Your Ultimate German to English Dictionary Guide!
Scroll down this page for the best:
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?
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. You always need to point to an authoritative reference source if asked to explain a translation.
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 – if you work as a translator, dictionaries fall under the heading of "deductible expenses"!
Here other some others worth checking out....
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...
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.
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...
Digital tools are part of every translators toolkit.
Having a dictionary app on your smartphone or tablet is ideal when you need to quickly check a term in conversation,
or when you're reading a book. Designed for language learners as well as professional users, today's apps are packed with tools. These bilingual dictionaries and phrasebooks also include quizzes and games, memory cards and vocabulary tests, as well as text to speech functions. Here is my list of the most popular German dictionary apps for iOS and Android.
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.
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!
German Translation Tips & Resources