As of 2020, the English language has more than 170,000 words that are regularly used. However, the active vocabulary of the average individual is just 20,000 words. This means there are over 150,000 words that exist that the average person doesn’t use — just one of the reasons why it’s important to have an electronic dictionarie on hand.
Whether you’re in the market for a tool to help with homework or crossword puzzles or you just want a quick way to find a definition, the correct spelling, or the pronunciation of a word, an electronic dictionary has you covered. Much like smartphones, however, electronic dictionaries are packed with features and specifications that vary greatly from model to model.
This guide takes you through these differences and provides you with a clearer idea of what to search for in an electronic dictionary. We examine pricing for these handheld items, too, and give you recommendations for some of the top manufacturers and models currently out there.
5 Best Electronic Dictionaries of 2021:
If you’re looking for a top-rated electronic dictionary, you might want to consider the Franklin- Spq109 Collins pocket speller. Users love the usefulness of this device, but do complain about the small keys.
This device is an electronic Collins dictionary of spelling and hyphenation. It has many useful features, such as phonetic spell-correction, confusables, word builder, crossword solver, anagram solver, calculator, metric and currency converter, and 6 games. This item might be a good choice if you want to build your vocabulary and spelling skills in a fun way.
In general, buyers have a very favorable opinion of theFranklin-Spq109 Collins electronic dictionary. They agree that it works great and gives answers fast. Users conclude that it is very useful and efficient. However, purchasers do complain that the keys are small.
- Works great
- Answers come fast
- Very useful and efficient
- Complaint– small keys
The A808 is really more of an encyclopedia than a dictionary given the amount of dictionaries and educational resources available when you turn it on. There are 18 dictionaries pertaining to science and literature along with additional dictionaries focusing on electrical and mechanical engineering, architecture, and chemical dictionaries. Additionally there are dictionaries focusing on military, sports, law, and even a basic medical dictionary. Accompanying the standard word dictionaries for the English language there are multiple dictionaries translated into foreign languages including Arabic, French, and German to name a few.
Since this is a tablet, it has all of the interactive capabilities you need including a web browser, access to Google, Twitter and other social media, download a multitude of language, entertainment, and education apps from Google’s Play Store and connect to news and weather information. It’s the perfect device for students and parents alike.
- Very comprehensive
- Easy to use
- Large screen
- Very handy
- Complaint – drains batteries
If you are looking for an electronic dictionary, you might want to consider the Franklin Collins English Dictionary (DMQ-221). Users like the practicality of this electronic dictionary, but some do complain about its size.
According to the manufacturer, this product contains over 118,000 words, phrases, and definitions from the Collins Express Dictionary. It features a 500,000 Synonym Thesaurus and phonetic spell-correction, confusables, anagram solver, word builder, 6 word games, and data bank with world clock. This item could be a solid choice for improving your spelling and vocabulary.
The general user consensus regarding the Franklin Collins Dictionary with Thesaurus Express Edition is that it meets their expectations. Users agree that it is a useful and compact electronic device for improving your language skills.
However, some buyers complain that it is too small. One online reviewer complains about the lack of backlighting in LCD display. Another complaint regards the short and loose hinge.
- Answers come fast
- Complaint – too small
Whether you’re a student, a traveler abroad, or a new citizen of the United States trying to grasp the nuances of the English language, this electronic dictionary has something for everyone. Royal Machines has loaded the RPPro 29534F with essentials from some of the best brands the world of reference guide world has to offer.
This device delivers the American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary offering 400,000 word definitions, Roget’s Thesaurus with 500,000 synonym listings and Barron’s Hot Words featuring word lists and exercises to prepare for the SAT’s and other standardized tests. You also get a translator for Spanish and French words, an abbreviation dictionary, spell check and a compatible Encyclopedia Britannica CD-ROM for use on a PC or MAC.
It’s quite a versatile resource tool for the English language, but Royal went one step further, giving it capabilities of a personal data assistant. The unit stores names, addresses, phone numbers and can even offer calorie counts on popular foods and beverages. A drawback is the small backlit display is a bit tough to read due to the size of the unit and the keyboard is not well-suited for large fingers.
- Some complain of receiving a defective item
An incredibly effective word tool, the ECTACO 500AL offers complete English language features. An English grammar feature includes coverage of irregular verbs and commonly used American idioms. The text-to-speech feature clearly pronounces and enunciates all these words and phrases for proper usage in conversational situations. Studying for the SAT? The SAT 5000 vocabularies help students prepare for this important standardized test. There’s also some fun linguistic games which help build your word skills, among them the always popular Hangman.
The 500AL offers dictionaries in over 49 languages ranging from the more widely used languages such as French, Spanish, and German to those far less common like Turkish, Croatian, Armenian, and Korean. The device offers full translation and text-to-speech phonetic capabilities for each into English, even translations between foreign languages.
- 30,000 word definitions
- Helpful word isolation window
- Battery power save feature
- Comes with batteries included
- One buyer complains about the lack of backlighting
Electronic Dictionaries Features
- Entries: One of the primary ways that these devices differ from each other is in the number of words they contain in the dictionary database. We’ve seen electronic dictionaries with 60,000 words up to almost 300,000, so there is quite a range from model to model.
- Spellchecker: Standard in electronic dictionaries, a spellchecker can help you to find words that you’re unsure of by offering suggestions as you type.
- Text-to-speech: Text-to-speech, or voice, is pretty rare in devices of this type, but it does exist. You’ll be more likely to find voice capabilities in a device that includes a translation function.
- Components: The right LCD screen is one that’s easy to read in all light conditions and large enough that even those with poor eyesight can use the device. Check the number of lines in the display and whether you’re able to adjust the font size on the screen.
TIPS of Electronic Dictionaries
- Know what you’re buying. Some of these devices are less a dictionary and more a spellchecker that doesn’t include definitions.
- Pick a Scrabble-friendly model. Love to play Scrabble? Search for a dictionary with an anagram solver, which offers real word suggestions for a jumble of letters that you enter.
- Make sure the device has the features you need. If your dictionary comes with a voice feature, be sure that it also includes some way to plug earbuds or headphones into it. If you’d like the ability to upgrade your device, search for one that includes a card slot.
- Choose an electronic dictionary to help with schoolwork. Most of these devices offer some form of “confusables” feature, which alerts you if one word sounds like and/or is confused with another. And some electronic dictionaries allow you to create your own customizable word lists, which can help with word study.