Learning English? There’s an app for that


By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

A new iOS application makes speaking and writing a new language a breeze

If you’re bored with looking up words either in a massive book or online, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary iOS is for you.

Functioning as more than just a free electronic dictionary, it also provides games that let you learn new words or test your vocabulary.

As a dictionary, it provides the definition in English and type of word as well as the word origin. You also get example sentences so that you will understand how a word is used in context. Synonyms and antonyms are also included.

For English learners, it provides audio pronunciations, which are voiced by real English speakers rather than text-to-speech robots. I tested the app on the iPad Pro 10.5 and found that the audio pronunciations were loud and clear. There is an audio icon behind the head word and the audio plays when you tap it.

You don’t even have to type when you want to look up a word thanks to its voce search, which allows you to either key a word into the box at the top right corner of use the microphone icon directly underneath that you can tap on and speak to look up for a word.

The app automatically keeps record of the words you have searched for by listing the recent searches under the menu bar. You can type each of the searched words to bring its definition screen up conveniently.

You can also add words to the app’s Favourite list so that you can keep track of the words that are the most important to you. Moreover, the list of Favourite words can be synced through iCloud so that you can share between devices.

The top left of the app provides a menu bar for accessing the dictionary, the Word of the day, games, favourite words and other functions.

When you click on the Games menu, you will see two screens titled as Weekly Challenge and Word Games.

There are five games under the Weekly Challenge section, and the games will change each week. For example, in the game Name that Thing; Flower Edition, you must select the name of flower that is displayed. There is also a game called Name that Thing: Toys and Games Edition.

On the section of Word Games, you will find three games, titled How Strong is Your Vocabulary?, True or False, and Name that Thing. The How Strong in Your Vocabulary? has four levels of difficulty Light, Medium, Hard, and Devilish. The two other games have two levels  Light and Difficult.

The app is highly recommended. Fully featured and absolutely free, this app is supported by ads. You can remove ads for Bt69 per year with an inapp purchase charged to your iTunes account.

Key Specs

– Seller: Merriam-Webster, Inc

– Size: 204.3 MB

– Category: Reference

– Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

– Languages: English

– Age Rating: Rated 4+

– Copyright: 2015 Merriam-Webster, Inc

– Price: Free

– In-App Purchases: Remove Ads 1-year Subscription: Bt69


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