Friday, November 13, 2009

iPhone/iPod Touch: Useful Language Apps

A key feature of the iPhone/iPod Touch is the ability to draw Chinese and Japanese characters on its screen. I don't know how useful this is for creating text, but it is an invaluable replacement for radical/stroke analysis when looking up these characters in a dictionary. For Japanese I am using the app Kotoba and for Chinese DianHua.

Other language apps I've found so far that seem especially useful or high quality are the mobile version of Google Translate, the Larousse Dictionnaire de Français, the Classic Greek dictionary Lexiphanes, and the Latin dictionary Lexidium.

Additional suggestions by readers are most welcome.


Magnus Lewan said...

Good list!

Even though I have so far not bought any of them, the following ones also look good on AppleStore: Old English Dictionary, Latin dictionary, Greek English Lexicon. Does anyone have any thoughts about them?

I did buy the Oxford Multilanguage Pack. It is acceptable, but I unfortunately often encounter French, German, Italian or Spanish words that are not in the corresponding dictionaries.

Magnus Lewan said...

Another application which may be useful is デジタル大辞泉.

The interesting thing with this encyclopaedia is that it includes Japanese handwriting recognition. If you try to use the Traditional or Simplified Chinese drawing pads to find Japanese characters, you are stumped when the Japanese character has no Chinese equivalent. Switch to デジタル大辞泉, and draw the character there. Then copy and paste it to your other application.

The character recognition is not perfect, but it includes hiragana and katakana as well as kanji.

The application is not free, but it is less expensive than the equivalent paper encyclopaedia.

Circle said...

I'm using two Thai Dictionaries Dr Wit Library edition (Thai-English-Thai). Quick Dict does (English to Thai). Dr. Wit is a good dictionary especially considering how it fits in my pocket.