lingro is a truly useful site with a decidedly free and open approach to multi-lingual dictionaries and online web translation. It provides users with quick and powerful online translation dictionaries and study tools, vocabulary lists and games. The site is "committed to building the Web's largest collection of open dictionaries."
I was struck by the straight-forward, no nonsense approach to open content. The site content is empowered and protected by the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 License. In short, this means the multilingual dictionaries can be copied, adapted and distributed with proper attribution. Equally, content editors must allow their additions to continue to be worked with under the same license. Thus, in an open and free way, lingro appeals to the users for help in creating "relevant translations and definitions" for the these language translation dictionaries.
lingro's website is fast-loading, taking advantage of solid web technology to allow translations to be performed and wordlists to be created without reloading multiple web pages. This can improve productivity considerably for folks with slower internet connections.
Additionally, other sites can be browsed right through the lingro website by typing in the web address in the bottom bar. (View Free Language in Lingro.) This allows any word on the page to be instantly translated when highlighted, and quickly added to a user's vocabulary lists. These lists can then be used in games that aid in memorization. Browsing other sites this way slows down the overall browsing experience, but if language-learning is the goal while reading content from anywhere on the web, lingro effectively adds learning tools to the exercise.
Currently, lingro offers tools and dictionaries for English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Polish, with more languages on the horizon.
Bravo to the folks at lingro! :)
lingro's mission is to create an open and free on-line environment for language learners worldwide. In addition to developing exceptional study tools and games, we're committed to creating and maintaining the largest collection of open dictionaries.
The dictionaries we're creating and improving are all available under free licenses to make sure that they will remain useful to the on-line community forever. This means that you will always be able to download and use any of our complete dictionaries to your computer or PDA free of charge!
lingro's programmers have developed many tools to help ensure that our dictionaries will provide you with relevant translations and definitions. However, maintaining and improving dictionaries requires continuous effort, both from us and from our great community.
We're in the process of building detailed pages for each dictionary, allowing our users to add and improve the most imporant translations.
lingro was conceived in August 2005, when Artur decided to practice his Spanish by reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofál. As a competent but non-expert speaker, he found that looking up new vocabulary took much more time than the reading itself. Frustrated with how slow existing online dictionaries were, he wrote a program to help him translate and learn words in their original context.
lingro's mission is to create an on-line environment that allows anyone learning a language to quickly look up and learn the vocabulary most important to them. Whenever we're developing new tools for lingro or planning the next big step, there are two principles we always consider:
• Knowledge and information essential to human communication and interaction should be free and accessible to everyone. This is why we created the most comprehensive set of free dictionaries available under open licenses so that anyone can contribute, download, redistribute, and modify the dictionaries for their own needs. These licenses guarantee that they will always remain free and useful to society.
• To have the best dictionaries, you need to have the best tools. Every tool we create, from games, quizzes, and study tools to in-context word lookup is designed for you, the user. To us, this means that they should be intuitive, fast, easy to use, and hopefully fun. :-)
Related Internal Links
Resources Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License
Related External Links
Wikipedia Article on Open Content
Wiktionary the Open Dictionary
FreeDict Free Bilingual Dictionaries
Beolingus Dictionary Wörterbuch dicciónario
Liquid Learning is where I found out about lingro.