Lingoes is a free program that combines of dictionaries in multiple
languages with text translation services. The result is well suited
to second-language learners. With Lingoes on standby in the system
tray, you can Shift-click on a word and Lingoes will almost always
supply a dictionary definition. When it can’t come up with one, it
offers a link to a text translation utility, which relies on your
Internet connection, as well as the definition in an online
dictionary. You can download dictionaries in sixty languages and
other reference resources that work with Lingoes, all for free.
When you use Lingoes to define a word, you can also click a “Say
It” button to hear the word pronounced in English or another
language, assuming you have downloaded the text-to-speech engine
for that language. In addition to American English, these are
available in sixteen European languages, Mandarin Chinese, and
Theoretically Lingoes works anywhere your cursor will go, either
directly or via the Clipboard. In practice it proved fussier.
Sometimes the program didn’t respond unless I highlighted the word,
or right-clicked on it, or merely hovered over it. I wasn’t always
able to predict which one would work. But generally the program
seems quite useful.
–Leigh Anne Jones