What is the best English Language Dictionary for a Translator?

What is the Best English Language Dictionary for a Translator?



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At the inception, let me issue a disclaimer. We sell some Merriam-Webster's dictionaries and other products, so my answer will naturally be biased in that direction. However, Oxford, Random-House, Hippocrene (my wife edited a great Albanian-English Dictionary for Hippocrene) and others make truly wonderful dictionaries as well.


 If you need a dictionary, by all means, get the best possible one that you can, given your specific requirements. In the case of some language professionals, that could be several dictionaries (as my wife's bulging book shelf can attest).


Since you found this article on a Professional Language Translation website, I am assuming you are a language professional or are aspiring to be one or are otherwise looking to improve your translation capabilities. The resource you choose certainly matters in this regard.


We strongly suggest you obtain the most complete and extensive dictionary resource you need for your purposes. If you are a Professional Translator, you will want to have this one resource that my wife discovered a couple of years ago... the Webster's 3rd Unabridged Dictionary.


Anila simply would not be without this dictionary at this point in her career.


 Why? Simply put, it is an exhaustive resource both in terms of the number of words and also in terms of the entries defining and otherwise supporting those words. The word etymology is especially helpful for the most delicate of translations. It is a major resource and a tremendous time saver.  Hand's down, this is the dictionary that the most serious translators will acquire.


If you are a linguist or aspire to any of the language arts, such as fiction or non fiction writing, translating, copywriting, editing, proof reading...then go all the way for the best of resources. Spare no expense and go straight for the most exhaustive dictionary available.


The Webster's 3rd Unabridged Dictionary is available both as a book for sale individually or also with a companion CD-ROM. Please note that the CD-ROM version, while a terrific resource in and of itself, is not nearly as complete as the actual hardback dictionary. While it is not nearly as complete as the hardback version, it is a necessity for all language professionals.


Finding the Webster's 3rd Unabridged is like striking the mother-lode of English Dictionaries.


Copyright 2007 Thomas Mayhew