Sunday, August 1, 2021

Talking Dictionaries

 Today's English learner has wonderful options for hearing the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.  Online dictionaries typically give you an audio file, definitions, examples of the word in a sentence, synonyms, sometimes a translation, and more.  Among these are: (American Pronunciation)
The Free Dictionary (American & British Pronunciations) (British Pronunciation)
Merriam-Webster (American Pronunciation)
And More.

Then, there are a multitude of stand-alone pocket dictionaries and translators plus apps which turn your cellphone into such a device.  If you are an ESL student learning English with the help of the Color Vowel® Chart, the "Blue Canoe Pronunciation Dictionary" app will give you the color as well.  A free version is available at Blue Canoe Learning

Google Translate also works as a pronunciation app and there are many text-to-speech apps available.  Again, if you want to use color vowels to enhance your learning, Blue Canoe also offers a free computer browser add-on so that you can highlight an unfamiliar word in a browser search result, getting definition and pronunciation on the fly.

What if you have heard a new word but don't know how it is spelled?  Is there a talking dictionary where you can speak the word into a microphone and have it return the likely possibilities with definitions? There are talking dictionaries developed for the blind; however I have no experience with them. Alexa might work!  She will give me definitions and translations; however I have to pronounce the term quite clearly for her to understand.

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