2014-10-24

Favorite online dictionaries

Since I wrote here on my favorite dictionaries in May 2011, I still included print dictionaries and dictionary software programs. But since then the landscape of practical lexicography has changed rather drastically and my knowledge of lexicography has also increased and improved.

Most of the dictionaries I use regularly on weekdays are online ones, and many of them are freely accessible. I'm too lazy to use those that require user login, even if they are free. But all my favorite online dictionaries listed below are still based on their original print versions. On the following list the six languages I use actively now and the dictionaries I use in each language are arranged according to the frequency of use. I don't use Hebrew, Yiddish, Esperanto and Japanese dictionaries as I know these languages well enough and I use them mostly for reception. On the other hand, I use Russian dictionaries now much more frequently as I'm trying to improve my knowledge of this most beautiful language on this planet.

1 English

  1. Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
    • Free
    • English-English
    • For production
  2. Oxford Dictionary of English
    • Free
    • English-English
    • For reception
  3. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
    • Free
    • English-English
    • For production
  4. Collins English Dictionary
    • Free
    • English-English
    • For reception

2 Russian

  1. Bol'šoj tolkovyj slovar' russkogo jazyka
    • Free
    • Russian-Russian
    • For reception
  2. Collins Russian-English Dictionary
    • Free
    • Russian-English
    • For reception
  3. Collins English-Russian Dictionary
    • Free
    • Russian-English
    • For production

3 Hebrew

  1. Rav-milim: A Comprehensive Dictionary of Modern Hebrew
    • Commercial (I use this online dictionary for free through my university)
    • Hebrew-Hebrew-English
    • For reception and production

4 Yiddish

  1. Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary
    • Free; registration and login required
    • Yiddish-English
    • For reception and production

5 Esperanto

  1. Plena Ilustrita Vortaro de Esperanto
    • Free; registration and login required
    • Esperanto-Esperanto
    • For reception and production

6 Japanese

  1. Daijisen
    • Free
    • Japanese-Japanese
    • For reception and production

2014-10-10

The third attack of gout

Somehow I forgot the fact that I have a "landmine" called gout in my body as more than a year and a half had passed since its last attack (I experienced the first attack of gout in May 2013 and the second a few months later). It took me two days to recognize the swelling and pain on my right foot as a result of gout as it was not a big toe but an ankle that was attacked first this time (four days before Yom Kippur, which fell on last Saturday this year). But by the time I realized this, it was too late. By then I could barely move even inside my apartment because of the pain, so I had to live on what few foods that remained in the fridge for two days, until I decided to rent crutches and shlepped myself, though with great difficulty.

In a sense I was surprised that I didn't have this third attack of gout until now, as I had enough reason to experience it earlier because of my overdrinking of red wine. Though I'm rather ashamed to confess how much wine I used to drink every day, I'll do so only so that other lovers of wine may learn a lesson from my mistake. After I had the second attack of gout, I was supposed to have reduced the daily consumption of wine significantly, so I don't remember how it reached such a high level - one bottle on each of the five weekdays and two on Fridays and Saturdays totaling ten bottles a week in the past year!

Partly because of the timing of the attack this time, I've decided to repent and stop drinking wine - I'm not used to drinking any other alcoholic beverage on a regular basis - except on Sabbaths and holidays, and even then I won't drink more than one bottle during the whole Sabbath or holiday. I've been successful so far in keeping this self-imposed resolution. It was not until the day before yesterday, the first night of Sukkot, that I nervously sipped a small amount of red wine as part of the celebration of this holiday, fearing that I may have another attack of gout. This one-week abstinence from wine seems to have already made my body so sensitive to alcohol. I could finish one bottle quickly and without being affected very much, but this time I felt it was more than enough after I drank a third of a bottle.

Ironically, I'm grateful to my body for giving me this warning. Otherwise I might have continued drinking, thus causing other kinds of damage to my body. Actually, I was told by a good friend of mine to try alcoholics anonymous, but I don't think I need to try this solution. I was offered a very painful solution, but it seems to work very well.