Free Online Dictionaries?
October 30, 2007 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find free (and obscure) downloadable dictionaries?

What I need:

1. Dictionaries and thesauri. Large ones. Multiple languages.
(My immediate needs are dictionaries, the thesauri are piggybacking ponies.)

2. Order of preference:
a. $language to-&-from English.
b. $language1 to-&-from $language2 (bonus points for far-flung language families.)

3. In a format easily read/convertible to text-only.

What I do not need:

1. Proprietary / OS-dependent formats.
A lot of free downloadable dictionary sites come with their own software. Boo.

2. Online lookup.
These lists need to be accessed offline.

Yes, I've looked at the archives.

I've looked at XDXF, and while they're great, I need slightly more esoteric/obscure dictionaries. Project Gutenberg has some. (Aleutian! Chinook!)

I'm sure there are niche webpages out there which host one-off texts (Ingrian to Jaqaru, perhaps?). These would be sweet.

On preview: please DO recommend copyrighted texts: this is for totally noncommercial gradschool work, so I'll write to the owner.
posted by sushiwiththejury to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could always go with an Esperanto dictionary. There's one on Gutenberg ( and another, smaller one at

That was my first thought when I read "esoteric/obscure." Good luck!
posted by joshrholloway at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2007

CEDICT is a downloadable Chinese-to-English dictionary that's part of the backend to a lot of nifty software and websites.
posted by Abiezer at 11:20 AM on October 30, 2007

Response by poster: I should've mentioned what I have already:

1. Everything on XDXF and Gutenberg, which includes Esperanto.
2. Interlingua and Volap√ľk.
posted by sushiwiththejury at 11:29 AM on October 30, 2007

Response by poster: I found some more:
Multilingual Books
Ethnologue and the excellent Omniglot have some links
The Native American Languages page
posted by sushiwiththejury at 12:55 AM on November 23, 2007

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