17 dic. 2008

New Spanish vocab sections and word games

The following new Spanish vocab sections have been added, along with corresponding on-line crossword games to help reinforce this vocabulary.

Christmas in Spanish: various words and phrases for Christmas and the New Year, including names of Christmas icons and foods traditional in Spanish-speaking countries. A corresponding Spanish Christmas crossword is also available.
House and furniture: the first page of this section deals with how to say different rooms of the hosue in Spanish, then the following page deals with more specific items found in different rooms. A corresponding home and furniture crossword is also available.
Clothes and accessories: covers the Spanish words for general terms such as coat and trousers, plus more detailed vocabulary. A corresponding Spanish clothes crossword is also available.

15 dic. 2008

Dictionary update

The latest update to the Spanish dictionary includes various new definitions and corrections.

10 nov. 2008

Verb conjugations shown in Spanish dictionary entries

The conjugations of many Spanish verbs are now shown in the corresponding Spanish dictionary entries. At present, conjugations are shown for verbs with "interesting conjugations": that is, either arbitrary irregularities in one of their stems, or a more typical vowel change (e.g. pedir > pido). Not every tense is shown:
  • the conditional is not shown, as it is completely predictable based on the future tense form (see the grammar sections on the future and conditional tenses for more information);
  • the past subjunctive is similarly predictable based on the preterite, so only the latter is shown;
  • only a single compound tense is shown, namely the perfect (he hecho etc); other compound tenses, e.g. the pluperfect (había hecho), are predictable based on the perfect.
See the Spanish verb tables section of the site for a list of semi-regular and irregular Spanish verb patterns, with accompanying notes.

Any suggestions or corrections to the verb conjugations displayed either within the dictionary entries or within the verb tables are welcome on this blog entry.

2 nov. 2008

Text accentuation tool

A simple text accentuation tool is available on the Español-Inglés site that allows you to add accents to a piece of text where you wouldn't normally be able to type the accents very easily. The tool is particularly aimed at adding accents to Spanish and French text, though various European languages are supported.

The tool uses a similar system to the Spanish translation tool, so that sequences such as the following are converted:

The tool is implemented as a widget that you can embed in your own web page, blog, MySpace page etc. See the accentuator widget home page for more details.

30 oct. 2008

English-Spanish lookup now recognises more inflections

Improvements have been made to the site's English-Spanish dictionary to make it recognise more English inflections. In particular:
  • most irregular English verb forms are now recognised
  • many plural forms are also recognised where they weren't previously.
Continuing improvements are being made to the dictionary's handling of inflected word forms. The improvements that are being made are based on an analysis of failed lookups. Future work will include not only matching an inflected word form to its base word, but also helping the user to translate that inflected word into the other language. Watch this blog for more news!

23 oct. 2008

New vocabulary topic: the weather

Finally, find out how to say that it will be raining mainly on the plain, but with sunny intervals late afternoon. Well, almost. The new vocab section on Spanish weather phrases contains various adjectives and phrases useful for describing the weather in Spanish.

As well as simple present tense statements such as it's sunny, the section includes a brief summary of past tense forms of verbs commonly used for describing the weather (for example, if you're saying that the weather was sunny on holiday). A difficulty in Spanish as in many languages is deciding which of the various tenses to use (in particular between the preterite and imperfect). The new weather vocabulary section includse a brief overview of this problem with examples.

10 oct. 2008

New flash card topics

Some new Spanish flash card topics have been added. You can now print your own flash cards on the topics of greetings, sport, computing.

To print the flash cards, you will generally need to print in two runs. First of all, make sure you have "Spanish only" selected as illustrated opposite. After printing the Spanish side of the flash cards, put the printed pages back into your printer the other way round and select "English only". Normally, you shouldn't need to change the order of the pages before putting them through your printer the second time: the flash card printing program will reverse the order of the pages when printing the English words on the back.

Spanish-English dictionary update

The latest update to the Spanish-English dictionary contains various new words and also includes some omissions from the previous update.

A new experimental auto-complete feature has also been added to the Spanish-English side of the dictionary. As you type a Spanish word to lool up, common Spanish words will be suggeste d that begin with the letters you have typed so far. Note that the system currently suggests only fairly common words, not every single Spanish word possible. Generally, only "base" forms (singulars of nouns, infinitives of verbs) are suggested. However, a small number of common inflected forms are also suggested.

9 oct. 2008

Updates to Spanish grammar section

Firstly, a few of the Spanish grammar section of the Español-Inglés web site have been updated. Principal updates include:
Another section of the Spanish Grammar section which is currently being extended is the material on the Spanish subjunctive. Several new pages are already available summarising and exemplifying the main uses of the subjunctive, with more on the way soon. Watch this space...

27 sept. 2008

Dictionary update

The latest update to the Spanish dictionary includes various corrections, improvements and new words in both the Spanish-English and English-Spanish side.

30 ago. 2008

Spanish dictionary update

The latest update to the Español-Inglés site's on-line Spanish dictionary adds a few 'everyday' words that were missing from the dictionary and contains translations of various new computing and technology-related terms such as whiteboard and wikify.

15 ago. 2008

New sports vocabulary pages

Several pages have been added to the basic Spanish vocabulary section giving sports vocabulary. The vocab has been organised into several sections:
Note that a section on card games and board games in Spanish is also available.

5 ago. 2008

Spanish dictionary update

The latest update to the English-Spanish dictionary includes translations for around 8,000 additional words, including a number of translations from Sofronio Calderón's 1915 Spanish-English-Tagalog dictionary (now out of copyright).

