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An English <-> Catalan dictionary with extensive notes for learners of both languages.
An English <-> Catalan dictionary with extensive notes for learners of both languages.

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Seeking a few brave volunteers to test our new Android application.

If you're interested and would be happy to report bugs / issues / crashes then ask for an invite to the CatalanDictionary Beta Testers community and we will get you set up.

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Autocomplete has been turned back on.  Now if you pause whilst typing in the search box you can see suggestions for entries to look up, click on a suggestion or use the up/down keys to move through them and hit enter.

Slightly less obvious at the moment is what the colors mean:
Red: English entry
Blue: Catalan entry
Black: Both

Dacco ... coming soon to iPads, iPhones and Android devices near you.

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Oh no! Mom’s gone potty! (or ‘misunderstandings that can occur when a mother speaks British English and her child listens in American English’)

The other day I was walking my five-year-old to school when I panicked, believing that we’d left his homework in the house (actual utterance: “Oh man! We’ve left it at home!”). I then realized that, no, the homework was in fact in his backpack (actual utterance: “Oh no, it’s OK! We haven’t”). At which point my son asks: “What’s the matter mom? Why are you talking to yourself?” “Oh, don’t worry”, I respond. “Mummy’s gone potty, that’s all!” At which point he bursts into giggles and asks “Didn’t you go before we left the house?!” (Anglès britànic: ‘to go potty’ > ‘tornar-se boig’. Anglès americà (llengua infantil): ‘to go potty’ > ‘fer pipí / fer caca’). I can, even now, imagine him going into his classroom and announcing to the whole class “My mom just went potty in the street!!”

Anyway, having a ‘one-track mind’ as I do (I can’t have a conversation with somebody / read a book or newspaper / listen to the television or radio without suddenly fixing on a word and asking myself ‘do we have that word in Dacco?’), I spent the rest of the journey to school and back wondering if ‘potty’ was in the dictionary and, if so, whether 1. the adjectival meaning was marked as British and 2. whether the noun entry included not only ‘orinal’ but also ‘vàter’ and the expression ‘to go potty’ > ‘fer pipí / fer caca´. The answer to all these questions was ‘no’. Now, of course, it is ‘yes’ :-)

In expanding the very sparse existing entry for 'sonar' in Dacco today (verb: to sound / to ring), I came to realize just how long I've been working on this project and, at the same time, just how old I am getting! The original entry in the database for 'sonar' was not marked with a 'date' tag. We started using date tags (marking the month and year each individual entry was made) in January 2005. This means that the original entry for 'sonar' was added in 2003 or 2004 o sigui fa 8 o 9 anys!

Whilst working on a new release of the printed dictionaries today, James discovered a rather interesting expression under the entry for 'cabàs': "a cabassos - in abundance / jxdfre[62rwe0=fkvdk,ggggggggfgr55555 vvvvvvvvvvvv, bn ggggggggggggggghuiinnnnby6w21 5=aaaaaaoads of ... / ... galore / ... by the bucketload". We have no idea how long the entry has been this way but believe the lesson we can all take from it is to never, ever turn your back on your keyboard whilst editing a dictionary if you have small children in the house. Either that or never, ever drink copious amounts alcohol whilst editing a dictionary ;-)

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Thanks to Google's PDF viewer, we are now able to embed the printed dictionary into the website, which makes for a much nicer way to browse the contents.

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As part of the site re-design we've just moved the Catalan conjugator over. Throw some verbs at it and let us know what you think.

Since 2005, CatalanDictionary has been collecting word frequencies. That is to say, every time we enter a word in the dictionary, we do a 'quick and dirty' Google search for the word and make a note of the number of results we get back. So, for example, when we enter an adjective or a noun we search for 'masculine singular form OR feminine singular form OR masculine plural form OR feminine plural form'. With verbs, we search for 'infinitive form OR 3rd person singular form OR 3rd person plural form'. It's clearly not a perfect system but it gives us a rough idea of just how frequent a word is. We also make a note of the month and year we enter each word in the dictionary (MM/YY) and, when we make changes to an entry, we amend both the word frequency and the date. It truly is amazing to see quite how much the Catalan-language Web has grown over the last 7 years or so. For example, yesterday I amended the entry for 'fiscal'. Back in 2005, when we originally entered this term, the frequency count we had was 59,300. Yesterday it was 5,360,000. I also amended 'geni' which had risen from 6,880 results in 2005 to 1,630,000 in 2012 and 'refer' (the Catalan verb) which had gone from 13,900 results to 2,530,000. One of these days, when I have a free moment, I intend to pull out all this data, analyze it and write an article about it. I think it will make for very interesting reading.

Oops! Dictionary fail!

(found on yesterday afternoon)

Diccionario Espasa concise inglés-español © 2000 Espasa Calpe:
bañera sustantivo femenino bath
Existe también la palabra bathtub, pero significa una bañera independiente, sin grifos y, como tal, ya es anticuada.

WTF? I would just like to assure anybody who finds the word 'bathtub' in our dictionary (and you will) that the word is not at all old-fashioned or antiquated! The old-style bathtubs without taps which our ancestors used are indeed old-fashioned and no longer used but the word 'bathtub' is alive and well. I have one. It's upstairs, it's not free-standing, it's made from acrylic and it most definitely has taps (or should that be 'faucets'? It is an American bathtub after all!) We most often call it 'the bath' but we can also, on occasion, be heard to call it 'the bathtub' and even sometimes 'the tub'.
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