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Customer Discussions > foreign language books forum

What's a good German-English dictionary for the Kindle ?

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Showing 1-19 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 5, 2011, 7:39:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011, 8:07:20 AM PDT
Lili says:
What is a good German to English dictionary that can be set as default dictionary in the Kindle ?

There used to be the "BARRONS GERMAN ENGLISH DICTIONARY (Kindle Edition)" available for purchase for Americans, but not for people in my region (I'm in France). Now, the book doesn't seem to be available at all anymore for the Kindle.

Now, there is the Collins Concise German-English Dictionary (Collins Concise German Dictionary) (German Edition) but the one customer review available says he was not able to set the dictionary as default dictionary.

There is Wörterbuch Deutsch - Wiktionary (German Edition) but there the one review available says that the dictionary cannot give results on words in their inflected forms (which is kind of a bother).

There is this German-English Wiktionary for Kindle but one review says it is basic and I need something intermediate to advanced level to read German novels.

The only other dictionary I found was Dictionary German - English/ Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch (German Edition) but there are no reviews and I don't know if I should try it.

Any other people have tried these dictionaries and have other opinions to add or know of other good German to English dictionaries ? Perhaps somebody else has tried the Collins and it works ?

Posted on Jun 5, 2011, 3:06:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2011, 3:35:20 PM PDT
Lili says:
Ok, I finally purchased Dictionary German - English/ Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch (German Edition). It seems to work with inflected nouns fine, but less so with conjugated verbs, I think. And it becomes even trickier when the conjugated verb has a prefix but even wouldn't be able to give you a direct result there and you have to decompose the word yourself.

As for the vocabulary range, I just started reading a Stefan Zweig story and in the first paragraph, there are a few words it fails to find already. So, this dictionary's range is not as extended as would be ideal for novel reading, though it should still be pretty handy for most of the words I still don't know well.

I still would like to hear about any one else trying Collins Concise German-English Dictionary (Collins Concise German Dictionary) (German Edition) to know whether it really cannot be set as primary on the Kindle, as it seems to have more than twice as many words as the other dictionary.

Posted on Jun 10, 2011, 6:40:34 AM PDT
I have done quite a bit of translation from English to German and German to English. I just finished 1903 book about the teachings of Franz Liszt. Mostly I rely on I find this website very helpful as it includes many idiomatic expressions for both languages. I also teach German at the college level and recommend this site to my students frequently. I know this does not address your question about kindle, but it is a helpful site.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011, 6:54:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2011, 7:09:08 AM PDT
Lili says:
I have been using for years as my online german dictionary of choice. So my issue is not with it. It is a great ressource and I'm not looking for a replacement or an alternative to it as an online dictionary. But I am looking for a solution to be able to read German books on my Kindle when I don't have access to a computer or the internet to look up words, or even if I'm near my computer, so that I can easily see translations of words as I read without having to look them up on the computer.

I thought that was clear, I am looking for a German-English dictionary to set as primary dictionary on my Kindle. I only mentioned in passing, to say that when the one Kindle German-English dictionary I tried was failing to find results, I had to fall back on to get the results I needed. Which is essentially saying that I'm in the habit of finding it helfpul...

