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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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January 2018
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Dozens of Slovoed Dictionaries Come to the Kindle Store

Paragon Software Group, possibly best known for their work in mobile dictionary and reference software, has brought a new set of translation dictionaries to the Kindle Store in an effort to improve the multi-lingual reading experience.  The Slovoed dictionaries, now available, allow users to enjoy a number of interesting features that should come in handy.

The most appealing application is simply a new default dictionary for your Kindle.  By replacing your current dictionary with the Slovoed dictionary for your particular language of choice, you can enjoy pop-up translation of almost any word thanks to the Kindle’s built-in dictionary look-up capabilities.  This comes in especially handy with the Kindle Touch, since just tapping a word on the screen is all that is required.

It is also possible to do some manual translation.  As with any dictionary, you can open the Slovoed translation volumes directly through the Kindle.  From here it is just a matter of searching for the word you need.  It is well designed for this sort of searching, including the ability to handle most obvious misspellings by giving users a choice of several possibilities from a list after the search field is filled.

You get three choices when acquiring Slovoed dictionaries:

The Compact series contains the basics.  This series takes up the least amount of space on your device’s storage while still offering concise translations for thousands of commonly used words.  It is primarily aimed at people who are just getting started on learning a new language.

The Classic series is more advances.  It is a comprehensive collection of just about everything you could need.  The target audience is travelers, students, and business professionals, so the breath of coverage is as wide as you might expect.  For many people, this is all you will ever need.

The Deluxe series is intended for advanced students, professional linguists, and translators.  It contains everything that the other series offer, but also has far more detailed information.  Everything from examples of proper use to detailed explanations of unusual cases is covered.  You can’t get much more from a product like this.

Coverage is available in dozens of languages and should be able to fit the majority of needs.  The whole selection appears to be available now.

The only customer complaint that seems to come up regularly is the lack of a reciprocal translation option.  In other words, you can go from Catalan to Spanish with a single dictionary, but to go from Spanish to Catalan you will need to get a separate volume.  This can be a problem for some people, especially students, as comprehension sometimes requires the ability to look things up from either direction.

Overall, this is a solid set of products and a plus for any bilingual Kindle reader who has a need for it.  The price is right and installation is as simple as selecting the new dictionary as your default in the Kindle’s settings menu.  It’s hard to argue with simplicity.

Kindle Touch Update 5.1 Adds Landscape Mode, Language Support, and Translation

The Kindle Touch has had its firmware updates in preparation for a multi-national release, it seems.  Version 5.1 actually brings us a number of useful features that users have been vocal about desiring for their eReaders.  While the removal of the physical keyboard may have opened the door for Kindle availability in languages besides English, this is probably the biggest step we have seen so far in terms of making that a reality.

Here’s what we’re looking at right now (Amazon Support Page):

  • Landscape Mode

It is finally possible to switch back and forth between portrait and landscape orientations on the Kindle Touch.  While this has long been an option for Kindles, for whatever reason it has taken until now for the Touch to get with the program.  Good news since there are situations where you can’t reasonably  do without it.

  • Added Language Support

Kindle users can now choose from English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese according to personal preference.

  • Instant Translation

While reading, you can now highlight a word or selection and have it translated for you on the spot.  Translations go through Bing Translator and are obviously going to be imperfect, but this is both fun and useful.  Unfortunately, it won’t work very well if you like to read with the WiFi turned off to improve battery life.

  • Improved WiFi

Connectivity has been improved and users have more options.  Connect with WPS and some WPA2 Enterprise setups.

  • Read-to-Me With Text-to-Speech

This one is restricted to English for the moment, but the Kindle Touch can now read to you, including some magazine and newspaper articles.  Perhaps more robust language support will come later?

  • Expanded Sharing

This will basically just tell people what you’re reading, should you feel like sharing.  It fills in a feature missing in comparison to Nook and Kobo options, but doesn’t excite.

  • Onscreen Keyboard Suggestions

Let’s face it, onscreen keyboards are annoying.  On the Kindle Touch it is even worse because of the refresh rate of E Ink.  Now typing is far more manageable.  Huge improvement!

  • Kindle Format 8

This one was pretty much just housekeeping for Amazon.  If you’re going to try and build a new standard, the least you can do is make sure that the latest generation of the device it is being designed for can handle it.  Might make periodicals more readable, but overall reflowable text is still the biggest advantage of an E Ink Kindle.

The Kindle Touch just plain works better now, really.  They added enough that there should be reason for users old and new to be excited here.  Landscape mode might have just been crossing an essential fix off the list, but things like keyboard suggestions and translation on demand change the experience for the better.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next generation of Kindle now that we have an idea what the innovation it brings to the table will be, but for now I may finally be recommending the Kindle Touch over the Kindle Keyboard for the first time.

4 More Dictionaries: German, French, Italian and Spanish

You asked and we listened… We are releasing 4 more translation dictionaries for Amazon Kindle:

All dictionaries can be set as Kindle default dictionary, replacing the Oxford dictionary that is installed by default. You can then have words translated by selecting them with 5-way controller. You can use Kindle settings to switch between dictionaries since only one dictionary can be active at any given time. If you need, you can always revert to using the Oxford English dictionary. Please note that iPad/iPhone, Android and other Kindle apps don’t support custom dictionaries such as these.

German-English Kindle DictionaryFrench-English DictionaryItalian-English DictionarySpanish-English Dictionary

If you need to translate from English to another language, you can use one of our previously released dictionaries. See here for complete list.

BlogKindle translation

Since release of international Kindle 2 was announced this blog started getting significant number of visitors from outside of US. I decided that it would be nice to deliver the blog in many languages. However I’m only fluent in two and don’t have the resources to translate it manually to many languages that my visitors speak. I’ll have to go with automated translation for the time being.

I’ve enabled it for the following languages (based on the countries visitors come from):

You can also find the translation control at the bottom of left side-bar. If your language is not among these – drop me a comment. If I get enough requests I’ll add more languages.

The reason I didn’t enable them all is because the translation quality is rather poor. However this is something that you can help me with. The translation plugin that I use supports wiki-style modification of the translated pages. However in order to prevent spam and vandalism I don’t want to open editing to the entire world. If you speak one of the listed languages and would like to correct the automated translation now and then, I can email you login credentials for the translation editor.

Enjoy!