WordReference offers powerful tools for finding accurate translations of words and phrases.
Google Translate is a great tool. We even offer Google translations on this site for those who don’t understand English yet. But it’s not perfect. In fact it’s far from perfect. Seriously. More than once I have had to correct students who learned words wrong from poor Google translations.
I’ll do a post later about how to get more accurate information from Google translate. But today I want to talk about a powerful tool that’s even more accurate at translating words and phrases, WordReference.com.
At first glance it looks like a simple dictionary and word translator, but let’s dig deeper to learn how much we can really get from this little gem.
Audio in different accents
Don’t expect that pronunciation you learned to be used everywhere. Just listen to how «privacy» is pronounced in the UK, US and US Southern accents!
Different words in different regions
If a Spanish speaker looks up the word «pañal,» they’ll see immediately that in the United States it’s called a «diaper,» while in the United Kingdom it’s a «nappy.»
Irregular verb conjugations
In order to conjugate verbs, you need to know their past and participle spellings. Look up any irregular verb and those are the first things you’ll see. You won’t see anything for regular verbs (because regular verbs always follow the rule of adding -ed to the end).
WordReference also lists «compound forms,» which are basically common phrases that are very helpful to know.
Examples in context
Below many of the translations you’ll find an example of how it’s used both in your language as well as English!
Sometimes you don’t find the word you’re looking for. WordReference offers suggestions that are similar to what you looked for. Sometimes, they’re exactly the word you wanted!
Find idiom meanings and special cases in the forum
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can ask in the forum. Or often you’ll find someone already has! Often native speakers answer these forums with helpful answers. This is extremely helpful for understanding idioms! You’ll also find less common meanings for legal, medical, technology or business contexts.
Definitions and more
WordReference doesn’t just do translations. It also has full definitions, synonyms, collocations, images and more!
You can get the mobile app here:
Use this tool when you learn new words. Use it to help you explain words to other native speakers. Once you learn to use it well, you’ll get much more accurate results than before.