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Old 04-25-2012, 07:38 AM   #1
rebane
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Pop-up dictionaries on K4

Dear Members of the Forum,

I have been using my Kindle 4 for some time now, and enjoying the dictionary pop-up function. So, being perhaps too enthusiastic I went and bought a Latin and a Hebrew dictionary on amazon (not too much money spent there), but it seems that they do not function as pop-ups, which makes them unusable (I would not leave the book being read to go and search a dictionary for five minutes).

Does anyone know how this feature is marked, so that when I buy a dictionary I know that it will pop-up?
I recall reading somewhere that amazon provides some 6 default dictionaries (en, de, fr, pg, sp, ?) - and they show indeed on my kindle account - that can be activated as default dictionaries for respective languages and that then do pop-up, and that apart from these, nought will work.
I cannot find this info anymore.

So, the nuclear question remains: is it possible to buy a dictionary for an arbitrary language that will function as a pop-up?

And satellite questions are:
- where and how?
- how does the contraption decide what language a book is in? (E.g. I have a french text that Kindle insists using an English dictionary on).
- (advanced!) is it possible to make Kindle use a dictionary as a pop-up? is it possible to turn a dictionary into a pop-up recognizable by Kindle?

I would be very thankful for any info on these matters.
In fact I am thankful even in advance.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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It would have to be formatted to be usable as a "default dictionary" on Kindle. The product page will usually say that, if it is.

The language code of both the dictionary, and the document have to be set correctly for the pop-up feature to work.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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Thank you Susan, that gives some kind of direction.

I can't get it to work though. Here is a case:
I have a Latin dictionary bought here: http://www.amazon.de/Electronic-Lati...=pd_sim_kinc_1

The Amazon page has even a set of directions to set up the dictionary as a "primary" one. It is obsolete, however, because K4 has seemingly no "primary" dictionary, but a set of defaults for various languages (probably a predefined small choice). In any case, there is no "primary dictionary" setting as described.
So, the Latin dictionary is on the device, not configured in any way, but, as you say, (pre)formatted to be usable as a default.

I also have Virgil's Aeneid as a test case, downloaded from Project Gutenberg and converted either on that site, or by Calibre. Calibre shows "Language: latin" in metadata.

And... no pop-ups.

Any idea?
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebane View Post
So, being perhaps too enthusiastic I went and bought a Latin and a Hebrew dictionary on amazon [...]
You can download a free Latin dictionary from MR that will work as a popup dictionary, if the language code of the .mobi file is set to English. Hebrew (and other non-Latin alphabet) dictionaries don't work as lookup dictionary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebane View Post
I recall reading somewhere that amazon provides some 6 default dictionaries (en, de, fr, pg, sp, ?) - and they show indeed on my kindle account - that can be activated as default dictionaries for respective languages and that then do pop-up, and that apart from these, nought will work.
I cannot find this info anymore.
On a Kindle 3, there's a Settings > Change Primary Dictionary option that you can use to select the default dictionary for a language, if the several dictionaries for the same lookup language are available. You can test this with the Latin dictionary, which should show up as an English dictionary (because there'e no Latin language code).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebane View Post
(E.g. I have a french text that Kindle insists using an English dictionary on).
Most likely the language code of the French text was set to English or it was a .pdf file.
You can display the language code of documents and dictionary input languages with Mobi Meta Editor.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #5
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Thank you very much, Doitsu.

This does the job.

For the sake of completeness, here are a couple more links with workarounds on the forum, that seem to cheat Kindle into believing that it's dealing with a default dictionary by changing ASINs. Which would be a possible (and only) solution in case of languages for which no free edited versions exist.

http://www.mobileread.mobi/forums/sh...27#post1845227
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/arc.../t-156694.html
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Regarding the Primary Dictionary option, I just had a look at the K4 manuals and according to manual there's a Dictionaries option that lets you choose the primary dictionary.

Kindle 4
Quote:
To go to the Settings page, select Settings from the Home screen menu. Use the Next page ► and Previous Page ◄ buttons to view all the options. The available settings are:
[...]
Dictionaries: Lets you choose which of the installed dictionaries to use for word lookups.
Kindle 4 Touch
Quote:
To go to the Settings page, tap the Menu button from the Home screen, then tap Settings from the displayed menu. The available settings are:
[...]
Dictionaries: Lets you select the default dictionary.
Out of curiosity, are the manuals incorrect, are these options only available on registered K4s or do they exist but don't work?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
Regarding the Primary Dictionary option, I just had a look at the K4 manuals and according to manual there's a Dictionaries option that lets you choose the primary dictionary.

Kindle 4


Kindle 4 Touch


Out of curiosity, are the manuals incorrect, are these options only available on registered K4s or do they exist but don't work?
With the KT 5.1 update, K4 and KT should work identically in terms of dictionaries. Each language may have zero or more dictionaries, and when there are two or more for a given language, you can set one as default. Most languages using Latin-based scripts should work, but I've had no luck with, for example, Russian (Cyrillic script). There are some free ones you can try out here (and scripts that you can use to generate your own dictionaries):

http://blog.mikeasoft.com/2011/01/05...or-the-kindle/

Note that the language properties have to be set correctly in both dictionary and in the metadata of text you are reading. If no language property is set, it probably just uses a dictionary corresponding to the UI language. You can set language property for PDF also and Kindle should use that, but I haven't tested it (and K4 and KT use different PDF libraries so there may be differences).

I believe if you have several dictionaries for a given language, they will 'cascade', that is to say, a word not found in default dictionary will be looked up in the second and so on. So it is possible to 'chain' dictionaries with specialized vocabularies, or add foreign word definitions etc. But I need to check this some more. (a French English translation dictionary I'd purchased years ago from Amazon happened to have the wrong lang code defined, and was treated as an English dictionary on KT. I was surprised to find that French words in the middle of English sentences popped up English translations from this dictionary, even though it showed up as a 'secondary' English dictionary. Amazon refunded my money so I could purchase the since-corrected edition of the same dictionary.)

It is possible in HTML to set a lang property for specific blocks of text, but I don't know if Kindle pays attention to that. More experimentation needed...
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