In the article of the other day, having the same title as this one but in Japanese, I mentioned the way of adding the StarDict dictionaries to the Apple’s Dictionary.app. As I made on my page some links to jalasthāna which contains a lot of nice Tips especially for Asian studies, I left a short message to his article which concerned the use of StarDict. As a response to my brief message, he kindly introduced my blog on his yesterday’s posting, even taking the trouble to read Japanese with Google Translator. So this time, I will post the almost same content in English, hoping that this is a bit of benefit to Mac-Users who read his articles and that my English ability somewhat surpass the robotic linguist…
I guess the way to augment the dictionaries list of Apple’s Dictionary.app is already well-known among the Mac users. Dictionary.app contains only English and Japanese languages at default setting, even in Africa (see Mac OS X Hints). Who wants to use Japanese-to-Japanese dictionary in daily life? Naturally, the information on this topic has been in demand, above all for the people who usually need not these two languages. I clip some useful sites:
- Dictionary Services Programming Guide (Mac OS X Developer Library)
- Adding dictionaries to the built-in Dictionary Application in Leopard
- Dictionary Plugins (German Thesaurus, German-English, and more)
- Wadoku für Mac OS X Lexikon/Dictionary.app (German-Japanese)
As explained here, we can convert any StarDict dictionary into the format supported by Dictionary.app. But now, we cannot access the page from which we could download tons of StarDict dictionaries only a few years ago. I’m not sure, but I wonder if it was caused by the problem of license?! Since we can find dictionaries here and there besides the StarDict HomePage, if you can identify the name of the dictionary, it would be even now possible to find some on the Web.
I myself tried to convert Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan dictionaries which are quite helpful for my specialization, Indology and Buddhist Studies. Fortunately, as concerns these dictionaries, jalasthāna’s site mirrors them even now. In my article the other day, I showed the brief procedure for converting Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary to Apples Dictionary.app. This time, I’d like to take an another example:
First of all, download DictUnifier-1.1.dmg from mac-dictionary-kit and drag-and-drop DictUnifier.app to your Applications folder. Download *.bz2 file of StarDict format of Nyanaponika Dictionary, move it in appropriate folder. At this point, you NEED NOT decompress it. It seems that the target file must be formatted as *.bz2. DictUnifier.app probably includes the decompression process (such as tar -xjf) inside. You can also use the command-line tool (sdconv) which can be found at the same place as DictUnifier.app and edit the program itself at your own risk, if you need not this decompression process (or want to use another format file such as *.zip).
Now, activate DictUnifier.app, choose Dictionary File (stardict-nyanaponika-bm-2.4.2.tar.bz2), and click “Covert” button.
When the conversion completes, you can find out the new dictionary in your ~/Library/Dictionaries. Let’s check the operation with Dictionary.app activated.
If you are in Cocoa Applications like Safari.app, Mail.app and even Dictionary.app itself (i.e., within the contents of the search term), hit Control-Command-D while you hover over a word, a dictionary will pop up with that words definition. This function is very useful if you want to clarify the meaning of a word or spell checking quickly and effectively. The following screenshot was captured while consulting BeoLingus German-English Dictionary for the “Mönch” of the entry “Nyanaponika” of German Wikipedia, within Emacs.app.