Mac OS X Dictionaries

These are additional dictionaries for Dictionary.app, the built-in dictionary application in Mac OS X.

Most of these are converted StarDict dictionaries, converted with DictUnifier and unless marked differently, are licensed according to the GPL. What makes my conversions different from others you can get around the web is that in the labels along the top of each dictionary, the name of each language is written in that language, with all the diacriticals (hopefully) in the right places, and where possible in the appropriate non-roman alphabet.

After all, if you don't know what language "Čeština" is, do you have any business having it loaded in your dictionary?

Oh, if you must know, it is the Czech language.

Please understand that I have no way of testing these dictionaries conclusively: I don't speak all these languages! But it is clear that some of them are a lot more comprehensive than others, just judging from the file size. 

I have, however, loaded each dictionary here into Dictionary.app and tested them as best I could. Please test them yourself and let me know if any don't work for you by leaving a comment on the page for that language. I may not be able to fix it, but I can stop others from experiencing the same problem.. You will need OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or better to use these dictionaries. You may also experience problems if you are still running a PPC Mac. 

I can only put up what I've found and what I was able to convert. I can't create dictionaries out of thin air. Sometimes DictUnifier will just choke on a downloaded file. If you have stumbled across a dictionary that is not listed here, and you've tested it and it works, please send me a copy (you can email me from the home page) - I would love to include it. But frankly, I can't promise to find all kinds of weird combinations of languages for you. Yes, I know you really need that Albanian>Mongolian dictionary. Sorry, can't help you there. Find the stardict dictionary for me and we'll try to convert it, but there are no promises.


To Install:

  1. Navigate to the language that interests you and download the appropriate file. Note that files of translating dictionaries are listed under both languages, so don't download the same file twice! e.g the French-English dictionary can be found under both "From French" and "To English"
  2. Unzip the file you downloaded. You will find that it contains a single file with the .dictionary extension. In typical Apple style, this is really a directory in disguise. Don't worry about it.
  3. To install for all users on your Mac, copy the .dictionary file to /Library/Dictionaries. You may need to supply an administrator password to do this.
  4. To install for a single user only, simply move or copy the .dictionary file to /Users/[username]/Library/Dictionaries, where [username] is the account of the user you want to have this facility (usually yourself). If these directories do not exist, create them. In Lion (OSX 10.7)  or above you will have to hold down the Opt/ALT key while clicking on GO in Finder's menu to find the current user's Library folder.
  5. If Dictionary.app is running, close it down and restart it.
  6. Go into Dictionary.app's Preferences and make sure your new dictionary is checked. In the example below, English-Dutch will show up, but Indonesian-English will not.
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  1. Optional: right-click on the dictionary's name in the ribbon at the top of Dictionary.app and edit the label. This will not affect the file itself.

Update on Installation:

According to one user of these dictionaries, there is an easier way to install:

"Just go to Finder, Applications, Dictionary, File, Open dictionaries folder, and then just drag and drop the app. you downloaded, move the directory to the top of the list (above the Oxford one) and enjoy! "

Thanks for the heads-up, Robert. I never noticed that before. However, it may be something new, that came in with Lion or Mountain Lion. So if you are still running Snow Leopard (a lot of people are) and you don't see that option in Dictionary.app's File menu, use the old method above. Sorry, I no longer have a SL installation to check on that.

Further Update: Some users have informed me that they are able to just move the .zip file into the Dictionaries  without unzipping it and use the dictionary that way. I am unable to duplicate that, even under Mavericks.


LANGUAGES:


These dictionaries are provided free of charge. But if you want to do something for me, head to the books section of this website, get one of my e-books (even if it's one of the freebies), and leave a review at the vendor you downloaded it from. You don't have to feed my vanity. If you think the book is lousy, say so in your review.


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