So I don't believe I have said anything negative about it. Or is it because I said even couldn't find direct results for some words ? Well, it is true, if you enter a verb in a tensed form, for example, it'll give you possible matching results from which you can pick the one you think is the closest probably result. It's not saying it's completely missing the word in its database, only that it won't take you straight to the translation if you type in the word in a tensed, prefixed form, like, say: "durchgesetzt" or "wegsprühten". If you enter "wegsprühten", it won't give you a result. You have to remove "weg", and then it gives you a list of possible results, among them "sprühen". That is not a criticism. It is a fact. I don't complain about it. I perfectly understand it. I pointed it out to mitigate my remark that the Kindle dictionary I got couldn't find results for words like that. So, if can't find direct results there, then I won't expect a Kindle dictionary to be able to either. Which is kind of saying that I value well enough to let it set my standards when it comes to what I expect from a Kindle dictionary.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2011, 12:23:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 24, 2011, 2:16:33 AM PDT
Hi Chalksauce,
Like you, I'm an avid German novel reader and use whenever I'm needing to look up a word. It's a handy site, but isn't helpful when I'm toting my Kindle on the train.
Long ago I wrote to Kindle Customer Service and requested this very same info on WHEN I'd be able to find a decent German/English dictionary and set it as my defaut dictionary. They sent me a list of other language dicitionaries but no German one was included. Nice to see that that has been rectified. But seeing how you've already bought the recommended one and find it wanting, what I'd do is email them again to say that it is too basic and that they'd have a ready market for a more extensive German/English default dictionary than what is offering.
Like you I'm at the intermediate/advanced level of reading and am waiting for a better option.
And DON"T buy the Collins Concise because it needs to be configured to the Kindle first, unless you want to trowel through pages to find your word.
I'd wait, but be proactive. Write to them.
And if anyone who also needs a default advanced German/English dictionary on their Kindle, is reading this, please email Kindle Customer Service, like I just did. I'm sure with a little prompting from their public, who'd be happy to part with more money, they'd get onto this for sure.
Good thread.

Posted on Jun 24, 2011, 2:48:48 AM PDT
Dear Chalksauce,
Please read my review on the Collins Concise German-English Dictionary (Collins Concise German Dictionary) (German Edition).

I'm happy to say that this actually works as the default dictionary on my Kindle. I read a very negative review where it was stated that it wasn't possible to set this dictionary as my default, and another that said it was configured for just that purpose. What to do? I've read not so happy reviews regarding the cheaper "Dictionary German - English/ Wörterbuch Deutsch - Englisch (German Edition)" as it doesn't give declensions for verbs or nouns, and is generally for beginner learners.

Quite simply I downloaded it thinking that if it didn't work as my default dictionary, then I'd be better off having SOME kind of advanced dictionary on my Kindle than nothing at all. Specially for those train rides or times when I take my Kindle to places that doesn't allow me access to the online dictionaries (btw is simply the best!)
As a serious German language learner and intermediate/advanced reader of German novels, I'm not only over the moon happy at being able to download German fiction as ebooks but am now doing a dance at being able to set the curser at any word and having the translation at my fingertips.
If you want to use this as your default dictionary when reading German ebooks follow the instructions:

To set Kindle default dicitonary:
To enable it as default dictionary follow these simple steps (Kindle device only):
1) Purchase it in the kindle store and wait until it is available on your kindle
2) Press the Home button to go to the Home Page
3) Press the Menu button
4) Move the 5-way to underline `Settings' and press 5-way to select
5) Press the Menu button
6) Move the 5-way to underline `Change Primary Dictionary' and press 5-way to select
7) Move 5-way to select this dictionary, when it's underlined press 5-way to select it.

Happy reading!

Posted on Jun 24, 2011, 7:54:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 24, 2011, 8:07:11 AM PDT
Lili says:
Thank you DeutschReader for your input! I just went and purchased the Collins Concise German-English Dictionary (Collins Concise German Dictionary) (German Edition) finally, and it does indeed work as primary dictionary on the Kindle without a problem. It was my first choice originally and what I would have gotten in the first place if it had not been for the review that said not only it didn't work as primary but that it had been confirmed by the Amazon customer service.

When I emailed the customer service myself asking about this dictionary in particular, just after creating this thread, they responded that the latest Kindle already came with two English-English dictionaries by default: big help that is! Also a year or more ago, I had already written the Kindle customer service once to ask if they could make a German-English dictionary available on the Kindle; there was one available for retail, the Barron's, but it was not available to my location (in France); at that time, they too gave me pretty much the same response which was basically to just use the English-English default dictionary (!!!).

Anyway, glad that was just probably a mistake, about the Collins not working as primary, or maybe it depends on Kindle versions, who knows. Just installed it now and it is undoubtedly proving very good at turning up results that I can tell. This will be a big help in my reading now! I will probably leave a review too after I've used it some more.

