I am a big fan of WordReference, as most of you already know, but I saw this web site mentioned in a post by Benny after the first week of his three-month mission in Germany. After having a look, I thought it was a great tool to add to the language-learning arsenal, and worth a mention here.
Dict.cc – it's not for idiots
So, getting straight to the point, the web site is Dict.cc. It's an English-German online dictionary, and a lot more. The site is really focused on helping English speaking people learn German, but what really makes it cool is that it's not designed for idiots.
That's right, I said it's not designed for idiots. Sure, it's friendly, and certainly easy to use, but they're not going to hold your hand and pretend to teach you German. You can get a feel for the site within five minutes of use. If you're there, it's because you want to learn German, and you're willing to do the work.
There are vocabulary lists by subject, which is really cool if you need to learn words related to specific topics, such as biotechnology, marketing, engineering, real estate, etc. And the lists are quite extensive. For example, while there are 110 words related to motor sports (which seems within reason), the Ornithology list has over 13,000 words!
There are also forums, which appear to be pretty helpful, but on first glance seem to be intended for translation requests and I didn't see any other topics, so if you're looking for more general explanations it might be more appropriate to head over to the forums at WordReference.
And finally, to prove that they're serious, they also have a toolbar and a search plugin available. I didn't actually try either of them, but I'm sure they offer the possibility of making life much easier.
Not just German?
While it's quite obvious that dict.cc was created for the specific purpose of English-German translation, they also have several other languages to German, such as Italian-German, Swedish-German, Russian-German, and others.
But, hidden behind a link marked only with an ellipsis, I found a large list of additional languages including several to English versions. I will, without a doubt, be testing out their English-Italian dictionary as this year's Italian project continues.
It's always nice to add great new tools to the language-learning arsenal, and it's even better when those tools are free. I'm definitely grateful to Benny for mentioning this one. And if you still don't know who he is, or if you're still not following him, trust me you're missing out. Get over to Fluent in 3 Months and start following the adventures!