iPhone App Review: Ultralingua Dictionary

iPhone App Review: Ultralingua Dictionary

September 9th, 2012 by

From developer Ultralingua comes a pocket dictionary app that combines 20 different dictionaries in one no-internet-required app, and the best part is that you can try it out for free. Ultralingua Dictionary features an advanced search engine (that catches misspellings, entries in either language, irregular verbs, and more), built-in verb conjugations, a favorites and history list, font and text size customization, and the ability to purchase and download one of 20 complete dictionaries right from within the app. Each title features over 300,000 translations (and we’re not just talking “Language XYZ -> English”; try Spanish to Portuguese, French to Spanish, Spanish to German, and more).

How It Works

You can download the app for free and try out every single volume: after a brief download you get the entire text of the letter M in each language or language-translation book. Other than being limited to just the letter M, you have full use of the app and its features.

You can search for a word in the search bar, or browse the list manually. Tapping on a word highlights it and gives you the option to copy it to the clipboard, jump to its definition or (if it’s a verb), jump to its conjugations. You can tap the Star icon on each entry to add it to your favorites list, and there is also a History listing that shows the history for the current dictionary as well the entire app history. There is also a font icon that lets you adjust the font size or change the displayed font entirely.

Pros And Cons

If you’re someone in need of a language dictionary for any reason, this is an app you need to take a look at. Once downloaded, each dictionary is on your device in its entirety, meaning you don’t need an internet connection for reference. The complete conjugations for each verb in every language is also amazing, showing you every possible form of a verb along with its translation where applicable. Dividing the Favorites and History lists by into two lists (current book and entire app) is a brilliant choice that will keep you from having to scroll down a list of useless German words after you’ve gotten off the plane and landed in France (or whatever it is you world travelers that need all of these language dictionaries do when you travel).

The books themselves are not cheap by App Store standards, but all are a bargain by language dictionary standards (especially when you consider that you aren’t carrying several pounds worth of books in your pack). Single-language books (English Dictionary, French Dictionary, Thesauruses, etc.) run $4.99-$9.99, while translations from one language to another run around $19.99 each. This app is also not a magical “translate what I write into another language” type app, it is a full-featured language dictionary with hundreds of thousands of entries per book, including slang, technical jargon, regional differences, and hundreds of usage notes about troublesome constructions.

Overall

Ultralingua is a comprehensive language reference with over 20 translation dictionaries and millions of total entries for the budding world-traveler or polyglot among us. Try it on iPhone or iPad for free, and if you need to know more than just all the “M” words you can unlock any dictionary easily from within the app.

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