Now, the only thing I could wish for would be for a tiny change in the Kindle software, so that you could get to the 'Change Primary Dictionary' tab directly from just hitting the 'Menu' button while you have a book open, without having to hit 'Home', and then 'Settings', and then 'Home' again and make the change, and then backtrack again to your book. It would just make switching dictionaries swifter when you go from one language to another, making it a 2-click operation ('Home' -> 'Change Primary Dictionary') instead of 7. I know, I'm generally lazy. I'll eventually write the Kindle CS about this too, though, maybe, who knows...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 7:50:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011, 7:50:37 AM PDT
Old Werther says:
Chalksauce -- Thank you for this information, as I've wanted to install a workable German-English dictionary on my Kindle. However, today -- two days since you posted your review, Amazon says the dictionary is not available. What?! I'm hoping this is merely temporary ...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 8:06:01 AM PDT
Lili says:
Really? Oh, damn. I just opened the link to the Collins again and it still shows the option to buy or have a sample sent, so I know it's not restricted in my area. Maybe publishers set different restrictions on Kindle books depending on where in the world you are. Sometimes some books are not available to me either, but become so after a while, though not always. Hope you don't have to wait too long!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 8:25:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011, 8:37:13 AM PDT
Old Werther says:
Chalksauce -- Now I see the the Harper Collins COLLEGE dictionary is available for Kindle. This is different than the one you have been discussing -- but I downloaded it and it works fine as the default. Thanks for the info.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 8:30:28 AM PDT
Lili says:
No, I have not encountered this dictionary in my searches. Could you link to it, please? I'd like to check it out too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 8:38:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011, 8:41:21 AM PDT
Old Werther says:
Here is the link HarperCollins German-English College Dictionary (German College Dictionary 2) (German Edition)

Thanks for the information

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011, 8:51:19 AM PDT
Lili says:
Ah, this one says 'Not currently available' to me. But good to know there are options. Although it looks like it could be the same dictionary: same publisher, same number of definitions, same size and same publishing date, it seems. Only they're separate listings and have a different cover, go figure, that's odd. I guess it could work just as well as the other version of the Collins I got. I guess at this stage there's only to try it and see or wait for somebody else to review it. Seeing as mine worked and this one also states it looks up words instantly on the Kindle, I'd go with it if it's the only one of the two you have the option to purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011, 5:42:53 AM PDT
Old Werther says:
(a bit off topic) I would be quite pleased to know the title of this work, since I am most interested in Liszt and his subsequent "school." Is this available online? Thanks Daniel Glass

Posted on Jun 24, 2012, 3:24:59 AM PDT
Hamit Gorali says:
I have Kindle Touch and there is a review that it does not work on Kindle Touch. I am about to buy it.

Any ideas ?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012, 9:12:57 AM PDT
I have French, Spanish, and German to English dictionaries installed on my kindle and the kindle automatically senses which languages I am reading. I never need to switch the primary dictionary settings. Maybe I misunderstand and you are saying you have to switch the prime dictionary when you want words from an English text translated to other languages?

Posted on Dec 19, 2012, 11:09:05 AM PST
Karin Hansen says:
I am reading mostly English books but would like to see the German and French translations. Is there a dictionary suitable to download to my basic kindle? I now do it via my pc but need to access the translations without a pc.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012, 11:09:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2012, 11:12:08 AM PST
Karin Hansen says:
I am reading mostly English books but would like to see the German and French translations. Is there a dictionary suitable to download to my basic kindle? In the past I have used my pc but need to access the translations without a pc.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2017, 11:05:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2017, 11:16:00 PM PST
Barbara and Lili (and anyone else interested):

My experience with Leo's (online) site is that the Leo German/English definitions and related forum-comments are less than satisfactory. People who go there cannot always get correct answers. And the forum's participants are often mean-spirited and disagreeable, besides being inaccurate. I would not rely on Leo for any translation that is really important or that demands accuracy.
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