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Reliability of Wiktionary database

  Tags: Dictionaries
 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
Syntax
Bilingual Hexaglot
Newbie
South Africa
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28 posts - 40 votes
Speaks: English*, Afrikaans*, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 1 of 7
24 September 2015 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
Hi guys

I'm currently a third year engineering student, so I don't have much time for studying my
foreign languages. However, I taught myself computer programming a while back and have
been considering writing some sort of program to facilitate my language learning. I will,
however, need some sort of dictionary database.

The Wiktionary databases are available for download. At the moment I'm mostly interested
in the French-English, Russian-English and German-English databases (in that order). Can
I trust Wiktionary's translations? How do they compare to other dictionaries? I don't
necessarily need extremely in-depth discussions of each word, but rather accurate
translations.

Do you know of any other free databases I might be able to use?

If I can get the program to work, I'll probably end up expanding it to include new
languages I may learn in the future. Are some of the dictionaries in Wiktionary less
reliable than others?

All comments welcome

Thanks,
Henk
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
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Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 2 of 7
25 September 2015 at 2:34am | IP Logged 
I use wiktionary a lot and both Russian and German dictionaries are pretty good. Some words are missing but I don't remember seeing any actually incorrect translations.

Be sure to look at existing projects like Learning With Texts.
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Syntax
Bilingual Hexaglot
Newbie
South Africa
Joined 3261 days ago

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Speaks: English*, Afrikaans*, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 3 of 7
25 September 2015 at 11:17am | IP Logged 
Thanks for the heads-up on Learning with Texts. It looks really cool, but doesn't quite
do what I had in mind.
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AlexTG
Diglot
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Australia
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Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 7
25 September 2015 at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
The translations I've seen on wiktionary have been very good. I don't use it much though, because there's no way to search a specific language. Having to
scroll through the results page to find the language I want sends me batty. But the pages are fairly standardized I think so there's no reason you shouldn't
be able to grab a dump and crawl through it to make some nice dual language versions. Spanish has the fantastic Spanishdict.com, but German has nothing
decent available in terms of dual language online dictionaries as far as I know.

Edited by AlexTG on 25 September 2015 at 4:50pm

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Alphathon
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Scotland
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Studies: German, Scottish Gaelic

 
 Message 5 of 7
26 September 2015 at 3:39pm | IP Logged 
AlexTG wrote:
I don't use [Wiktionary] much though, because there's no way to search a specific language.

Actually you can. Simply add # then the language name (in English) on the end of the search term. For example, typing in#German will take you directly to the German word in. If there isn't an entry for the language you typed you'll just end up at the top of the page.
AlexTG wrote:
...but German has nothing decent available in terms of dual language online dictionaries as far as I know.

That depends on what you mean by decent. Pons.com and collinsdictionary.com are pretty good (both of which are available in multiple languages including German). Neither give example sentences usually, so if that's what you need then sure.

Edited by Alphathon on 26 September 2015 at 3:45pm

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AlexTG
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 2804 days ago

178 posts - 354 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 6 of 7
26 September 2015 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
Awesome! I didn't know about the pons dictionary, looks good, can't stand the collins interface. Wiktionary still
isn't ideal for German because you have to remember to use a capital letter for nouns, but now that I know about
the # technique I'm gonna be using it a lot more for all my languages.
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daegga
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lang-8.com/553301
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 Message 7 of 7
26 September 2015 at 9:21pm | IP Logged 
Syntax wrote:

in the French-English, Russian-English and German-English databases (in that order).


Consider the localized Wiktionary versions for those. So you would look up "Haus" on
the German Wiktionary (de.wiktionary.org) and then use the translation box to get the
English translation.
Look here:
https://dkpro.github.io/dkpro-jwktl/
and here:
https://github.com/componavt/wikokit

This way you get pretty accurate one-word translations.
The problem with Wiktionary in general is coverage. For some languages there are more
words listed than for others.

In case you don't need offline use, you can also look into the Glosbe API:
https://glosbe.com/a-api
Glosbe combines several online sources, it's a superset of Wiktionary.

dict.cc lets you download their dictionary files, but I don't know how well they work.
Their best supported language pair seems to be English-German.

Edited by daegga on 26 September 2015 at 9:49pm



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