Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The ease with which contemporary computers handle large databases is convenient for producing large, detailed lists of terms and phrases and their definitions. There are many public-use dictionaries available through the Internet, including dictionaries for obscure terms, dialects, and outdated slang. It is arguably easier then ever before for average people to find definitions and pronunciation guides for definitions of both native-language and foreign language material.

Along with websites that offer dictionary services, websites that offer translation services maintain large databases of definitions and reference materials that are available to almost any user. Some sites are free and some are available with a subscription, while others are purchasable or downloadable directly from the manufacturer. Many of the free-access services use machine translation programs, while the majority of the software-based services use computer-assisted transition technology.

Software Programs and Definitions Databases

Though most of the free resources make large and (generally) comprehensive resources available to users, software-based resources often give users access to a variety of specialized glossaries, idiom definitions, and translation dictionaries. Many software companies are also constantly updating their lists of available resources, including highly technical professional guides and niche reference material. Users can download or subscribe to whichever services they choose, installing only what they need on their personal hard drives.

Most computer-assisted translation programs make all of those resources available with a simple mouse click or hot key. Clicking on a word or phrase brings a list of all possible translations or relevant definitions to the front of the screen, allowing users to choose the most accurate option. Some software programs may also include audio pronunciation guides that are accessible from the same pop-up menu window.

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