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Spanish dictionary


Far from it though! Despite numerous, and more modern, methods of learning a language, dictionaries are still highly regarded. Learn Spanish by using the dictionary – with tools like websites, apps, podcasts, and such, one would think that the good, old dictionary has been long outdated.

Whether it’s Spanish, English, or any other language – with these proven helpers, unfamiliar words can be understood in just an instant. 

Some time ago, the huge tomes in our closets underwent a transformation and became quickly accessible sites on the net and sleek apps for our smartphones. Translating from English to Spanish has never been this easy! To assist you, we have scrutinized the large family of dictionaries now available so that you know how to make the best use of them while learning Spanish.


Why casebound Spanish dictionaries will never serve their time

With so many options being offered to us today, you would almost think that the traditional Spanish dictionary is best suited for museum now. Nonetheless, it’s still widely used. You may be asking yourself: when is it being used? 

In the classroom, for example. Despite “Generation Smartphone,” there’s no way around the bound version, especially for tests.
When traveling to other countries, dictionaries are valued companions, too. Particularly fancied are those Spanish dictionaries that already include a few everyday phrases. 

Recently, so-called slang dictionaries, such as ” Spanish for insider ” or “Gibberish, Spanish slang” are becoming increasingly popular. With them, you are able to learn how a local would express himself in colloquial tongue through the use of vivid examples. Additionally, these dictionaries tell you what terms, or formulations, are especially common in certain situations.

Admittedly, this book also contains all sorts of vulgarities and obscenities, but maybe that’s part of their charm. 

Truly irreplaceable are Spanish Dictionaries, in their online versions. Whether for research on the Internet, the reading of Spanish-language books, or to make travel arrangements, they provide us with quick answers. Learn Spanish – free and uncomplicated!


Woman learning Spanish by the help of dictionary.


Are all English-Spanish Dictionaries equal?

Definitely not! But before we closely examine the qualitative differences of various suppliers, let’s have a general look at the dictionary genres.


In principle, we distinguish between:

monolingual dictionaries and

bilingual dictionaries


So what exactly is the difference between a monolingual and bilingual dictionary?

Monolingual dictionaries rewrite a word and thus helps you to understand it’s meaning without a direct translation. This type of reference book is frequently allowed in exams. 

A very special monolingual dictionary is the Real Academica Español, which,in short, is known as “ RAE “. As the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy,  it offers us a very comprehensive Spanish-Spanish vocabulary, that is also equipped with many sample sentences.

Those who do not have the hardcover edition at hand, may also draw for the online version. 

Multilingual dictionaries, however, translate a word in two directions – from one source language to another, and vice versa. They embody the typical dictionary — Spanish to English or English to Spanish are examples of possible directions of translation.
These resources prove to be especially loyal friends on holidays, but they are especially important when reading texts in other languages, too.


And what about the Online Dictionary and the Dictionary App

There you have a point! Due to technological advancement in recent decades, there has been yet another type of dictionaries to choose from.

Namely, between printed and digital.

An printed reference is understood to be a traditional hard copy Spanish dictionary. Whether for English, Spanish or German, almost everyone has a copy of this type of dictionary in their bookcases at home.



Digital Dictionaries

These dictionaries, as the name suggests, are immaterial. Not only do they spare us from endlessly scrolling between countless sites, but they also save us a lot of bookcase space. In addition, they are also considerably lighter and more manageable. They are therefore more ideal for travelling than their analogous relatives.

What type of digital dictionaries are there? On the digital side, we distinguish among the following representatives:

-a Spanish online dictionary

-a Spanish dictionary app

-an electronic Spanish dictionary


Free Spanish Dictionaries online

Yes, we all know this one. And how many of us have been saved from awkward situations at least once because of it? If we are missing the vocabulary necessary to express ourselves adequately, this option provides much needed aid. One cheer for the online Spanish dictionary! The savior of forgotten vocabulary rushes to the rescue as a book, website or app.
But how do we learn spanish online? Which Spanish-English dictionary is the best to use?
Singling out the best dictionaries out of the countless ones that are now being offered to us through the internet, isn’t always an easy task. And as we all know, the first search result isn’t always the best solution.
So that you know whom to trust, we have vetted different providers for you. Before delving into that however, let us briefly discuss two further digital types.


