A new dictionary tool

I found a new online dictionary/thesaurus – http://www.woerterbuch.info/ – today. You enter a word and then you can toggle between its possible translations and its synonyms in the target language. The translations include both single words and common collocations, as well as some idiomatic phrases. The synonyms are organized in clusters in terms of meaning. In addition to the German-English version, woerterbuch.info also has German-French, German-Italian and German-Spanish versions (for some words the entries in these other languages seem quite sparse).

For example, I started with the German word ziemlich and then selected the English translation “fairly.” There were two single word entries, ordentlich and our starting point, ziemlich. Swapping to the synonyms, there were four meaning clusters for “fairly” and one for the collocation “fairly good.” The synonyms for ziemlich included ziemlich groß (and ziemlich viel) rather than ziemlich gut however the synonyms given were more in line with the English phrase “fairly good,” for example anerkennenswert – “creditable” – and annehmbar – “acceptable” – which had me wondering since neither pons.eu nor dict.cc offered meanings from this family for this collocation. However ziemlich groß did pop up on the Duden site unexpectedly (for me!) under the entry for nett (“nice”) as well as more predictably under beachtlich (“considerable”), recht (which can mean “fairly” or “quite” or “rather” as in the sense of ziemlich) and bemerkenswert (“remarkable/ly”).

 It is always satisfying to find a new tool in the effort to improve my German competence and of course another chance to slip down the rabbit hole of web “research.”

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