Translation dictionary

Translation dictionary

A translation dictionary (sometimes, translator) is a specialized lexicon designed to give users rough equivalents of expressions (words and phrases) between two languages.

A user who wishes to translate a speech production or written text, using a translation dictionary, starts with the expressions in his own language (the source language) and finds corresponding words or phrases in the foreign language (target language). Conversely, for listening and reading works in a foreign tongue, there is a second section of the dictionary designed for converting the foreign expressions as the source back to the user's own language (as the target). For example, an "English-Spanish Translation Dictionary" will include one section for translations from English to Spanish, and one for Spanish to English, though both sections will be designed with the English speaker in mind, as indicated by 'English' appearing first in the language pair.

Available translation dictionaries

Driven by market forces and the ambitions of linguists, translation dictionaries exist for nearly every combination of popular languages:

  • English Language
    • English-Spanish
    • English-French
    • English-German
    • English-Italian
    • English-Polish
    • English-Russian
    • English-Japanese
    • English-Chinese
    • English-Arabic
    • English-Welsh
    • etc.
  • Spanish Language
    • Español-Inglés or Spanish-English
    • Español-Francés or Spanish-French
    • Español-Alemán or Spanish-German
    • Español-Ruso or Spanish-Russian
    • etc.
  • Punjabi (Panjabi) Language
    • Punjabi Kosh Unicode based Punjabi->English->Punjabi dictionary
  • Other Languages
    • (A myriad of offerings and possibilities exist.)


Translation dictionaries range greatly in size, scope, and form. Some are included as compilations in larger dictionaries. Most traveling translation dictionaries are of a hand-held or vest-pocket variety, designed as instant on-the-spot aids for travelers in foreign countries. Many vest-pocket-sized electronic translation dictionaries, often called translators, offer audio clips of pronunciations.

Manufacturers of hand-held electronic translators

Manufacturers of software translators

  • ABBYY Software House
  • Agama
  • Auralog Inc.
  • Babylon Ltd
  • Ectaco Inc.
  • LingvoSoft
  • Promt Ltd.
  • Speereo Software
  • Systran
  • Word Magic Software

See also

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