WordReference.com has been improved recently, with broader search functionality. I often recommend it to my students. If I want to translate a single word or multi-word expression, it’s my default app. Here’s what it has that the others don’t. In a nutshell: (1) range of definitions; (2) high interactivity; (3) helpful search functionality.
(1) Range of definitions
There is a huge range of definitions and examples brought up. You can scroll and scroll and find different uses and incarnations of a word. Below these, you can then scroll and scroll through endless collocations that use that word. Delicious.
(2) High interactvity
Kind, wonderful, nerdy people apparently spend their entire day asking and answering questions about words and groups of words. This often provides translations for phrases that can’t be found elsewhere, along with a discussion of the best translation, so you can choose for yourself. It is very up to date with current language use, because forums.
(3) Helpful search functionality
When you type a word into a dictionary, English-Spanish for example, it detects which language the word is from, and translates accordingly: less clicking needed. You can also search for a verb in any form and it will recognise it and bring up the infinitive. Speaking of which – have you seen the conjugator tool? You can translate a word, and, just as you’re thinking: ‘Great: now, how do I put it into the third person plural future perfect continuous?’, you remember that you can click through to the piece of magic that is conjugator.
Question for my students: How many syllables in ‘reference’? (answer in the next post)