You can find a lot of dictionaries in Ubuntu but some are a little bit difficult to setup. So if you’re looking for a easy to use and easy to setup dictionary then ‘GoldenDict’ is well worth trying.
I’ve been using it for sometime now and extremely happy with its features and usability. It’s a fully open-source project and a cross-platform tool that runs in GNU/Linux, MS Windows and Mac OSX.
Main features …
*. Simple interface with a search box to your left, content in the middle and available dictionaries to the right side, just perfect ;-).
*. Supports both offline and online dictionaries.
*. Includes Wikipedia by default and you can easily add web-based dictionaries such as: “Urban Dictionary”, Multitran (English to Russian online), Lingvo as well.
*. Supports translations (German, Russian, Greek and Japanese).
*. Has a Scan popup mode (some might not like it).
When it is enabled, whenever you select a word “GoldenDict” will open a small window near your mouse pointer showing details about it. It can be a distraction but you can always disable it.
*. Add Morphology analyzers such as Hunspell and Myspell.
*. Groups dictionaries for easy management.
*. Zoom in/out text.
*. On-line text to speech (pronunciation) output!.
*. Runs in the System tray.
*. Supports few languages (UI itself).
*. Use hot-keys to hide or translate text when selected.
*. Supports “Phonon” output (Qt/KDE multimedia framework) or you can manually define any application.
*. Use Proxy for anonymous online dictionary access.
*. Includes audio pronunciations.
*. Send files to print or save in HTML formats.
How to set it up in Ubuntu?
Enter the below commands to install GoldenDict in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04.
sudo apt-get install goldendict
Setting up an Off-line dictionary …
By default it does not come with an off-line dictionary. If you want the default ‘GNU powered’ English dictionary (about 13MB of size … so it contains a lot) called “GCIDE” then use the below procedure to install it.
This is a completely free dictionary program and fully secure from copyright issues. So it’ll always be there for us :).
You can install GCIDE in Ubuntu by using the below command.
sudo apt-get install dict-gcide
When you launch GoldenDict it should scan and find it automatically. If however it doesn’t do that, then to fix that, from its window press “F3” key on your keyboard.
This should open its “settings” window. And from that under “Files” tab click on the “add” button and simply enter the below two folder paths (update: If you cannot find ‘/usr/share/stardict/dic’ then skip it and only add ‘/usr/share/dictd’).
Then click on the “Rescan” button and it should’ve recognized it by now :).
How to enable “Voice” outputs?
GoldenDict uses “mplayer” as the playback engine. But you can change that to any player by using “Audio” tab under “Settings” window. But I strongly suggest that you use Mplayer instead of say “Totem” or “Banshee” as they’re extremely slowish to load when compared to “mplayer”.
So again open your Terminal and enter the below command to install Mplayer in Ubuntu.
sudo apt-get install mplayer
That should solve that one too :).
‘GoldenDict’ also supports a lot of other dictionaries as well. For that please this official GoldenDict Dictionaries page. It’s really well documented and should be easy from there. Well that’s pretty much it.