An increasing number of users prefer using online dictionaries than traditional printed versions. This figure is confirmed by the continuous decrease in the sales of these works in bookstores.

On the other hand, it is understandable that in the face of an expense that often exceeds 100 euros, many prefer to use the online or electronic versions, which are often free or available at much lower prices. However, putting aside for a moment the economic aspect, no wonder that the introduction of electronic and online dictionaries offers a true alternative to the traditional printed offer. Let’s see some pros and cons that may help to clarify tihis development.

Reference

dizionari-copiaIn a printed dictionary, the search for a lemma requires a certain mental and physical effort. You have to flip through the pages to find the correct section in alphabetical order, then you must scroll through the items until you find the one you want. This reading work can be tedious and time consuming, but often helps you to also find other terms in the context, making easy to learn new words, and helps you to keep your mind working, similar to “do mental arithmetic and not with the calculator”.

Searching an electronic dictionary is much quicker, often you can just type a few characters to go directly to the desired entry. You can also do full search text for phrases or idioms to find all matching entries. This is a very useful option for those who travel abroad and want to find local idioms leveraging the phraseology.

Convenience

A printed dictionary does not require electricity or an Internet connection, and it does not crash due to software or hardware problems. Moreover, it is useful in many circumstances, for example, where specific regulations prohibit the use of electronic devices, in locations without Internet coverage, on planes that prohibit the use of electronic devices, while conducting tests, etc.

By contrast, an electronic dictionary can be brought anywhere, on a PC or a smartphone, without the weight and bulk of a volume of thousands of pages. Not only, the amount of information that it can provide is absolutely greater than that of a printed dictionary.

Cost

The problem of the cost has certainly contributed to the significant decrease in sales of the traditional printed volumes. A good dictionary can still cost more than 100 euros, although there are often pocket versions available at a lower cost.

In the electronic world, there is an extremely wide range of free or cheap dictionaries. Just connect and you can quickly download a dictionary in a few seconds to find what you’re searching for, not to mention the continuous availability of multilingual dictionaries online.

Updates

The traditional printed versions were updated with new editions published after many years, often just before the exhaustion of stocks.

An online dictionary can be updated in any moment, both in terms of software and content. The wide spread of social media helped to increase the interaction with the users, so they can contribute to the development of the content with comments and suggestions, or by creating specialized or custom dictionaries (unfortunately, not always with satisfactory results).

Quality

All the best printed dictionaries were created by experienced teams of linguists through a long and accurate editorial work. Important authors (and publishers) have helped to create works recognized worldwide for their quality. This is confirmed by the fact that dictionaries are often known by the name of the author (some examples: “Zingarelli”, “Gabrielli” or “the Devoto Oli”) which immediately denotes the content (Italian rather than English Dictionary) and consequently the reliability of the content.

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In the case of electronic and online dictionaries, it is often not clear who is the author, who chose and edited the entries and what sources were used. Much of the free offers is made with the sole purpose to get the largest possible number of users to whom pouring out banner ads. Even the social media impact, mentioned above, and the development of online communities contribute to a greater confusion: the higher interaction with users can help and accelerate the content creation, but often this is not subject to adequate quality control procedures.

Fortunately, all the historically printed material accumulated is not wasted and the same versions of the dictionaries that are on paper are now being increasingly transformed into reference tools available on the Web or in the form of applications for the various operating system platforms. These proposals often have a cost, which, however, is generally lower than the corresponding printed version, and is certainly compensated by the quality of the product.

An example of an online offer is the one proposed by the Italian eLexico.com website, where you can find the leading dictionaries published in Italy. A subscription allows access at any time to the desired dictionary with the possibility to also download an offline version.

Another interesting initiative comes from our collaboration with Edigeo, who is publishing many of the best known Italian dictionaries and encyclopedias (check out the catalog) in the form of app for Android and iOS mobile devices, and PCs and smartphones using Windows 10. The apps are available in major online store and offer an interesting solution especially for those who make intensive and professional use of these reference tools (translators, students, travelers, etc.).

The Zanichelli Encyclopaedia is a powerful tool intended to work out doubtful information, clear up ideas, supply certainties, suggest new issues of discussion in any branch of knowledge. You will find proper names along with specialist expressions and common nouns requiring an encyclopaedic investigation; all entries are developed in a comprehensive way, with a great number of online resources: interactive maps, images, tables (their access needs an Internet connection, even in the downloadable version).

The new Edition features a brand new and optimized user interface, a search engine more efficient, the ability to set the font size to help reading on bigger devices such as tablets. Moreover, all the geographic entries now include a map and the flag.

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Product description

  • Contents are updated quarterly
  • More than 71,000 entries compiled by specialists of every field, regularly updated
  • Birth-and-death dates and places of all personalities included; dates of artistic and literary works
  • 14,000 geographical entries
  • A set of 15,000 cross-references among the entries

Technical Specifications

  • iTunes: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using iOS 6 and later versions
  • Google Play: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets Android 4.0 e later versions
  • Amazon: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets using Android 4.0 and later versions
  • Windows: Compatible with PCs Windows 10 (all editions) and smartphones and tablets Windows 10 Mobile and later versions

Main Features

  • Complete offline use
  • User interface in Italian and English
  • Direct search in the entry index box, search by headword or full text
  • Advanced search by categories/labels

 

The app la Zanichelli 2016 is available on the following online stores:

google amazon appstore

 

 

 

The app “le Garzantine – Antichità Classica” is a complete overview of Greek and Latin civilizations, touching every aspect: from Pericles to Augustus, and from Aeschylus to Lucretius, the whole history, with prominent figures, places and peoples, traditions, religion and myths, language and literature, theatre and music, philosophy and science, art, architecture, and archaeology: an alphabetical and interdisciplinary reference, essential to approach the classical culture.

