Useful online glossary tools for translation


Here's my list of favorite websites that help me daily in my work as a French-English translator. Some of these online tools extend to other languages, and some are specifically geared towards French and English. In any case, I hope that you will find some of these useful!


Le Grand Dictionnaire Terminologique (GDT): A wonderful French ↔ English technical dictionary for many (if not all) scientific fields. Launched and updated by the Quebec government, it's very complete and reliable, since it differentiates the uses of a word according to the specific scientific field.

Linguee:  Enter a word in your source language (say - French), and you end up with the word in your target language (English), used in full sentences taken from available online documents. This tool is a hybrid between a bilingual dictionnary and a search engine. It's mainly for French English, but there are beta versions in French German, Spanish and Portuguese. I would qualify Linguee as being very user-friendly and generally accurate. But, one must - of course - remain vigilant when looking at the search results, since the translations on offer can vary in quality and precision. I usually use Linguee as the starting point in m y search for the right word, to see different examples of the word in context.



ProZ word discussion forum: ProZ is an online platform for professional translators of all languages, and it offers many services that have to do with terminology. The glossary allows you to enter a word or phrase in the source language and then gives you multiple options in your target language, gleaned from proZ terminology forums.

There's also the live discussion forum on specific words and phrases, called KudoZ. You can ask a terminology question and get answers from other translators as well as provide answers if you are familiar with the term in context. I use the Proz tools especially when I need to translate an unfamiliar full expression, since many expressions are referenced and have been discussed by translators.


If you know of any other very useful tools, don't hesitate to tell me all about them! I'm always on the look out for reliable online dictionaries.


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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Damien (Wednesday, 06 March 2013 22:01)

    One of the tools I often use is website with english idioms, because I know so few of them, I often end up on http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com because of google but I didn't compare them all.

    The hardest thing I ever did is a translation of Midsomer Murders's Season 4 Episode 4 "Who Killed Cock Robin?". About 90 minutes full of idioms, some of them barely listed on the internet !

  • #2

    annelosqtraduction (Wednesday, 06 March 2013 23:08)

    Yes! I hadn't thought of idioms, but they are tricky to translate and much harder to find in dictionaries. Thanks for the link, I will take a look!

  • #3

    Zoe (Wednesday, 13 March 2013 19:19)

    I found a free CAT software called OmegaT. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it but it seems like a useful tool! Let me know what you think of it if you use it!


  • #4

    annelosqtraduction (Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:17)

    Great! I will check it out. From the screen shots, it seems like it has a clearer interface than Wordfast Anywhere. Thanks a lot for the info!

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