WordReference is a free online dictionary used by thousands of people all around the world as it involves some of the most important languages in the world: English, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. They are divided into the pairs English-French, English-Italian, English-Spanish, Spanish-Portuguese and English-Portuguese.
Although it might seem that these are not many languages, in fact French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese represent around 93% of the Romance language speakers in the world, which, as far as I am concerned, is quite a lot.
In 2009, more language pairs were added: English-German, English-Russian, English-Romanian, English-Polish, English-Czech, English-Greek, English-Turkish, English-Chinese, English-Japanese, English-Korean and English-Arabic, but they are still in progress of being finished.
The dictionary that WordReference uses as a resource is Oxford Dictionary, which contains around 100,000 words and sentences with more than 200,000 translations in each dictionary (English-Spanish, English-French…), but for people who want even more, there are larger dictionaries available (Oxford Unabridged and Concise dictionaries) for a subscription of 45USD per year (around 30EUR).
For those who might think that this online dictionary can only translate some words and sentences into other languages, I must say they are totally wrong. WordReference can do much more than that, as it is also a monolingual dictionary that gives definitions of words. This is an example, which I made by writing “casa” (which means “house” in Spanish) and then clicking into “Español: definición”:
I wrote some numbers in the screenshot to try to explain everything that appears quite clearly. If you wish to see the complete page, just click here.
1. By clicking there, we can listen to the word “casa”, so we know exactly how it is pronounced.
2. This is telling us that “casa” is not only “house” as we thought, but that it is also some form of the verb “casar”. It explains which form it is and it gives us the chance to see the conjugation of the verb.
3. This is the source of the information. WordReference took all that data from the Diccionario de la lengua española, Espasa-Calpe.
4. Here we have the definition of the word “casa”, as a noun. This is just a part of everything that appears when you enter the word, as there are 24 definitions of the noun and many others of the verb.
Anyway, I would like to take a deep look at this, as it is one of the most important features of WordReference:
Those who have already used WordReference will probably know what this is, but for those who don’t, these are links to the WordReference Forum. What is it for? Well. Sometimes the dictionary cannot really help us as we are looking for a very specific word, in a very specific context, so WordReference webmasters decided to create a forum where real people could help us with our questions.
This forum is exactly what makes WordReference special and different from other online dictionaries. If we cannot find the word or the expression we are looking for, we just have to enter the forum, register and ask the more than 25,000 users what it means or what the translation should be like. We can also find very useful what we see in the screenshot, which is questions other people made related to the word we are looking for.
For all this, and the fact that we can also look for synonyms, antonyms and so on, WordReference is one of the best online dictionaries available from my point of view. If you wish to start knowing it by yourself, just click on the banner!
- WordReference. In WordReference.com/es. Retrieved 16.09, March 13, 2011, from: http://www.wordreference.com/es/
- WordReference. In WordReference.com. Retrieved 16.28, March 13, 2011, from: http://www.wordreference.com/
- WordReference.com. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17.06, March 13, 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordReference.com
- WordReference.com. In Wikipedia, La Enciclopedia Libre. Retrieved 17.09, March 13, 2011, from: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordReference.com
- Casa. In WordReference.com. Retrieved 18.30, March 13, 2011, from: http://www.wordreference.com/definicion/casa