Even with all the automated translation tools currently available on the market, the human factor can still not be completely replaced, and it is imperative that we learn new languages so that we at least supervise the machines’ performance.
That is why traditional language-learning methods are still highly praised, and the need for a reliable dictionary is imperative. Dictionary 8 for Windows 10/8.1 is one of the apps that try to fill a gap, providing an offline dictionary solution for those interested in acquiring better English language skills.
Without being stylish in any way, Dictionary 8’s interface is clear-cut and approachable. Unfortunately, it supports little user interaction, which could lead to decreased interest from young and alert language students.
Other than that, the app functions as any other classic dictionary: you type in the word you are interested in, and it promptly displays the results.
Upon typing a particular word in the dedicated search field, you are also provided with a list of entries integrating a common string of letters. This is a nice addition because you get to explore similarly spelled words or it could simply help you when you do not remember a word in its entirety.
Still, it did happen for us to click on one of the entries in this list and be met with no result whatsoever.
Each entry is classified morphologically, and a comprehensive set of meanings are also provided along with some context and the word’s etymology, which is a great addition for those who want to study the origin of a particular linguistic construction.
The app claims to incorporate approximately 2,000,000 definitions, which is not something to overlook, even though we did stumble upon some missing words, despite the fact that they belong to the common usage.
There are, however, some quirks to the results. First of all, there are the usual abbreviations, such as “L,” “Chem.,” “Obs.,” etc., which are not explained in any section of the dictionary. While some of them might be intuitive, there are others that definitely ask for further research, which actually defies the app’s purpose of being a self-sufficient solution.
Another flaw that we got a glimpse of during our tests is that there are indications such as “See…” that are not hyperlinked and thus imply that you have to manually copy and paste a specific reference in order to find out more.
Also on the list of downsides is the fact that, in case you misspelled a word, you receive no suggestions, with the dictionary simply telling you that there are no results to be displayed.
Plus, if we are to make another remark linked to the app’s looks, we should mention that the dictionary’s content is not highlighted in any way. It would have made a world of a difference if different fonts or sizes were used for the meanings attributed to a word as well as its metadata.
All in all, the application is a handy educational resource, but it is flawed by a considerable number of impractical aspects. While it does work well, and its linguistic database is entirely reliable, it does not seem to have kept up with times.