The Spanish dictionary App

Practical as well as nice – and above all, they are always with you! Nowadays, we barely leave the house without a smartphone or tablet in hand. This probably makes the Spanish Dictionary App the most commonly-used translator in present-day circumstances. Especially handy are those apps which can be used offline. This means that they allow us to download all required vocabulary onto our devices, thereby allowing us to use it without connection to the web. More information about those can be found in our great dictionary comparison below.


The electronic Spanish dictionary

Ever heard of this fellow? No? If not, never mind!

Admittedly, the electronic Spanish dictionary is not one of the most common forms of digital dictionaries in use today.
An electronic dictionary is defined as a hand-sized mini computer with software consisting only of a translation program. So that’s basically all it does. Given the competition of apps and similar technologies these days, it is easy to see why it has no real relevance in the modern day market.


Spanish dictionaries

How we will help you with the agony of choice

Last, but not least, we want to check out the digital services’ capability.
One last word concerning printed dictionaries though – despite thorough research, we were unable to come up with just one recommendation of which dictionary to buy.

Printed dictionaries vary greatly with brand, scope and accuracy. At the same time, there are similar features such as a phonetic script which can be found in any dictionary. So, in the end, it always depends on what you expect from the dictionary – do you prefer a large or small vocabulary? Do you need the dictionary for use while traveling or do you prefer a standard version? Do you need one that’s related to your profession or one that contains slang words?

Our recommendation is that you take a close look at what the purpose of this dictionary is supposed to be. You can then conduct a search based on this, and select the one that best suits you.


The Online Dictionary: English – Spanish translated online — Our great comparison

To translate English to Spanish can be quite tricky. So to help you find the best options out there for you, we researched all the specifics on the prime services.


Google Translator


This is not exactly a classic dictionary. As its name suggests, it’s a translator, but, since it provides us with results when entering a word in Chrome for translation, we want to briefly mention it here among the online dictionaries. 

As it currently covers as many as 90 languages, it’s certainly the most extensive free “dictionary” available online for now.
With this Translator, Spanish to English translation can be just as easily done as translation involving more exotic languages such as Hindi, Zulu or Yiddish.

What should be mentioned here however, is that results using this translator usually include a few more suggestions than the other online references. We sometimes felt that the semantics suffered somewhat due to this large amount of search results. 

For you however, this means that you should pay keen attention when using the translator and, in case of doubt, you should confirm words using another online dictionary.

Click here for the online English-Spanish translator by Google


Pons Online Dictionary

Pons Online dictionary

PONS offers you translations in 14 languages with an average of 1.63 million keywords per language. In addition, it provides a picture dictionary and a free vocabulary trainer with different levels of difficulty.

As a user, it is also possible to add new vocabulary at PONS and introduce new words. These will be highlighted in brown until they have been confirmed by experts.

Thus, users are actively helping to improve the dictionary. Spanish – English phrases can be translated here as well, though there is still room for improvement where grammar is concerned. 

Another notable feature is the youth dictionary to which you can add your own slang.

PONS – a well-stocked, online dictionary that we’ve found to be reliable and trustworthy, and also updates weekly. 

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by PONS


LEO Online Dictionary

Leo dictionary

Originally, this dictionary was developed by students of the Technical University in Munich. Today, it offers 8 languages on the net.

Existing dictionaries are constantly updated by the LEO community. In addition, you are able to receive help fast in case of unlisted vocabulary as there are many active forum users.

A gimmick that’s offered, and that stole a smile from us, is the integrated cocktail directory. Armed with these recipes, we are able to learn Spanish the students’ way. =P

Our conclusion: With a total of over 1.88 million words, LEO is a broad reference which, includes no phonetics, but is well-founded otherwise. It offers solid aid delivered with humor!

