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Important features of an Electronic Dictionary

  • Author:Shirley
  • Source:Original
  • Release on :2014-07-08

 Important features of an Electronic Dictionary

There are a number of features that are available on an electronic dictionary, and this guide will discuss the 10 features that buyers should look for in an electronic dictionary. However, in addition to these features, some other considerations when choosing an electronic dictionary should include the size of the device, whether it is a separate handheld dictionary, its required power source, the cost of the electronic dictionary, as well as its compatibility with any of the user’s other devices such as PCs or mobile devices. Buyers should take these details into consideration, along with the following top 10 features to look for in an electronic dictionary.

1. Type/Number of Dictionaries

There are a number of popular English dictionaries, such as the Oxford English Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Some electronic dictionaries will come with only one dictionary pre-loaded within its software, while others can offer several different dictionaries. The variety of dictionaries that is offered and the quality of the default dictionary can mean the difference between a casual user’s ability to benefit from the dictionary versus the dictionary being able to be utilized for more rigorous academic use.

2. Translation Capability

Many electronic dictionary users are in the process of learning English as a second language. Having their native language available for translation is of great use to users in this situation. Additionally, travelers can greatly benefit from translator programs on electronic dictionaries. These compact devices (or programs for mobile devices) are beneficial when a user is in a foreign country and does not know the native language. For professional translators, some electronic dictionaries may also have storable vocabulary banks for quick reference. Depending on the level of their translation needs, purchasers should research the complexity of a specific electronic dictionary’s translating capabilities.

3. Thesaurus

A thesaurus allows users to input a word and be given a list of possible alternatives to that word. Thesauruses are especially popular with students who need to elevate their vocabulary within assignments. This feature is available on many electronic dictionaries and is a beneficial one for many.

4. Pronunciation

For those users who would like to hear the correct pronunciation of vocabulary words, whether in English or in other languages, some electronic dictionaries come with speakers and with the ability to sound out the word for the user so that the proper pronunciation is conveyed. This can save the speaker any embarrassment that may result from mispronunciation.

5. Stylus

Some electronic dictionaries allow the user to write on a screen with a stylus implement and then have the dictionary find and define the word or symbol. These are especially useful in languages that utilize other symbols that may be unfamiliar to the user, such as Kanji (Japanese) or Hebrew letters.

6. Data Transport

Electronic dictionaries can come with USB storage capabilities that can be loaded onto other devices. The dictionary serves as a memory card of sorts, and this can be used to share specific vocabulary or translation lists with other devices.

7. Learning Programs

Another great feature of electronic dictionaries for students is the learning programs that are included on some models. These programs can include mini-lessons along with self-testing options to help the user improve their vocabulary knowledge. These programs are of great use for those who are preparing for standardized tests such as the SATs and ACTs.

8. Encyclopedia

Some electronic dictionaries come with encyclopedia information, which provides overviews of a variety of topics. While it may not be an entirely necessary function for some users, encyclopedias can also round out the context of dictionary definitions.

9. Built-in Camera

As one of the more unique features of an electronic dictionary, a built-in camera can be used to take a photograph of an unfamiliar word in a text, on a sign, or in any other print form, in order to search for and define the word. This definition can be in English or in another language, provided that the electronic dictionary also has that language available.

10. Added Features

Several extras that usually are available with electronic devices can include calculators, currency converters, and alarm clocks. Those who are looking to purchase an electronic dictionary should prioritize their own needs and find a device that best meets these individual needs.


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