ECTACO Info | Article: "What Is a Talking Dictionary?"

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When I was a foreign exchange student in France, using a talking dictionary was a life saver for me. I had three years of French before I went over there, but there were many situations that came up where I had no idea how to say the right word.

This was before the age of smartphones, so I relied on this portable electronic device to give me the information I needed. It also saved me from some frustrating and embarrassing situations from time to time.

Once I got back home, I haven't used this talking dictionary, but keep it around because I never know when I might need it again.


I use an online talking dictionary to help me with the pronunciation of different words in different languages. I work with junior high kids in an after school program, and we have kids there that speak several different languages.
Some of them really struggle learning the English language, but they have made great strides in that area. The better they speak English, the better off they are in school.
I thought by using a talking dictionary like this I could learn a few words in their native language and communicate with them better. You should see their eyes light up when I say something in their language.
Many of these words would be difficult to know how to pronounce if I hadn't heard the correct way to say them. Sometimes I still get it wrong and we get a pretty good laugh out of it.


I have an uncle who is considered legally blind, and he has a portable talking dictionary that he can take with him if he thinks he might need to use it.

For him, this works best when he can speak the word into the device and hear how it is pronounced and what the definition is. He can see shapes and distinguish between light and dark, but it would be much harder for him if he had to type each word in.

Before he lost most of his eyesight, he liked to work on puzzles. Using a talking dictionary like this, along with other electronic equipment, has given him the ability to still complete some puzzles and keep his mind sharp.
Talking Electronic dictionary ECTACO -