Some dictionaries are just priceless when it comes to translating technical terms or finding words in context.
Not many bilingual or multilingual dictionaries contain terms and words in Portuguese, so this list is actually the result of years of trial and error. Some dictionaries have been removed because they are open and the quality progressively decreases until they are simply unusable. It is very important to work with good, reliable dictionaries, but you must also know the language well enough to detect bad translations or definitions.
1. Wordreference – Multi-lingual general dictionary
The definitions of this dictionary are provided by regular users so you might not always find the definition you are looking for. In that case, you can use the forum, which is the reason this dictionary is still so useful.
2. Dictionarist – The online talking dictionary
I don´t know about talking, but this dictionary is quite complete and reliable. The downloadable desktop version can be useful when you are offline. You just type in a word and get translations in a huge range of languages.
3. Webter´s Online Dictionary
I have been using this dictionary for years. It´s one of the first truly multilingual dictionaries. It offers clear, very descriptive definitions of words in all languages, with images, references, etc. A true jewel, especially for those literary translations, where you need to look up the translation of places, people and also need some background information.
The best dictionary for technical terms every created. Every term added to this dictionary is evaluated and revised. Every term has a “confidence” level and you can click to see the source of the term added. I can´t do technical translations without this baby.
5. Proz.com term search
The good thing about this dictionary/term archive is that you can ask other translators for the translation to terms and phrases and choose from a wide range of options (replies). This resource does not have most regular words and is only good for those really tough, technical, legal or specialized translations.
6. Bab.la Dictionary Vocabulary Translation
This resource is very good and offers quite a lot of options (one language at a time) with context, but it is prone to errors and there are some bad translations listed as context references. It is useful though and I often refer to it when all the others fail.
7. My Memory Translated
This one comes last because it is a little messy. The terms are provided by other translators or resources detected on the internet, so there are some errors and bad translations, but it can be handy to translate two-word terms, etc. and translations tend to cover a wider range of options (different fields, etc). You can also contribute by removing bad translations.
By Cipriana Leme – Translator at e-Advance Traduções.