The dictionary a solution

The Dictionary, A Solution

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Have you ever tried to learn a new language or even more relevant, have you strived to study and work in a different language that is not your mother tongue? How hard do you usually interact with dictionaries? If this is the case, you might find something worthwhile in this article and stop looking any more!


There are some famous tools which intended to provide a total solution for this requirement. They usually called feature-rich dictionary lookup programs and support a wide variety range of different formats of dictionaries together and a user can add several dictionaries to them. There are PC solutions for Windows, macOS, and Linux and also mobile solutions for Andriod and iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc). Furthermore, commercial and open-source alternatives are available though I am gonna talk about open-source software.

For quick access, these are the four main points I’ll cover in this quick introduction:

GoldenDict for PC

Probably Babylon is the most famous dictionary in the market that also has introduced its specific dictionary file format: BGL. There are many commercial add-ons, services, and a wide range of context-specific dictionaries in Babylon’s market. They additionally offer a large number of free dictionaries that could be found here.

Although I want to introduce GoldenDict, an open-source solution that is designed as a StarDict successor, another open-source tool which has been discontinued now. GoldenDict offers a long list of features and supported dictionary formats:

  • Babylon .BGL files, complete with images and resources
  • StarDict .ifo/.dict./.idx/.syn dictionaries
  • Dictd .index/.dict(.dz) dictionary files
  • ABBYY Lingvo .dsl source files
  • ABBYY Lingvo .lsa/.dat audio archives
  • MDict .mdx dictionary and .mdd audio archives
GoldenDict Main Page
GoldenDict Main Page

You can find any commercial or free dictionary files you would like through the web and add them in your desired order to the dictionary list of GoldenDict. Also, it can be linked to Wikipedia as a complementary description provider for the special expression. Based on the available dictionary and audio files, GoldenDict plays the audio files that are linked to the pronunciations of the words. It’s possible to define operating system global hotkeys (short-cuts) to copy the selected word and put it on the GoldenDict window or even open the quick pop-up window.

In the following figure, you can find out how the installed dictionaries list looks like and how it’s possible to change their order by dragging them up and down.

GoldenDict Dictionaries Page
GoldenDict Dictionaries Page


Almost, all of the advanced features that have been talked before in GoldenDict can be found in MDict for mobile devices. Either using an Andriod or an iOS device, MDict can be found in their official markets as free. Though, you may suffer a bit by advertising.

In the Andriod version, you can simply goto MDict’s setting page then select the Library option and set the desired path of dictionary files at Library directory easily.

Chances are you face more difficulty with iOS devices. iOS usually accepts the dictionary files as the documents of the MDict app. So I recommend to connect your device to a PC by USB cable and add dictionary files as documents. From macOS Catalina, it’s possible to copy files in macOS’s Finder app but as far as I know in older versions and also in a Windows PC you need to use iTunes.

Dictionary References

The dictionary files are expected to find by a quick search on the web, though the following addresses can be considered as initial searching references:

There are many valuable dictionaries available out there, though please notice the copyright of dictionaries when you found them on the internet. You can always contact the owners to be sure about the legal issues of using the dictionary files. Probably Google translator is needed to explore the content of the PDA Wiki or Baidu search engine!

Feature image is provided by Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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