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German to English Dictionary

Your Ultimate German to English Dictionary Resources Guide!

Whether you’re looking for an online dictionary  or a solid hardback dictionary to have at hand's reach, a general, all-purpose dictionary or one on a specific subject area, the choice is simply staggering.

As ever, you tend to get what you pay for. There’s a lot of free information available online, some of mixed quality.

The best solution for most students, translators and lovers of German, will alway be a mixture of online sources and a traditional, hardback German to English dictionary, or two .

So what do I recommend?

1.  A Classic German to English Dictionary

They may be a bit heavy, but if you’re in the slightest bit serious about studying German or working in translation, then there's no getting past the need for a traditional, hard copy, general German to English dictionary.

I love both my Oxford German and my Collins dictionary.

Choose one of these as your basic reference & minimum investment. I’d also recommend a concise version for carrying to class or lectures.

Don’t forget – dictionaries fall under the heading of "deductible expenses" if you work as a translator!

Here other some others worth checking out....

2.  Specialist German dictionaries

Most working translators specialize in a few subject areas - such as medical, legal or technical translation. They’ll usually invest in a few of the classic reference works in their field.

I’ve trawled the translator forums and put together a list of specialist English German dictionaries that get the thumbs up from translators active in those fields, with a special section on German medical dictionaries. Some of the price labels can be a bit scary, but second-hand copies are a good solution.

Check out my pick of the best...

3.  An Online German to English Dictionary

As with so many things, the internet has totally transformed the translation business. If you only need to translate a few words then the internet provides unlimited online dictionary resources.

German to English Dictionary

If you’re looking for a good free online dictionary then here's my recommended selection, as well as my cream of the crop, all time favorite, LEO!

You'll also want to refer to more specialized glossaries as soon as the subject matter of your German translations becomes more specialized.

Here are my favorite online sources...

4.  Software & Electronic Dictionaries

You'll often hear about German dictionary software. Many major dictionary publishers now offer their dictionaries in electronic format - to install on your PC or download directly to a hand-held device such as an iPod. Kindle versions are also available so you can read your German novels and translate any unknown German words directly in the text as you go.

If you're constantly on the go, then you might find an electronic handheld dictionary helpful. They are more relevant to the traveler than the translator but, packed with dictionary and language-learning software, these little gems let you translate German wherever you are.

Check out my top favorites...

A Latin Dictionary?!

And don’t forget to brush up your Latin. (Latin?!)

You’d be amazed at how many German texts include short Latin phrases – but have no fear, this Latin English translation dictionary and tips on Latin translation will help!

Happy translating!


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Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna,  Austria.  I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?