December 31, 2008
Feedback on these crosswords and indeed any of the French worksheets/exercises available available on the site is always welcome.
November 17, 2008
If before the interruptions, you have already loaded up one of the pages with interactive games or grammar exercises, these will generally continue to work provided that you don't close the page.
Apologies for any invoncenienve-- the maintenance is being carried out to the Internet infrastructure and is beyond this site's control!
November 11, 2008
- Bénabar, the name a verlanisation of Barnabé, who combines styles of artists such as Georges Brassens with witty lyrics to reflect our modern times;
- Jean-Jacques Goldman, one of France's most versatile and successful artists, from traditional rock to the more varied repertoire of Chansons pour les pieds;
- Céline Dion, and her transition from 80s cheese to some of France's best-selling music of all time;
- Christophe Maé, who made fame more recently, along with NRJ Music Award winner Grégory Lemarchal, whose career was sadly cut short by cystic fibrosis last year.
November 2, 2008
For alternative methods, see the French Linguistics guide on how to type accents.
October 30, 2008
Future improvements to the dictionary will include more dynamic help on how to translate inflected forms.
October 10, 2008
A couple of users have written to tell me that they were having problems with the mobile phone version of the French-English dictionary. (See here for the original blog post about the mobile dictionary version.)
I've made a couple of changes in an attempt to get the dictionary working on phones that were previously having the problem. Since there's such a wide variety of phones out there, I'd appreciate feedback from users as to whether they are stil having trouble.
September 27, 2008
August 24, 2008
August 20, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 15, 2008
August 14, 2008
See the following for more details:
August 11, 2008
- Computers and the Internet wordsearch includes vocabulary to do with files, documents, web pages and parts of the computer; a Computers and Internet crossword is also available on this theme;
- Jobs and Professions wordsearch includes names of various jobs and professions;
- The Around Town crossword features names of various buildings and basic words used in asking for directions;
- The Sport and the Olympic Games crossword features various vocabulary relating to sport generally, and includes French names of various events from the Olympic Games.
August 7, 2008
Because the dictionary is old, certain definitions clearly don't reflect modern usage (see entries for car, van and computer, for example), whilst other words are simply non-existent. And certain of the examples, already belonging to somewhat literary language at the time, are now positively absolete. But it turns out that the meanings of many of the "difficult" or lesser known words that we sometimes need to look up while reading an English text have changed very little in the last century.
August 5, 2008
As usual, any suggested additions to the page/vocabulary sections are always welcome.
August 1, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 23, 2008
- The dictionary is intended for use by students, learners, translators etc who basically understand some French but need to find out about the translation or uses of an isolated word or phrase;
- The translation tool is aimed more at English speakers who need to get the gist of an entire French text (or vice versa for French speakers with an English text), typically when they understand very little of the target language.
About the translation system
Many of the text translations are produced by Google Translate, a statistical machine translation system developed by Google which allows sites such as this to query and build on the translation system. However, this site's tool also builds some additional features on top of the Google system:
- it is assumed that the language pair you are working with is French/English; the site will detect which of these two languages is being entered and translate to the other language;
- some orthographic corrections are made to the input text which help to get a better result from Google;
- in some cases, alternative inputs will be run simultaneously through the Google system when such inputs are known to improve the translation results (such alternatives and their translations are always listed alongside the original query);
- in some cases, instead of using the Google system, a translation is pulled directly from this site's dictionary data. Note that the source of the translation is always clearly indicated.
The system works best on texts that are similar to the types of text that the system has been trained on. Google Translate is a statistical system, trained on sets of existing translations. In practice, this means the system works well on "the types of text that people tend to translate". For example, whole sentences or passages from commercial or technical texts work quite well. Isolated words and phrases, particularly when they have a "dangling" word such as a preposition, sometimes don't work as well. You may also find what you consider to be quite a "basic" phrase or question doesn't translate so well, because a phrase used in everyday speech didn't crop up in the material that the translation system was trained on.
July 13, 2008
July 10, 2008
The terms from the DGT glossary currently appear in a table below the regular dictionary entries. At present, they are included for French-English lookups only, but it is planned that terms for English-French lookups will be added over the next few days.
June 12, 2008
The following table shows the top 5 source counries of visitors to the French Linguistics site and to its sister Spanish site. Figures are for the previous month. Visitors to the French Linguistics site:
Visitors to the sister Spanish/English dictionary and resources site (Español-Inglés) are shown below. The high figure for Mexico, the site's "home territory", may well be due to searches in that specific territory which put it in a comparatively high position for the search term Spanish Dictionary (the latter example from Live search with a country code of MX), and its large population and relatively good connectivity compared to other Latin American Spanish-speaking countries.
(One way of redressing the balance will be to look at dictionary directories specific to particular countries. Those where the dictionaries are currently listed such as Gimpsy's 'translate word' page or Directory 7's dictionaries page are arguably anglo-centric.)
June 3, 2008
- The Dictionary Forum is intended for general discussion about the dictionary content that isn't focussed on one particular entry; for the latter type of suggestion, use the feedback option from individual entries as usual.
- The French Grammar Forum is intended to be a question-and-answer, or general discussion, about points of French grammar.
- The French Translation Forum is intended to cover issues relating to translation, although I appreciate there's some overlap with the previous two forums here. We'll see how things go...
- The Language Teaching and Learning forum is intended to cover pedagogical issues (e.g. "what's the most effective way to learn vocabulary", recommendations of resources), not necessarily just in French teaching.
And now it's over to you...! Several thousand people use the French Linguistics site daily, and it will be fantastic if we can start to create more of a "community".
April 11, 2008
March 26, 2008
February 26, 2008
February 21, 2008
- The mobile version is designed to work on phones that support WAP 1.1
- The mobile version contains some stripped-down entries to cope better with the smaller screen of mobile phones
- At present, only French-English lookups are supported. (English-French coming soon!)
- It is free to access (other than your mobile operator's cost to access the Internet on your phone!)
- Suggestions are welcome as comments on this blog entry!