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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Foreign language dictionaries for Kindle

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2009 2:57:28 PM PDT
Mary Mcclain says:
I have been hunting for a dictionary that I can use as the default dictionary in my Kindle when attempting to read books written in Italian. I have already bought two Kindle dictionaries that I thought might work, but they didn't. Apparently they aren't indexed correctly as a dictionary. Does anyone have a clue how to tell if a dictionary will work before you buy it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 3:10:09 PM PDT
Bookwormette says:
Thank you for the heads up, Mary. I just finished two semester of Italian and wanted to download an Italian dictionary on my Kindle to keep the skill. I was also thinking that I was going to use it when I eventually get to Italy. Maybe not.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 3:42:16 PM PDT
There should be some wording in the description that lets you know it can be used as the Kindle main (Lookup) dictionary. Otherwise, it is just like any other book.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 5:32:28 PM PDT
Roscoe says:
I would like to use a spanish dictionary, does anyone know which one works well

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 4:27:25 PM PST
AMAZON - Please encourage someone to release an Italian-English Default Dictionary that we can purchase!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2010 5:08:41 PM PST
Mary Mcclain says:
I agree, but how do you do that?

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 6:19:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2010 6:20:33 PM PST
Marc Cogan says:
As far as I know (and I'd like an Italian default dictionary, too), all dictionaries capable of being used as default dictionaries are listed on that page you can find by choosing "Kindle Books" in the pull down menu near the top, then choosing Reference --> Dictionaries --> Default Dictionaries (or something like that).

Obviously, if you're reading a book on the Kindle, having to exit the book to get to a dictionary which is not a default dictionary, look a word up, exit the dictionary, re-open the book, and so on, is a real drag. But if you're reading an actual print book in some language, and you have a non-default dictionary for the language on your Kindle, it's convenient just to keep the Kindle open to the dictionary, looking words up on the Kindle as needed. It's much quicker than looking through a paper dictionary. I do this rather a lot, since there aren't that many recent books in foreign languages available in Kindle format, so I tend to read those on paper and use my Kindle for the dictionary. I have a non-default Italian dictionary on the Kindle as well as several French ones.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2010 6:46:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2010 6:47:03 PM PST
Paxton says:
Roscoe - I have used Merriam-Webster's English-Spanish Translation Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Translation Dictionary, Kindle Edition, and they both work well, depending upon which way you want to translate words in the text. Both fully Kindle dictionaries.

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 11:29:34 PM PST
A Customer says:
Thanks Paxton Reader! I downloaded the Spanish to English version, since I enjoy reading in Spanish some, too, but have lousy vocab!

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 12:02:54 PM PST
Frankie says:
What would really be amazing would be foreign language dictionaries, not translation dictionaries. For example, if I'm reading a book in French, I want to look up a French word in a French dictionary, and I want the definition of the word in French, not in English. Isn't the Kindle a big seller in Europe, if so, what do Europeans use as their dictionary in the Kindle? The fact that this doesn't exist is puzzling. When one is learning a foreign language, the translation dictionaries e.g. English-French, English-Italian, etc. are great, but if one is fluent in another language, all he wants is a dictionary in that language.

Amazon, please add this feature to the Kindle.

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 12:24:35 PM PST
CBRetriever says:
they have them and they're loaded on the basic kindles, but I haven't been able to find them for sale anywhere

I have a german, italian, portuguese, french, english and spanish dictionaries on my two kindle basics

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2012 4:15:09 AM PST
CH Ryan says:
Kindle on my ipad gives me Spanish-Spanish and Italian-Italian dictionaries automatically when I select any word in Spanish or Italian language books. This is brilliant. Don't know what other dictionaries it provides for other languages as I haven't checked..

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 6:00:23 PM PDT
Fennel says:
what version of the kindle app do you have? my 3.0.1 doesn't have the dictionary feature - i'm looking for italian-italian

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 7:22:35 PM PDT
My basic kindle came with multiple foreign-language dictionaries in the archive, ready for download.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2012 3:56:37 AM PDT
Fennel says:
I was looking for the Ital-Ital dictionary in the iPad app, which doesn't seem to be there, altho I have it on my macbook. I may have to get a basic Kindle for reading. Thanks.

