Appy Hour: WordReference

App: WordReference
By: WordReference.com, LLC
Price: Free
Device: Reviewed on iPhone

Whether you’re a foreign language major or just want to look up one word, the WordReference app is a valuable reference tool. The app translates Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. You can search an English word and get the foreign translation or vice versa. WordReference provides all the standard features of a dictionary, such as pronunciation and parts of speech. In addition, each definition of a word comes with an example sentence. For instance, the English word “mouse” would have a sentence for the meaning of small rodent and another sentence for the meaning of computer accessory. This is followed by compound words (e.g. “field mouse” or “mouse pad”) and then a list of other dictionary entries containing that word (e.g. “double click” or “squeak”). All of that is pretty standard for a foreign language dictionary, but the rest of the app’s features make it even more useful. Every entry lists related forums, where native and non-native speakers answer questions that are not addressed by the word’s definition. One forum debates the French equivalent of “Mickey Mouse degree” while another forum seeks a Spanish translation of the medical term “mouse strain.” You can also use the app to launch a Google text or image search for the word. Finally, you can save a term if you find yourself looking up a word or phrase often.

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