What are good online dictionaries for translation between German and English?
I suggest LEO.org — in Germany it's heavily used for the translation of English words into German and vice versa. There are also forums which help translate whole sentences and idioms.
The site also has pronunciation and declination tables for most words (including the English ones). It also includes dictionaries between German and other languages than English.
Aside from LEO, I often find dict.cc to be quite handy.
While it doesn't have much etymological content, I have found the dict.tu-chemnitz.de dictionary to be very good, especially because it has many examples and phrases.
I sometimes look at linguee. They use human translated bilingual texts to suggest translations.
A site that explains Austrian words and phrases in ordinary German:
Weird that nobody has mentioned Google Translate so far.
Since I got to know linguee, that and Google translate have made Leo obsolete for me.
I favour LEO but use PONS aside.
In addition, I'm using the terminology database of the European Union, IATE, for technical and buerocratic terms.
For an example, try to feed it a word widely used in various fields of terminology, such as
Zu ergänzen sind vielleicht noch Dictionaries zu Fachbegriffen. Relativ häufig sind im Alltag respektive in Tageszeitungen und Nachrichten noch Begriffe aus dem "Behördenvokabular" anzutreffen, hier ist IATE, die Terminologiedatenbank der EU, nützlich.
dict.cc translates single words and lots of phrases. Most words have pronunciation contributed by users.
Hueber Online-Wörterbuch is another.
Dicdata is also a good dictionary.
For me one of the most amazing dictionaries is:
- You get the word definition in German and with examples taken from three different dictionaries
- Different meanings for the same word are clearly explained and marked. Even frequent/non frequent uses are color coded (green/red)
- At the end there is a section with the translation and again, full of examples for every possible use
- It does the same thing for other languages
- It is good detecting search/input typos
- Works great with any verb tense
Most of the other free dictionaries I have found do not make such a clear division of different word/case uses with examples for each one.
Whenever that is not enough I use LEO because it has better word-by-word translations and/or Linguee because you get more real life translations. Both of them can be more useful if you just want a quick translation. However if your focus is on learning new words, then thefreedictionary.com would be my first choice.
Bab.la is fantastic as it shows contexts of words in actual sentences and has a much clearer layout than Leo.
wörterbuch.info has meaning, synonym and pronunciation.
Not a dictionary as such, but I frequently use Wikipedia's "this article in another language" feature. The set of words for which a somewhat useful translation can be found like this, and words for which a translation can be found in dictionaries are almost completely disjoint.
As a concrete explanation, Wikipedia provides information on various specific terms that, if at all, would show up only in field-specific dictionaries:
- When I want to know the English translation of "Ameisenbär" (anteater), I check a dictionary, but when I want to know the English translation of "Büschelohrmaki" (hairy-eared dwarf lemur), I rather directly check whether Wikipedia has articles on the animal in both languages. (The Latin species names can usually be used to check whether both articles are indeed referring to the same animal.)
- Similarly, when I want to find the English translation of "Propeller" (propeller), I look it up in a dictionary, but for a more specific concept such as "Mantelpropeller" (ducted fan), or "Fenestron" ("fenestron" in English, too, but who knows?), I rather search on Wikipedia.