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What is most popular dictionary in Linux? I am beginner and don't know which one to install, because Application Center Ubuntu lists me a lot of dictionaries when I search for a dictionary.

Which one do you recommend me to install? Or should I download another one from somewhere?


I think I explained the problem not so clear. I need a dictionary to translate from one language into another.

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Why not use the one that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu: help.ubuntu.com/community/Dictionary –  User Jul 30 '10 at 20:21
You should change the title to a question. Maybe something like "What is the most popular Dictionary Application for Ubuntu?" –  Serrano Pereira Aug 3 '10 at 0:06
@Bakhitiyor This question is too subjective. Please provide more constraints - what qualifies (to you) a good dictionary application? What features would it need to have? Please edit your question to narrow the scope and this question can be reopened. –  Marco Ceppi Sep 21 '10 at 21:42
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closed as not constructive by Marco Ceppi Sep 21 '10 at 21:42

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6 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I recommend you Goldendict

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GoldenDict does not work out of the box and any attempt by me to get dictionaries for it have ended in confusion. –  Geoffrey Aug 6 '12 at 19:42
@Geoffrey What language do you need? In fact golden dict is just an UI for actual dictionaries. Here: goldendict.org/dictionaries.php you can find a recommendation to buy actual dictionary and use this program to work with it. –  Dmitry Aug 7 '12 at 7:06
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Artha is a thesaurus but also contains a LOT of definitions, it can really act like a dictionary. It is based on WordNet which is a large lexical database of English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs groups as synonyms.

If you have Karmic or Lucid (or newer), you can install it through Synaptic or by typing this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install artha

Click on image for full size

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Does it translate words also into another languages? –  Bakhtiyor Jul 29 '10 at 11:19
No, I believe not. –  Weboide Jul 29 '10 at 23:26
I second Artha. The shortcut key: Ctrl+Alt+W brings up the Artha window, and any word that you have selected will already be defined. –  Hrishikesh Choudhari Aug 3 '10 at 14:52
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For translations of text (sentences, not single words) I use gnome-translate, which is based on libtranslate, a library that can query several online translation services (Google Translate, Babelfish, etc.). There is also a command line tool using this library which I use occasionally too. It doesn't always work flawlessly though; especially when those online services change their website layout it sometimes breaks...

What I also use, for single words, is a local dictd with several freedict translation libraries installed (those translation dictionaries can be found in Ubuntu's package management as packages that have a name starting with "dict-freedict-"). DICT is a standard protocol for querying dictionaries over a network, and dictd is the default server implementation for it in Ubuntu. Once you have installed dictd + the dictionaries you want, you can query them with the default Dictionary tool in Ubuntu. (The advantage of using a local dictd server is that you don't have to be online.)

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Ubuntu already comes with a dictionary application installed. It even has a panel applet that makes it very easy to access any time you need. To add the applet to your panel just do this:

  1. Right click on a empty space of your panel (a place with no other applet);
  2. Click "Add to panel";
  3. In the opened window, search for "dictionary" and you will find the derired applet;
  4. Select the applet and click the button "Add".
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StarDict is another great dictionary tool for translating from and to many different languages. Many dictionaries are available for free from the StarDict webpage. It has some great features like instant translation for selected words and fuzzy search.

To install StarDict, you can run this command from the terminal:

sudo apt-get install stardict
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A very simple one is already installed in every Ubuntu installation: Use Applications->Office->Dictionary (as said before, you can also add a small applet to your panel, this is the same application). By default, this only searches for definitions in an English dictionary. To get translations, open the application:

  1. Select View->Available databases
  2. Press the "refresh" button
  3. Select the appropriate dictionary, e.g. "Spanish-English Freedict dictionary"

Note that this application queries a server, therefore you have to be online to use it.

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