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by LEO


dict.cc Online Dictionary

Dict.cc online dictionary

2014 dict.cc  was the most widely used online dictionary in German-speaking countries. That’s pretty impressive as, in contrast to the above-mentioned online dictionaries, it is only fed by users.This however, does not mean that it offers us less competent results.
In fact  all entries are examined by the websites specialists.

There areas many as 2.183.192 entries in 26 languagesAlso provided is a forum and a vocabulary trainer that’s available for free usage.

An otherwise rarely offered bonus is the technical term section. Here we get information about (professional) technical terms that we would otherwise find with difficulty or in appropriate specialized dictionaries.

dict.cc is one of the most remarkable representatives among online dictionaries. It has a great stock of words and the covers specialized vocabulary.

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by dict.cc


WordReference Online Dictionary

wordreference- dictionary

Founded in 1999, this portal is one of the oldest representatives of virtual dictionaries. With vocabulary for 17 different languages, it is also one of the most internationally used online dictionaries on the web. WordReference does especially well in translating Spanish.

We were also impressed by the amount of examples and word information that were supplied with each search result – it was really awesome!

If there are any further questions, you will have the opportunity to contact you the bustling community.

Unique is the reading program of WordReference. It includes different features such as, various accents including British English, US English and Scottish!

Thumbs up for an innovative, user-friendly webpage with an option to demand help. 

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by WordReference.


BEOLINGUS Online Dictionary

beolingus online dictionary

This is another online dictionary project that was created by students. It was founded at the Technical University Chemnitz and was created in 1995, so it is even older than WordReference. 

BEOLINGUS possesses over 184.000 words in the following translation formats of German-Spanish, English-German and German-Portuguese. In addition, there are 383.000 definitions and synonyms as well as 3.919 million sample sentences.
Two of its special features are: 1) a converter for physical quantities and, 2) a syllable separator for German terms.

What we think: BEOLINGUS is a great dictionary that we highly recommend! Especially as it relates to the field of portuguese, the dictionary does better than many collaborators. 

Click here  for the online English-Spanish dictionary by BEOLINGUS.


Lingro Online Dictionary

lingro online dictionary

Lingros’ slogan – “The coolest dictionary known to hombre!” – made us curious. With a little more research, we learned that the founder, Artur, created it when he was reading “Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal”. He was unhappy with the slow search of other services and decided to do better.

The main focus of the 11- lingual dictionary is to allow persons to have fun when learning. The 8 million translations and various educational games provided help us with that. A very special idea is the “Lingo Web Viewer ” – a mega cool tool, in which you simply paste the URL of any website. 

Then, whoosh! Just like that, Lingro shows this site again, only this time, every single word is clickable. If you do click, an instant translation appears on the page. No copying or typing necessary. Brilliant!

This online dictionary is at least as charming as its founders’ reason for building it! 

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by Lingro.


The Spanisch Dictionary DIX


DIX was formerly a pure German-Spanish online dictionary. Today however, there is an English section being developed. Overall, it provides us with 297.228 terms. 148.839 of those are German and 148.389 are Spanish.

In addition, you can look up 4.769 spanish verbs with conjugations and also use a forum for questions.

Overall, it has less vocabulary and features than its competitors. For that reason, it offers more accuracy and more meaningful translations than its competitors. At least for the most part. 

Click here for the online English-Spanish dictionary by DIX.


Spanisch Dictionary Apps by Comparison


Simply unbeatable abroad – the Spanish Dictionary Apps! One brief glance at our  smartphone and everybody will certainly find the right words. Even in everyday situations, they are fast and above all convenient assistance to us. 

Some dictionary apps translate spoken words and even whole sentences. Their output will be a text or the vocal version. Extremely practical!  You are therefore perfectly equipped when leaving the house. 

Here we took a very close look at 5 of the best Apps available. Most of them work well with both iPhone and Android devices.
Find out now which dictionary app best suits your needs best!


Google Translator App


The Google Translator app, like its big brother the Google Translator, is more of a translator than a dictionary. As before, we added it for sake of completeness.

