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The 3 Best Online Spanish Dictionaries



        When I first started to learn Spanish at the age of 10, I did not know much at all. I did, however, know that I liked a Spanish speaking girl at my school. To try to impress her I would write her "love notes" in Spanish. How did I accomplish this? By using my good old English-Spanish dictionary, and typing phrases into google translator of course. It turns out that most of what I had written was incorrect due to the my lack of knowledge, the horrible translations from google, and using the wrong definitions in my handheld dictionary. Needless to say, I did not end up impressing her.
        Would you like to REALLY impress your Latin lover? Are you looking to cheat on your essay for Spanish class? (I do not condone this!) Do you simply want to make sure that you are using the correct phrases/words? Well in this article, you can learn from my mistakes as I share with you my favorite online resources that I use to double check my Spanish when I am in doubt. If you agree or disagree with my selection, go ahead and leave a comment below.  I would love you to read what you think!


        I stumbled across Linguee.com a few years ago, and ever since then, it has been my favorite. I love Linguee because when you search for a word in English or Spanish, it not only gives the correct definition every time, but it gives various examples of the word used in context. It has been the most useful to me over the years. 
        What made me fall in love with Linguee, was that it was, at the time, the only site to give accurate and abundant translations of complete phrases. Sometimes your issue is not with a vocabulary word, but rather with the grammar. Linguee helps to make sure that you are on the right track by providing several useful examples of the phrases. It also highlights the words used so that you can know exactly where your phrase fits in the sentence, in case you were unsure. This feature alone makes Linguee number one. Other sites have recently added this feature, but most of the time they're not as accurate, and the ones that are accurate, don't have as many examples as Linguee. 


        When searching for a single word, my go-to site is always wordreference.com. My favorite feature about this site is that it allows one to look up a Spanish word in Spanish (meaning that it will give the definition of the word in Spanish instead of English, while also providing synonyms). This is the best thing for intermediate and advanced students to do to stop thinking in English.  If you still can not understand the word, you can switch from the completely Spanish dictionary to a Spanish-English dictionary, where the English translation of the word can be found. If you are looking to translate an English word into Spanish with word reference, you can do that as well. 
        Another reason that wordreference is a top option for me, is that they have forums. Many online dictionaries only know standard Spanish. This means that while the information that they give may be correct, it may not necessarily be the way that native speakers would say it. The forums give native speakers or fluent speakers the chance to tell others how they would say it. It is a good opportunity to learn different accents, because different countries say the same things in different ways. 


        In the past, I have not given Spanishdict.com credit, but I have to admit that it is a great site and is worthy of the final spot in my list. There is nothing wrong with Spanishdict at all, but I still prefer the other two. Spanishdict is great, because it gives you every possible definition of a word. (In Spanish 1 word can have 100 different meanings.) Wordreference and Linguee do this as well, but some people like Spanishdict's format better. Spanishdict also generates phrases like Linguee, but they are not as numerous. They are pretty accurate, however. 
        Spanishdict is different than the other two because it is dedicated completely to Spanish. The other two work with multiple languages. This allows Spanishdict to go beyond being just a basic dictionary/phrase translator. For example, it has a blog through which it gives quick Spanish lessons and provides a mini quiz afterwords. Since this blog is specifically about the best dictionaries for quick translations, Spanishdict did not come in first place, but I do think that it has much to offer for those who are learning Spanish. 

Conclusion

        There are various other good online dictionaries, but in my opinion these are the best of the best. Hopefully you found this article helpful. If so, please share, and/or subscribe. Also stay tuned for the next entry about the best dictionaries to learn Spanish slang. If your goal is to sound super native, you won't want to miss it!

Comments

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