Who doesn’t know WordReference.com? It has become so widely used that I risk repetition by featuring it here. But I still remember back to the BWR period of my life (« before Word Reference »), so for any readers who find themselves in that situation, let me introduce to you a multi-lingual dictionary that is simply the best.
It’s nothing much to look at, but don’t let appearances deceive you. It’s a powerful and very reliable online dictionary full of useful features for translation:
But the feature that keeps me coming back is the forums. When you search for a word, not only do you get a detailed list of usages, audio pronunciation and compound forms, but you also get links to questions that have been posted in the forums relating to how to translate the term. Every translator knows the frustration of looking up a word and not finding a translation that fits. The WordReference community has become so huge that there is a very good chance that someone has already come across the same problem, and may have posted a question about it. Translation dictionaries are valuable tools but can never replace native speaker instinct, which is why the human contact available in the forums of WordReference is so valuable.
There are many online dictionaries available, but I haven’t felt the need to look further than WordReference. What about you – do you have a favourite free online translation tool? Tell us about it in the comments.