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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app Apps
Even if you buy a Mac in France, English and Japanese are the only languages available in Dictionary.app. MacOS X is the same no matter where it is sold and only comes with English and Japanese pre-installed at the present time.

There is a translator Dashboard widget that comes with Leopard that can do French-English and vise versa, as well as a number of other languages, but it would be nice to have the capability in the Dictionary as well.

There is a freeware Dictionary development kit available from Apple that is included with the Developer Tools and is located in /Developer/Extras/Dictionary Development Kit. [crarko adds: Documentation is available here.]

Some language modules are also available from third parties. You can install the good 'Dictionnaire-AcademieFrancaise' by following this link.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Unzipping the downloaded file gives an Installer package that installs and loads the French dictionary into Dictionary.app. There is also an earlier hint about enabling the built-in Japanese dictionaries, which describes how to load/unload the language files.]
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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: kirkmc on Aug 10, '10 08:30:09AM

The dictionary linked to is from 1935. I would suggest that it is essentially useless, unless, of course, you're only reading books from before that time.

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Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: crarko on Aug 10, '10 08:36:02AM

What's a good modern alternative?



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: NaOH-Lye on Aug 10, '10 08:55:44AM
Dictionaries can be downloaded from Stardict and installed into Dictionary.app using DictUnifier.

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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: crarko on Aug 10, '10 09:12:34AM

Thanks!



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: mkhaw on Aug 10, '10 02:58:30PM

OK, it's been a few years since I've messed with *nix-y things, but I don't get the Stardict tarballs or DictUnifier at all.

The tarballs unpack into triplets consisting of a .dict, a .idx and a .ifo file (presumably "dictionary", "index" and "information"). However, DictUnifier 1.1 doesn't recognize any of them, while DictUnifier 2.0b3 only recognizes the .ifo file and doesn't seem to produce any output. Oh, and the README file included (only) with 1.1 is in Chinese, which I don't read or understand.

So, can someone explain in plain English just how you feed a Stardict dictionary to DictUnifier, what the result should be and how to get Dictionary.app to recognize that?



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: mkhaw on Aug 10, '10 04:32:30PM

OK, it seems DictUnifier 1.1 takes the tarball (.tar.bz2 file) as input and writes its output into ~/Library/Dictionaries. Dictionary.app then allows you to select the converted dictionaries in its Preferences.



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Try adding Wikipedia languages
Authored by: dronkert on Aug 10, '10 08:37:01AM

Go into Preferences of Dictionary, select Wikipedia in the list of sources, check additional languages in the panel below.

Major annoyance: items aren't displayed completely/correctly ever since the Wikipedia site redesign. The way around that is to create an account at Wikipedia, select the old design in user preferences and stay signed in (at each of the sub-sites in different languages).



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A few free German Dictionaries for Dictionary.app
Authored by: syst on Aug 10, '10 09:27:21AM

BeoLingus German-English:
http://www.tekl.de/english/BeoLingus_German-English.html

OpenThesaurus:
http://www.openthesaurus.de/about/

Wadoku Japanese-German:
http://www.wadoku.de/forum/posts/list/1100.page



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: promacconsulting on Aug 10, '10 12:24:45PM

Not really more modern but more complete

le littré

http://www.19pouces.net/files/Downloads/Littre.dmg

promacconsulting



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Alternate site for Littré
Authored by: shapiro on Aug 11, '10 03:35:41AM

>> http://www.19pouces.net/files/Downloads/Littre.dmg

Their site is very slow. I made a copy, available here: http://homepage.mac.com/mjs75015/Littre.dmg



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: etresoft on Aug 10, '10 12:46:12PM

Thanks for the post about my dictionary. I just released a version for the iPad too. It is stand-alone and needs no internet connection. It also includes the 1835 dictionary.

There are more modern dictionaries available, but none of them are free and none of them work with the MacOS X Dictionary.app. These dictionaries from 1935 and 1835 are hardly "useless". Any new French words since 1935 are likely to be borrowed from English anyway. Plus, if you do happen to be reading anything from the 18th and 19th centuries (there were at least a couple of good books during that time) you are quite likely to encounter old words that will not be found in any modern dictionary.

I built my dictionaries from the same XDXF sources that the StarDict dictionaries were built from. My Dictionary plugins, and especially the iPad app, have undergone extensive cleanup and indexing that you won't find in any StartDict version.

Finally, I would love to build some similar dictionaries for other languages. All I need is some kind of public domain database source that I can legally use. Such databases can often be found on government and university web sites. You need to be able to speak the language in order to track them down and French is the only language I know well enough to research.

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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: kirkmc on Aug 11, '10 01:38:28AM
"Any new French words since 1935 are likely to be borrowed from English anyway. " Sorry? And on what authority do you make that statement? I happen to live in France, and am a writer and translator. What you say is ludicrous.
---
Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more
Edited on Aug 11, '10 03:27:23AM by kirkmc


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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: etresoft on Aug 11, '10 06:38:07AM

Sorry? And on what authority do you make that statement?
Apparently better knowledge of French than you have.

I happen to live in France, and am a writer and translator. What you say is ludicrous.
I happen to live in Canada, and am a software engineer. I don't translate. That is why I prefer to read French authors in French and lookup words I don't know in French. It is ludicrous to claim that a dictionary from 1935 is "useless" or that modern French isn't full of English words.

If you don't like my dictionary, fine. Don't download it. Buy the Dictionnaire Le Robert for 200 euros instead. It is a great dictionary, but it doesn't work with Dictionary.app.

It is easy to find fault in the work of others. If you feel this dictionary is useless and obsolete, write a better one.



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: crarko on Aug 11, '10 07:54:25AM

It's time to agree to disagree, folks.



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: astack on Aug 20, '10 06:24:31AM

I just wanted to say thanks for this hint. I have been wanting dictionaries in other languages ever since the dictionary.app got released with Tiger. While the translator widget on the Dashboard is okay, it doesn't really offer anything above what the Babelfish web-site can do, and these things are prone to making mistakes (which a good dictionary can help with).

...and the dictionary from 1935 is perfectly useful for what the majority of users need it for. Kirkmc, thank you for pointing out the age of the dictionary, but you really need to tone it down a notch. Insulting the readers here by calling their hints useless is a great way to drive people away from the site, especially when it is unmerited as is the case here.



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: Annalisa on Oct 20, '11 01:18:57PM

Thank you very much for allowing me to understand the trick and then upload the Littré and the Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française.
I have been relying on my iPhone where Littré can be uploaded for free, and this is much better.
I love these dictionaries, alongside a more modern one of course. But they are precious, examples and definitions are interesting.
I, a writer and translator, find them really really useful, and am very happy to be able to find them in the dictionary.app.
Thanks again!



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Add a French dictionary to Dictionary.app
Authored by: hudgf on Nov 12, '11 01:42:52AM

Many thanks for this tip. I find the dictionary very useful, albeit from 1935, perhaps indicating I still have a lot to learn of the French language.



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