August 24, 2008

French dictionary update

The latest update to the French dictionary contains various new words and terms that have proven topical in recent news reports.

August 20, 2008

Fix to French pronunciation

Fixed a bug with the pronunciation feature of the French vocabulary section which had meant that words with accents weren't being pronounced correctly on some machines.

August 16, 2008

New vocabulary topic: writing a letter in French

A new section has been added to the basic French vocabulary section with information about how to write a letter in French. The section covers common letter openings, closing formulae and some vocabulary and expressions useful for writing a French business letter.

August 15, 2008

Review: 6000+ Essential French Words

6000+ Essential French Words (Living Language) is the latest addition to the French book reviews section of the web site. As explained in the review, the book offers an excellent range of detailed, up-to-date vocabulary, particularly for intermediate and advanced students.

August 14, 2008

Beta: flight deals to France

OK, not strictly to do with the French language, but people who speak or are learning French sometimes find themselves needing to go to France. Feel free to try out the 'flight deals' section currently being tested on the FL site. This new feature displays a grid of (relatively) cheap flights found between major US/UK and French airports (more to be added in due course). The grid format allows you to see various flight options at a glance to help you find the best option in what is often a crazy myriad of possibilities when booking a flight nowadays...

See the following for more details:
The above links show deals for August, but the pages link to other months.

August 11, 2008

New crossword and wordsearch categories

Some new on-line crossword and wordsearch themes have been added:
Note that to play these on-line word games, your browser must support Java. But in practice, most browsers already do.

August 7, 2008

English monolingual dictionary

Keen-eyed users will have noted that you can now search the (public domain) 1913 edition of the Webster Unabridged Dictionary on this site. This is one of the tools used in compiling the French-English dictionary; I decided to make the search publicly available essentially because I "may as well". At the moment, the interface is somewhat crude, but crude interface or not, the dictionary contains over 100,000 entries and is still a valuable reference.

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

New vocab topic: Olympic games!

With the Beijing Olympics soon upon us, I guess there'll be a few homework assignments and classroom discussions cropping up on this topic. So I've put together a page of French Olympics vocabulary which may help out.

As usual, any suggested additions to the page/vocabulary sections are always welcome.

August 1, 2008

English-French updates

Various entries in the English-French dictionary have been improved over the last couple of days. Further improvements are on the way, with the aim that the English-French side will soon be more in line with the French-English side. Watch this space...!

Mobile dictionary on BlackBerry

A kind poster has brought my attention to a possible problem with the mobile dictionary on a BlackBerry. While I investigate, I'd be grateful if anybody else has feedback on this or any other issue relating to the mobile version of the dictionary, as I'm planning an update to the mobile version soon.