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Old 02-10-2010, 08:22 AM   #1
glasgow oldie
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best reader for foreign language dictionaries?

I am buying an ebook reader and any advice would be useful for my specific requirements.

I want to read books in foreign languages, and be able to use foreign language dictionaries.

I would like a touch screen device if possible, so was thinking of the Sony Touch edition, but the foreign language dictionaries from Collins or Oxford are Mobipocket format, which cannot be loaded onto a Sony.

As far as I can understand, one possibility is that I could load Calibre onto the Sony and use the Calibre software to read all books, including the Mobipocket dictionaries. Collins told me they use the Mobipocket software because of the indexing features in the dictionaries- do these features still work after conversion with Calibre?

The other alternative would be to buy a reader that will use the Mobipocket format, and use the Mobipocket software to read and convert other book formats. Are there any pitfalls to beware of in this- I would probably have PDF books to read.

I will be traveling a lot in poor countries, so something lightweight is needed and I have ruled out the larger devices or a netbook. I do not need a Wifi connection. I am purchasing in the UK.

Any advice would be welcome
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
Frawan
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The new sony PRS-T1 has 12 pre-loaded dictionaries, built in so you can just tap a word to get the meaning.

Works for French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Calibre is a software, which you can install on your computer, not on your reader.
You can organize your books with it, convert them from almost any format to almost any format there is.
By installing some extra plugins, you can also use it to free your purchased books from DRM-lockin (google Apprentice Alf), so you are able to buy from practically all book vendors, regardless of the format.

Regarding the dictionary issue:
.mobi-format has an implementation, but it is really getting more and more out of fashion. Except for Kindle, all readers are going epub, so mobi dictionaries are of no use there.
The only reader coming to my mind, which still supports mobi lookup is the Cybook Opus with mobi firmware. No touch there. I used a Cybook Gen3 some time ago (practically identical firmware) and was very happy with the PONS dictionary I could use then. Just the lookup procedure was a bit tedious.
I'm not sure, but I think, on a Kindle you can also buy and install your own dictionaries.

Many epub-readers now come with preinstalled dictionaries. If you are happy, with what they offer (eg. Sony), you have a wide variety of readers. If you want to get the dictionaries of your choice onto your reader, see above.

You can also checkout the famous wiki reader matrix.

edit: I may be wrong, but I am not aware of the possibility of using mobi dictionaries while reading pdf. Generally pdf is the worst format to use with an ereader.

Last edited by vishcompany; 11-01-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frawan View Post
The new sony PRS-T1 has 12 pre-loaded dictionaries, built in so you can just tap a word to get the meaning.

Works for French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch.
Are they translation dictionaries? I.e., will they give you the English translation of a Spanish word? (I assume that's what the OP wants).

Kindle can do this, but not for PDF. The OP would also have to make sure that the appropriate translation dictionary exists - I know that French, Spanish, German, and Italian exist (all to English), but I'm not sure if there are others.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:43 AM   #5
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Are they translation dictionaries? I.e., will they give you the English translation of a Spanish word? (I assume that's what the OP wants).
Yes- they are translation dictionaries, both back and forth to English. Just purchased a T1 myself specifically with the intention of being able to read foreign language books without all the dictionary hassle.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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Just purchased a T1 myself specifically with the intention of being able to read foreign language books without all the dictionary hassle.
Does it work well, or do you find that many words and expressions aren't included?
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Frawan, with the T1 are you able to click the english and foreign translated word into a separate area for making a list of all the "looked-up" words?
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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Does it work well, or do you find that many words and expressions aren't included?
The English dictionary works quite well - and it is easy to look up additional meanings of a word, and to seamlessly switch between the little explanation in the bottom of the screen to the full dictionary/meaning, and then back (i.e. just one click on the return button and you are back reading).

I haven't had time to test out the foreign language dictionaries in detail yet, but just the fact that I can easily go into dictionary mode, and maybe remove a few of the last letters to look up the root, and then return seems good enough.

My overall impression is that the English dictionary is by far the most detailed, and the best at looking up even words not in their 'root' form, but overall it works ok with foreign as well.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stirdawg24 View Post
Frawan, with the T1 are you able to click the english and foreign translated word into a separate area for making a list of all the "looked-up" words?
Not that I am aware of. But you can easily mark and bookmark words, passages etc, for later use.

Nb: The dictionary function only works in epub mode - PDFs not really.
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