29 jul. 2008

New Spanish vocabulary topics

Two new vocabulary topics have been added to the Basic Spanish Phrases section of the web site:

24 jul. 2008

Spanish translation tool

An experimental automatic Spanish-English translation system has been added to the site. Like its French/English cousin, the tool is based on the Google Translate system and incorporates features such as extra orthographical correction, annotations on the resulting translation, and automatic submission of a variant to the translation system if it is detected that an alternative source sentence may give a more accurate translation.

19 jul. 2008

Update to Spanish spellchecker

The algorithm to the Spanish spellchecker has been improved. The spellchecker, built into the Spanish dictionary), is designed to help users find the correct word when they don't know the exact spelling. For example, typing aragante will find the Spanish word arrogante. As mentioned in the technical overview of the spellchecker, the algorithm is particularly designed to take into account spelling difficulties for non-native speakers of Spanish, so will suggest some alternatives (such as p for b or t for d in some cases) in words where native speakers probably would not have a doubt.

The update includes some improvements around how the spellchecker distinguishes between accented and non-accented syllables when suggesting spelling corrections.

18 jul. 2008

Spanish dictionary update

The Español-Inglés site's Spanish Dictionary has been updated. As usual, various new words and expressions have been added based on words searched for by users that were not in the dictionary. A few corrections have also been made.

Because of the methodology used, updates to the Spanish-English dictionary generally apply automatically to the English-Spanish dictionary.

Feedback on individual entries is always welcome via the feedback button at the bottom of the entry. Thank you to everyone who uses the dictionary for your valuable feedback.

8 jul. 2008

DGT glossary available for English-Spanish

DGT glossary entries are also now available for English-Spanish lookups. (See the previous post for more information.)

Dictionary update: DGT glossary beta

This site is now trialling a new feature for the Spanish-English dictionary. Entries in the Spanish-English side now include related entries from the EC's DGT Multilingual Translation Memory. The latter is a set of translated terms extracted from a body of parallel texts produced by the European Union. Many of the entries are translations of technical or legal terms.

At present, approximately 15,000 translated terms from the DGT translation memory are included alongside this site's dictionary. They are clearly attributed under the heading "Terms from the DGT glossary" at the bottom of dictionary entries.

Not all terms from the DGT translation memory are included, since many are repetitious (e.g. translations of scores of similar chapter and article headings, "ARTICLE XX" etc), or are translations of large chunks of text. The filtering process used to select terms to include alongside dictionary entries is ongoing.

29 jun. 2008

Dictionary update

Various updates have been made to the Spanish Dictionary, including the addition of new words.

Bug fix: frequent word profile links

A minor correction has been made to the frequent Spanish word profiles: a problem with the link formats meant some of the profiles for accented words were not displaying.

25 may. 2008

New vocabulary topic: daily routine

The following page gives words and expressions related to daily routine and household chores:

23 may. 2008

New grammar tutorials

You may be interested in the following Spanish grammar tutorials added this week:
The interactive parts of these tutorials require a recent version of Java to be installed.

2 may. 2008

Spanish flash card printing tool

If you haven't already tried it, the Spanish flash card tool allows you to print your own vocab flash cards for free from this site.

Spanish word frequencies

Look out for the new "word profile" feature in the Spanish-English section of the dictionary. Click on the view word profile link of a Spanish entry allows you to see statistical information about that word. For verbs, a breakdown of frequency of each tense usage is provided.

You may also be interested in the following (calculated from a sample of newspaper and magazine articles):

5 abr. 2008

Dictionary update and methodology

The Spanish dictionary has been updated.

For those interested, a couple of pages of information are available explaining the methodology used in compiling the Spanish-English dictionary.

Games: new crossword and wordsearch themes

Crosswords and wordsearches are now available on the following themes:

New vocabulary topic

See the new jobs and professions section of the basic Spanish vocabulary section.

Tutorial: Introduction to Spanish verbs

A new interactive tutorial on Spanish verbs has been added to the Español-Inglés site. At the moment, this tutorial covers the present tense of -ar verbs, including common radical changing verbs.

Note that your browser must support Java in order to use the interactive exercises.

19 mar. 2008

Tutorial: adjectives with 'ser' and 'estar'

The first section of the new Interactive Tutorial section teaches you how to form basic sentences using adjectives and the present tense of ser and estar. The tutorials feature interactive "fridge magnets" exercises that allow you to practise forming sentences and aim to give feedback appropriate to your answers.

More tutorials using a similar style are in the pipeline. If you have any feedback on the adjectives tutorial, then please feel free to leave comments on this entry. We're particularly keen to hear from people using the "fridge magnets" exercises on a touch screen or interactive whiteboard.

12 feb. 2008

New vocabulary topics

A few new vocabulary topics have been added to the Spanish phrases section:
Some corresponding crossword games have also been added.

Suggestions for new topics are always welcome and can be left as a comment to this blog or on the site's feedback section.

Common Spanish verb forms

If you're learning to read Spanish, you may find this new list of common Spanish verb forms useful. The idea is that buy learning these frequently-occurring forms, readers will find it easier to acquire new vocabulary from written Spanish before mastering the conjugation of verbs and tense forms generally.

The list was produced from a computer analysis of a corpus of around 2,000 contemporary newspaper and magazine articles. The list therefore reflects common verb forms found in this genre and writing style (for instance, third-person forms predominate, and there are a variety of verbs to do with "utterances", but fewer to do with "actions").

For convenience, the list has been split up into various semantic/syntactic categories (auxiliaries, action verbs etc). Note that the criteria for assigning the verbs to these different categories is rather ad-hoc and does not conform strictly to any particular semantic or syntactic theory.

5 feb. 2008

New wordsearch and crossword games

Some new crossword and wordsearch themes have been added.
Visitors are invited to leave comments on this entry suggesting further topics.