– Awesome Online Dictionary

I recently came across through my ‘net travels, and while it could be improved in many areas, it’s already one of my favorite tools. While the site has a regular dictionary look-up, what I really love is the overlay feature (or “web viewer” as they call it). You go to, select your target language, and enter a website URL; once the page loads, every word on the page is clickable. Click one, and a pop-up window appears with the meaning of the word. There’s also a toolbar at the bottom of the window that you can type a word into, to look up a word that isn’t on the page. (It’s also helpful to look up compound words, as many that are logical in nature don’t have a unique entry.) Here’s what it looks like:

Screenshot of in Action

Once you’ve made an account, Lingro keeps track of all of the words you look up. It also maintains a list of all of the sentences that the words appeared in, which makes it all that easier to add sentence items to your SRS application (I recommend Anki).

The site also has a rudimentary flashcard system, but it really is that: rudimentary. I’ve already poked the developers to add an “export” feature. 🙂

The dictionaries themselves are all open source, meaning they’re free, and they always will be. Furthermore, they’re largely user-built, so if you hit a word that isn’t in the dictionary you’re using, add it. If you’ve ever used the German dictionary, Lingro works more or less the same way. The definitions aren’t always as good as you’d find in a commercial dictionary, but the ease of use – click the word, get a definition – still makes it a worthwhile tool.

Lingro currently has dictionaries for English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish and Swedish.

By |2008-06-16T14:49:22+00:00June 16th, 2008|All Entries, Dictionaries, Resources, Tools|8 Comments


  1. Jeff June 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    This is a great tool. While I try not to rely too much on language-learning facilities online (I prefer listening to lessons, intercambios, and reading newspapers), I know that this will help me immensely with my studies in Spanish (and hopefully some time, with Portuguese).

    Another great resource that I use a lot is (it gives MANY different uses for tons of words/expressions/idioms in 5 different languages, I believe, and discussion forums to help you further)

    Thanks for pointing Lingro out!

  2. […] read a German news article?  I do from time to time… Try lingro…  I found it through The Language Geek, so I’m sending you […]

  3. Karen June 19, 2008 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Oh, I’ll certainly look into this as well for my Spanish studies. Thanks!

  4. anka June 20, 2008 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    busy as always, josh. I envy you, back at my place I have a raving exam session, so no energy is left for language learning. and thx for the handy tool

  5. Josh June 24, 2008 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Jeff: Glad you like the site. I’ve ran into a few snags with it, which I’ll be writing about soon. Still a neat site, though.

    Karen: You’re welcome!

    Anka: I know how exam sessions go; not much fun, indeed!

  6. Jacob Lumbroso June 25, 2008 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Would you be interested in writing some posts for my blog?

  7. Josh June 30, 2008 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacob,

    Probably not right now, as I’m having a hard enough time keeping my blog updated regularly! 🙂 Thanks for asking, though!

  8. John September 28, 2010 at 9:44 am - Reply

    An interesting site, I’m glad I came across your post (old though it is!).

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