Italian Dictionary – 7/10

italian dictionary

Italian Dictionary, by iThinkdiff, is not just your basic Italian-English dictionary.  The full app is available for $4.99 and is chock full of features and innovations, however this is the review for its free counterpart, the more economic version that gets the job done.  Before I go any further, I would like to point out that although this review specifically covers the Italian version of the iThinkdiff dictionary series, they have apps for many, many languages that all look very similar, so the information from this review can be tagged to those other language apps by the same developer too.

Whether you know the Italian word and want the English translation, or whether you know the English word and need the Italian counterpart, Italian Dictionary has you covered.  There have been occasions where I haven’t found a translation for a word or phrase, however by and large, for individual words and whole common phrases, Italian Dictionary is pretty good with supplying an accurate translation.  You can also bookmark words that you’d like to keep set aside for future viewing or easy access, as well as view a list of all words you’ve recently looked up.  The lists of bookmarks and recents do not differentiate between the two languages, so words in English come up in the same list as words in Italian, which is not detrimental but not as user-friendly as possible.

Italian Dictionary really separates itself from the pack by the features it contains to help you learn the language.  Not only can this app be used as described above to look up translations, but it also has many features that help you commit words to memory.  The most basic is the random word generator, which obviously generates a list of random words.  Clicking it again will create a new list in the opposite language (if you’re viewing a random list of English words and you click the button again, you’ll now be presented a random list of Italian words).  For vocabulary, you can view the word of the day, and even have the app notify you at certain times of the day (though admittedly I couldn’t get this to work properly).  Flashcards are also a really useful feature.  They take your list of bookmarked words and make them into flashcards that are easy to study from.  Then there are some games to make the learning fun: Multiple Choice gives you a list of Italian words and you must select from the choices the best translations.  As always, stats from that round as well as cumulative stats are displayed at the end.  Then there’s Guess Word, which gives you some Italian words and it’s your job to type the English translation given the first letter, the last letter and the number of letters in the word.  Lastly, there’s Word Fight, which is supposedly some type of head-to-head multiplayer game, but I’ve never gotten this to work as there is no one online to play against.  I attribute this to the low circulation of this app, but if it gains popularity, I can see this being a great game mode.  It’d be really cool if you encountered a word you didn’t know during the games and could add it to your bookmarks list with the click of a button, but you can’t do that.  But let’s keep in mind that the mere fact that this dictionary has games in it makes it awesome.

As I mentioned, this is the free app review.  The full app offers all this and more.  When I say more, I mean pronunciations, a direct type-to-translate feature that works in both directions, and a removal of advertisements.  These can be purchased individually in the free version via in-app purchases.  I like Italian Dictionary, as it’s a surprisingly robust free dictionary app.  Perhaps with revamped mechanics, a sleek interface, and a reduction in price for the full version, along with the other minor criticisms I advocated above, Italian Dictionary will gain mainstream success.  It certainly has that potential as a 7/10!

-TheAppEmperor signing out

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