This app is available for Apple devices as well as Android. It is able to translate 80 languages in written and spoken form. Unlike the online dictionary however, the defaulted language will be detected automatically when activating the appropriate setting. This makes it quite enjoyable and easy to translate spanish to english.

A solid app! Particularly noteworthy is the availability of a language pack which can be downloaded to your mobile phone. This solves the problem of offline research. In addition, you have the option of simply taking a snapshot of your our text which the app will then translate for you. Pretty awesome isn’t it? 

Here’s the link for a free download of Google Translator:

Spanish-English dictionary for iDevices

Spanish-English dictionary for Android


LEO Dictionary App


LEO as an app has all functions of online dictionaries. Besides translations into 7 languages, it also offers us an offline vocabulary trainer as well as definitions and grammatical help for verbs.

Unfortunately, it provides no Spanish dictionary. This option is only available on the website. Also, a connection with the internet is required to make it work. 

As our article mainly revolves around how to learn Spanish with dictionaries, there are some points deducted for not providing this tongue. Nevertheless, this free app is very nice and highly recommendable for its available languages anyway! 

Here’s the link for a free download of Google Translator:

Spanish-English dictionary for iDevices

Spanish-English dictionary for Android


dict.cc Dictionary App


With 51 available language pairs, this dictionary app is one of the largest. The required language can be downloaded as a small or large vocabulary package directly on your device. Offline usage also eliminates all annoying ads. 

Also, it has a great way of typing in query words: When starting dict.cc, you just select a language and then immediately type in the words. As this online dictionary is bidirectionally, it auto-selects the right translation direction. 

In addition, to it suggests fitting words while typing and therefore speeds up the whole process. The only drawback is that you could lack the required storage capacity on your smartphone. 

Learning Spanish online and offline is fun with this convenient and uncomplicated helper. 

Here’s the link for a free download of dict.cc:

Spanish-English dictionary for iDevices

Spanish-English dictionary for Android


iTranslate Dictionary App


Also widely known is the app, iTranslate. With 80 offered languages, it is even competition to Google translator!

As a user you will be supplied with suggested words while typing just like at dict.cc. However, spoken words are only understood using the paid premium version. In any case, you need an internet connection to make it work. Thus, there is no way of offline usage.

Due to its large vocabulary, this app is a hot tip for those of us who dislike Google Translator or want to bypass it. You will be in good hands!

Here’s the link for a free download of iTranslate:

Spanish-English dictionary for iDevices

Spanish-English dictionary for Android


CamDictionary Dictionary App


Here is other excotic representative of dictionary apps – the CamDictionary. What makes it so special? Well, texts can be scanned via smart phone camera and then will be automatically translated. 

Shooting a photo is not necessary – simply aim the camera at your target and that will suffice. Easy isn’t it? The tongue you start with will also be recognized by default. That’s really handy if you don’t exactly know the language you need translated.

Written translations are delivered in 36 languages while acoustic ones in 18 languages. CamDictionary obtains its data from Google and Bing. The pronunciation is even available in varying dialects and are read out for you by native speakers.

It’s a bit of a shame is though that you are restricted to 300 photo scans. You are limited to five pictures per day.

Nevertheless, CamDictionary is a witty and reliable dictionary app that may even be worth investment in the full version. Learning Spanish online and offline is convenient and fun with this little helper. 

Here’s the link for a free download of CamDictionary:

Spanish-English dictionary for iDevices

Spanish-English dictionary for Android



The lesson is clear:

There are more than enough opportunities for you to learn Spanish with dictionaries. Whether traditionally by book, or more modern through the help of browsers and apps, everybody will find their match. Learning a new language is definitely worth the effort! 

Languages open the gate to our world – and learning Spanish is easier than you think! So then, let’s go! We dare you – Get a dictionary that fits your needs, and start learning today – ¡Vámonos ! 🙂

If you want more, just visit us on our beautiful sunny island Tenerife. Weather south or north – our congenial teachers are looking forward to meeting you!

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It pays! 😉

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