I cannot take personal responsibility for finding a single one of the amazing resources I’m going to include below. Instead, I have to give all the credit to the friends I’ve made here in Trois-Pistoles. If any of you happen to read this, thanks for being so rad.
Alright, I have to admit I still use Google Translate now and then, but there is a good reason teachers always tell you to stay away from it. It’s doing translation, and that is all. Unfortunately, literal translation can go very wrong. Like the time I planned a trip to France and told my hosts I could be “catching a coach” from the UK. Turns out instead of using the word for the vehicle, I used the French word for a sports-team coach. Awkward.
Also, Google Translate can be a little lazy sometimes.
So, when you find yourself searching for the right word, turn to WordReference instead. It’s not going to pretend to do all the work for you, like Google Translate, but it also isn’t going to pepper your translation with hilarious nonsensical phrases.
WodReference has “two of its own dictionaries plus those of Collins” and the French dictionary alone has “over 250,000 translations”. You can also find a verb conjugator and a forum for each language. Generally speaking you can find every possible definition of a given word, along with any idioms associated with it. If you do have trouble finding a word or phrase, however, you can often find an answer in the language forum. Continue reading