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July 11, 2007

Mariner's Translating Dictionary

Translating dictionaries are nothing new on the web, indeed, very few things are. Still, I have created one for mariners with a couple of new wrinkles.

We have a lot of foreign visiting yachties in Marina Bahia Redonda and oftentimes they hardly speak any Spanish. Although many people at the marina speak some English, not all do and many have a limited vocabulary. The purpose of the translating dictionary is to provide the words most commonly used by yachties in their daily activities which includes yacht maintenance.

One of the exclusive features of the translating dictionary is the ability to extract lists of words by topic. Suppose a yachtie is looking for a tool but does not know the name in Spanish. By selecting "Tools," for example, he will get a sorted list such as:

English      Spanish 
Bolt         Tornillo
Drill        Taladro
Drill bit    Mecha
File         Lima
Flashlight   Linterna
Hammer       Martillo
etc.         etc.
The translator works both ways, you can get an English translation of a list in Spanish.

The second feature that I think is nifty is that when a user looks for a specific word and it is not in the dictionary, the script reports the missing word to the webmaster on a weekly basis. This should help to keep the dictionary up-to-date with the required words and their translations.

Already ideas are popping up for the next version. The marina has a lot of French and Italian visitors and making the dictionary multilingual is tops on the wish list. A friend suggested adding sound bites with the pronunciation of the words, another nifty feature on the wish list.

Check out the English Spanish Translating Dictionary.

Denny Schlesinger

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