Entries span over a time period from the origins of the Cretan and Mycenaean civilizations up to the decline of the Roman Empire, and over a geographical span of the same size: Greece and the Greek colonies, Etruscans and Rome, all other civilizations in the Mediterranean area, Near East, India, Egypt, the Judaic world, the ancient Italic, Celtic, and Germanic people.

The app allows for easy and user-friendly features, from a direct search along the full list of entries, to an advanced search within headwords or full-text, in order to display those entries satisfying the search parameters.

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Product description

  • More than 8500 entries written by specialists
  • Places and dates of birth for each figure
  • Dating of literary, philosophical, and artistic works
  • Special pages with thematical widenings
  • Chronological tables of Greek and Roman history
  • Genealogical tables
  • 250 summaries of philosophical key works of the written tradition
  • A circuit of 5200 cross-references between entries

Technical Specifications

  • iTunes: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using iOS 6 and later versions
  • Google Play: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets Android 4.0 e later versions
  • Amazon: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets using Android 4.0 and later versions
  • Windows: Compatible with PCs Windows 10 (all editions) and smartphones and tablets Windows 10 Mobile and later versions

Main Features

  • Complete offline use
  • User interface in Italian and English
  • Index search in the entry box
  • Headword and full text search

 

The app Garzantina Antichità Classica is available on the following online stores:

google amazon appstore

 

 

 

 

 

The Hoepli Technical Dictionary French-Italian/Italian-French is an invaluable tool for translators, technicians and companies which work with French-speaking countries.

This new revised and expanded edition is the result of an impressive project undertaken by Edigeo involving numerous professional figures as well as compilers and lexicographers. In addition to the terminology of classic branches of learning, such as mechanics, chemistry and physics, there are also terms.

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  • User interface in Italian and French
  • 260.000 headwords and definitions
  • Systematic information regarding the sectors terms are used in
  • Selection of basic terminology regarding commercial, administrative and business sectors
  • 94 search categories

Technical Specifications

  • iTunes: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using iOS 6 and later versions
  • Google Play: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets Android 4.0 e later versions
  • Amazon: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets using Android 4.0 and later versions

Main Features

  • Complete offline use
  • Index: displays all the Italian and French headwords matching the entered term
  • Search: allows to search the phraseology and full text
  • Ability to select the categories for the advanced search
  • In Portrait mode, ability to scroll the definitions to the right to return to the list of entries or search results
  • Ability to change the font size of the definitions

This app is available on the following online stores:

google

amazon

appstore

 

The new edition of Julia Dobrovolskaya Hoepli Dictionary Russian-Italian/Italian-Russian is a unique reference for students, teachers, and translators.

It presents an up-to-date list of entries and a practical approach of entries display, including an impressive range of registers: from literary to colloquial meanings, soviet and post-soviet bureaucratic, realias, popular and slang expressions.

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Product description

  • User interface in Italian and Russian
  • 80.000 headwords, 200.000 definitions
  • Dual translations, fixed expressions, proverbs and idioms
  • Binomi traduttivi, fraseologismi, modi di dire e proverbi
  • Words contextualization within phrases or quotations taken from russian and italian authors
  • Abbreviations and acronyms linked to current affairs, science and new technology
  • Systematic information about register and currency
  • Division into syllables and pronunciation of every Italian and foreign entry

Technical Specifications

  • iTunes: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using iOS 6 and later versions
  • Google Play: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets Android 4.0 e later versions
  • Amazon: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets using Android 4.0 and later versions

Main Features

  • Complete offline use
  • Index: displays all the Italian and Russian headwords matching the entered term
  • Search: allows to search the phraseology and full text
  • Ability to select the categories for the advanced search
  • In Portrait mode, ability to scroll the definitions to the right to return to the list of entries or search results
  • Ability to change the font size of the definitions

This app is available on the following stores:

google

amazon

appstore

 

The Technical Dictionary German-Italian/Italian-German Hoepli is an invaluable tool for translators, technicians and companies which work with German and Italian. This new revised and expanded edition is the result of an impressive project undertaken by Edigeo involving numerous professional figures as well as compilers and lexicographers. In addition to the terminology of classic branches of learning, such as mechanics, chemistry and physics, there are also terms.

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Product Description

  • User interface in Italian and German
  • 250,000 headwords and definitions
  • Systematic information regarding the sectors terms are used in
  • Selection of basic terminology regarding commercial, administrative and business sectors
  • 116 search categories

Technical Specifications

  • iTunes: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using iOS 6 and later versions
  • Google Play: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets Android 4.0 e later versions
  • Amazon: Compatibile with smartphones and tablets using Android 4.0 and later versions

Main Features

  • Complete offline use
  • Index: displays all the Italian and German headwords matching the entered term
  • Search: allows to search the phraseology and full text
  • Ability to select the categories for the advanced search
  • In Portrait mode, ability to scroll the definitions to the right to return to the list of entries or search results
  • Ability to change the font size of the definitions

This app is available on the following stores:

google

amazon

appstore