Firelang – Firefox Translation and Language Learning Tool

I’ve yet to see a language translation program that was worth the box that it came in. Usually, they work OK for short, simple text, but they fall on their faces if you’re trying to translate technical text or anything that includes idioms, adages and similes …

The Firefox web browser is the perfect companion for users who are learning another language. Why? Because of all the add-ons that enhance and improve the learning experience.

Firelang is a sophisticated add-on with an incredible feature set that helps users learn a new language while surfing the Internet. For that, it comes with several tools.

Probably the most common of them all is a translation add-on, to translate selected words while surfing. The add-on comes with several dictionaries included, and options to add more dictionaries easily.

All dictionaries are available on right-click after selecting a word or phrase. The add-on furthermore remembers the last used dictionary and displays it prominently to save some time.

translate

Included in the initial configuration are dict.leo.org, lingvo.ru, Wictionary, Urban Dictionary, Google Define and Wikipedia.

dictionaries

A unique feature from what I can tell is the translation history. Firelang keeps record of all translated words and their context, giving the user the opportunity to take a look at the words and their context at a later time, again with possibilities to display the translation.

history

And while we are at it. The history can be exported as flash cards. The program exports them into a text file which can be accessed in a standard text editor, printed, or imported into the popular Flash card learning software Anki.

But that was not still everything the history feature is good for. Firelang offers to highlight words in the history. How does it work? If highlighting is enabled in the add-on’s options, all words that have been translated in the past are highlighted on all pages they appear on in the browser. That’s great for seeing them in different contexts for instance.

Firelang offers several tools that are useful to users who are learning German. For one, it offers to colorize all German nouns in text. This is important for languages like German that has genders (unlike English which does not).

colorize

There are furthermore several language learning tools available. The article hiding tool removes articles from pages, replacing them with interactive placeholders which show their article on mouse-over.

Firelang offers several additional features that are well thought out. It is for instance possible to bind domains to dictionaries, good for learning multiple languages. The program offers hotkey support and lots of configuration options in the program’s settings. Definitely a tool to check out, especially for users who are learning German.


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