Well I hope I spelled dictionaires correct in the title of this post as I don’t really spell check this blog and it would very embarrassing to have it misspelled when the topic I’m going to talk about is on dictionaries themselves. Oh wait I forgot I’m the only one that looks at this site…nevermind.
What type of dictionaries have I used so far. Well I went out and bought the 100 dollar or so hard cover korean/english dictionary when I came back from Korea last summer (no I don’t remember the name and it’s serving as a book end on a bookshelf downstairs and I’m too lazy to go down there to look at which one it is). What I do know is that using it lasted all of about 15 minutes.
The time usage of it could be broken down as the following:
1) 10 seconds – Looking at it and going wow this is a huge dictionary and flipping through the pages.
2) 14 minutes 45 seconds – trying to figure out how the heck to look up a korean word I had in front of me.
3) 5 seconds – Cursing at it that I had paid so much for this hunk of junk and tossing it onto a table.
When I was able to ask the wife later how the korean alphabet is laid out and telling her of my unsuccessful attempts to look up a word she couldn’t even properly explain to me how to look up words in the dictionary. I guess she couldn’t express to me in English at least how it works. Soooooooo……
Off to wikipedia I had to a go….The alphabet works in such a manner that when looking up a word you find your first letter of the word (that you’re trying to look up) in the first row below and then the next character in the word will actually be from the second row (and if you’re a newbie like me you are starting from the left of the second row all the way till the end of the second row till you find your character that you’re looking for). If you have a third character wow you have to start in the top row again (from the left and work your way down the first row again till you find the character that your looking for).
ㄱ ㄲ ㄴ ㄷ ㄸ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅃ ㅅ ㅆ ㅇ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ
ㅏ ㅐ ㅑ ㅒ ㅓ ㅔ ㅕ ㅖ ㅗ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅢ ㅣ
I didn’t do a good job explaining this? Confusing ?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangeulstart has a more detailed explanation. I seem to recall this system even having a name on the wikipedia link but my name for it would be Exhausting!
I wanted a quicker way to look up words and also because I have situations throughout the day when I don’t have internet access but have my laptop (riding on the train for example) I wanted a good offline software based dictionary.
I looked at a bunch including stardic (which I personally didn’t care that much for) and declan software had one. I found babylon when I noticed after testing out lingq.com stuff (after reading a good post on http://koreanasitis.wordpress.com/ about how to use lingq’s system with Korean. The dictionary was good and it’s website is www.babylon.com. I checked out the website and the cost for a lifetime license was 118 dollars.
Phew!! I already blew a hundred bucks on that monsterous hardcover dictionary and it was way past the time to be able to return it, so for the heck of it I google’d ‘babylon vs’ and found a donation-ware competitor.
The site was http://www.lingoes.net/. Again it’s donation-ware software and it has 6 dictionary add-ins related to korean including 2 from naver. It was a great find and is doing pretty well up to this point. Whether you like babylon, lingoes, online dictionaries from naver or yahoo it sure saves a ton of time looking up korean words when you can just cut and paste into the dictionary.
Now I suppose the next dictionary project will be to find one for my iTouch that I bought a few weeks back………….