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An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!

Recently, I've found myself in need of a way to brush up on my French.  Since my new phone is a Samsung Blackjack running Windows Mobile 5, I went looking for a translation dictionary to allow me to translate words from English to French on this device.   I also wanted to be able to display flashcards for studying vocabulary.

I didn't find any products out there that would allow me to do exactly this, and more importantly, what I did find was commercial or shareware.  I'm very much into the idea of free/open source software, especially when it comes to something like a language tool.  If anything should be free, a program to help us better communicate should be... Don't you think?

I thought that the challenge of writing an application for my phone would be fun... so in my spare time I set out to write such an application. I've always loved handheld software development, and being able to write code for this phone is darn cool.  The idea that I can write code to carry around and run anytime I want is just about as neat as it gets to me.

Requirements

I had a few requirements for this project.  1) I had to find free dictionaries for the content, otherwise I wouldn't be able to distribute my application for free.  Enter the FreeDict project, an open-source collection of translation dictionaries.  This project is pretty cool, they've got a fairly large list of dictionaries available for free, especially for translating to and from English








FrenchGermanHindiHungarianIrishItalianLatinPortugueseRomanianRussianSpanishSwahiliSwedishTurkishWelsh

2) Secondly,  I needed a good, fast relational data store: enter SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition.  Working with this was no different from what I'm used to with SQL Server on the desktop. It's pretty nice! 

3) It had to run on my new phone.  Enter the .NET Compact Framework 2.0.  I've been handed some  CF development here at work, so this was a good excuse for me to do some learning as well.

Creating the Application

What started out as a simple project actually blossomed into something fairly involved.  I ended up tackling the following topics, which I hope to blog about in the near future:

  • Creating the Dictionary Importer console application to import from .dict format to SQL
  • Dealing with foreign characters and translating phonetic spellings which don't display on small devices
  • Compact Framework application configuration and settings storage
  • UI design for small devices 
  • Preparing for Compact Framework Localization 
  • Debugging on my Blackjack 
  • Creating and Installation and setup Application

Version 0.1

The application supports multiple dictionaries, with the ability to create and more. The English-French.sdf  contains over 16,000 Entries, and English-Spanish.sdf - has over 10,000.  There's over 1,000 Flashcards of common words in each Dictionary. Each term is hyperlinked when it appears in a definition.

Here's a screenshot:


I'm going to blog about and release the dictionary loader with more dictionaries as soon as I can get some time.

Downloading and Installation

Today I'm releasing "Translation Dictionary v 0.1" optimized and designed for Windows Mobile, and the source code for the application as well.

Get it here: 





Posted 03-29-2007 12:31 PM by Brendan Tompkins

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Comments

Gia wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 04-19-2007 5:31 AM

I can't open source code project. I'm using VS .Net 2005.

AcMc wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 05-01-2007 6:47 AM

I havent been able to find other dictionaries in the proper format,

how can this be done?

thanks,

( I was looking at the code ... I like it )

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Excellent!!!!!!!!

sbk wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 04-25-2008 2:18 AM

i cant access the source code........plz help me

Take Your Dictionary With You wrote Take Your Dictionary With You
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arvi wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 08-08-2008 3:53 PM

i cannot download the zip file. can you please send me the file to my email aravind_2703@yahoo.com

thanks

Brendan Tompkins wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 08-08-2008 4:41 PM

Oops.. just fixed the download.  Sorry all!

Dave Paul wrote re: An Open Source Windows Mobile Language Translation Dictionary with Flashcards!
on 02-19-2009 6:06 PM

think it'll be long before you tell people how to add their own dictionaries to it?

it's a good application by the way!

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it sounds very promising. but unfortunately the download link is broken again.

would you be so kind as to fix it?

thanks

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