Posted on Apr 9, 2013 1:42:53 PM PDT
Kindle really needs to get its act together when it comes to dictionary usage - especially foreign language gloss translation dictionaries. One should be able to designate which dictionary, whether it be a default dictionary or a, say Spanish - English dictionary to a specific book while reading. For some crazy reason, my Merriam-Webster French-English (Kindle Version) works perfectly on my Kindle 'Touch' Reader but NOT on my Kindle Fire nor on the iPad. Likewise for my Merriam-Webster Spanish-English (Kindle Version). It would appear that they have created different apps depending on the device and that some of the apps are more "advanced" than others. It would seem that the Kindle technical people are dragging their feet in getting the Kindle Fire, iPad, (and probably the iPhone / iPod Touch) apps up to date... but at least the Kindle Touch seems to be working with the Merriam-Webster French-English / Spanish-English dictionaries.

Posted on Apr 9, 2013 3:00:37 PM PDT
Fennel says:
I'm having the same issues. I can read Italian books within the Kindle App on my Macbook, and the Italian-English dictionary downloaded and functioned as it should. For the iPhone and iPad there seems to be no way to get the Italian-English dictionary (or I'd even settle for Italian-Italian) into the Kindle App. I've tried re-loading the App, and have spent a lot of time with the Kindle people (phone and email) and no one can explain or fix this problem. I've given up. For a company known for excellent customer support, they just don't seem to care about resolving this.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2013 10:07:01 PM PDT
Why Kindle hasn't grasped the importance (they would increase their Kindle book sales just to name one reason for getting this right!!! - just think of all the College students who would buy foreign language books on Kindle rather than the paper versions!) of allowing the reader to designate a specific dictionary for the particular book a person is reading is way beyond me. On my Kindle Touch (not my Kindle Fire), however, it seems to "know" when I'm reading reading a Spanish book that the default dictionary should be the Merriam-Webster Spanish-English dictionary!!! - which is exactly what I want as Spanish is not my mother tongue. So there is hope. For the time being, on the iPad (for example), if one is online, one has the option of checking a marked word in Google but that is more cumbersome of course. I'm just afraid that some day a future update will disable what now works on the Kindle Touch.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2013 10:41:20 PM PDT
I am very curious about how the "Kindle Paperwhite" works with regard to foreign word gloss translations. According to the product description on Amazon:

"Instant Translations
Tap any word or highlight a section to instantly translate into other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and more. Translations by Bing Translator."

It would, however, be nice to be able to see exactly how this feature works before buying one - perhaps someone could post it on YouTube.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2013 11:32:32 PM PDT
CBRetriever says:
it works just fine, but Bing! isn't a very good translator

you highlight a word or phrase, then a menu will pop up with a definition if it's a word. You then click more and you'll see Translate as an option (then you have to make sure your wireless is on - this is why i got one with 3G so I can use it anywhere), pick the from and into languages and you'll see the translation

the few problems I've run across is that when you highlight a word and it has punctuation after it, it doesn't work very well

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2013 12:44:24 PM PDT
What I like about the Merriam-Webster Spanish-English ('Kindle Edition') but which only works on the Kindle Touch is that it is a rather good definition translator. It can recognize a conjugated form of a verb no problem AND it can work offline. I pay gladly for a good translator if it works and if I think I would use it often. It would be VERY interesting if it would also work on the Kindle Paperwhite. I just disabled and re-installed Kindle on my iPad and it can apparently only manage a free downloadable Spanish (not Spanish - English) dictionary with a direct connection (if I'm online) to Google or Wikipedia (which I suppose is better than nothing).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2013 1:01:42 PM PDT
CBRetriever says:
it will if my French-English (same publisher) one is anything to go by - I use it, but if I can't find the word, I'll use the instant translator that's on both the Touch and the Paperwhite

I'll check right now on my paperwhite

and it works exactly the same

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2013 10:26:29 AM PDT
Gemma says:
How did you access them? Did you have to change the default language? I read in Spanish, Italian and English on my Kindle (basic model) and it still sounds like a pain to have to switch the language of the device each time I open a book in another language. Do you know if there's a way to do this automatically? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2013 10:37:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 12, 2013 10:38:35 AM PDT
CBRetriever says:
no, you don't need to change the default language - you just need to download the dictionaries process by Amazon for those languages and if the book you're reading is properly encoded in one of those languages, then the correct dictionary will be used.

the default is that encoded language of book = encoded language of dictionary

ETA: I read in both English and French (poorly) and don't need to switch my device language

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2013 6:56:14 AM PDT
Gemma says:
Thanks! I searched for the archived dictionaries and luckily the book I'm reading is properly encoded so it works.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  29
Initial post:  Jul 3, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 4, 2013

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