple bilingual dictionary (or collection of such). It also contains some monolingual resources such as synonym and antonym dictionaries, definitions, and grammar tools that linguists will find useful.


Another interesting feature are the forums that can be created for each entry, where users come together to discuss context and usage of a given term. Caution is recommended, however, regarding the accuracy of the information shared in these user-guided conversations. Unlike other similar forums such as those of the more professionally-minded Proz website, participants are anonymous and their expertise is always questionable.


Linguists will find this site especially useful for general translation such as marketing copy, subtitles, and other non-specialized content. The bilingual dictionaries are not only helpful for figuring out the meaning of the original word, but also for finding text-enriching synonyms.

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