This "Linguistic Portal" Is An Incredibly Useful Resource


If you're interested in language, or you know someone who is, here's a web site that will be of real interest.  Reverso, while not being an inspiring name, is an amazing web site that describes itself as a linguistic portal.  It combines a spell checker, verb conjugator, dictionary, grammar checker and translation system, all in a web-based system that doesn't require any software installation and is completely free to use.

So whether you need to check the spelling or grammar of an email you're writing, or your children need a fun way to look up the facts of language, Reverso is a superb online resource.  It works in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and Japanese.  So if you've always wondered how to spell accommodation, or what the past continuous tense of "to work" is (answer: see below for the conjugation), Reverso will have the answer.

You'll find the site at and, as mentioned, it's free to use.  My thanks to reader Jim Considine for telling me about it.


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Hi friends...

I have been using Quick Translator which is a FireFox add-on for a few yrs and it does a splendid job. I have tried a few translators and this one seems the most complete, easiest and very convenient for my personal use. It can translate between over 50 languages in the way you want, example: Spanish to French or English to Portuguese and many more. I frequently use English to Spanish, Portuguese to English or Spanish, and a few other combinations. I'll look at Reverso (bookmarked) and see how it works but i really doubt that i will change from Quick Translator. I just does an excellent job.

I've been using the free imTranslator ( with automatic back translation for a long time. Uses up to four translation engines: Google, Microsoft, Babylon, and PROMT. Many languages:
English Español Français Português Deutsch Русский Italiano العربية 中文 Nederlands 日本語 한국어 Čeština Dansk Ελληνικά हिंदी עברית Lietuvių Polski Română Svenska Türkçe Українська

@Frank D:


Will definitely try it one of these days; bookmarked!

I think its most valuable feature is the automatic back-translation, so if the Google engine's output doesn't sound right to you, you can try the other three. One of them is pretty sure to be satisfactory. I use the Firefox add-on version, but there's a stand-alone also. Another good feature is the voice output, which you can adjust for speed.

@Bruce Fraser:
Well, it's a "linguistic portal" not a "translation portal".

But if you know of a "translation portal" please let us know about it - or even better, let Robert Schifren know about it!

And BTW and slightly off topic, as an ex-pat in a country that does not speak my mother tongue I often grapple with how to correctly translate words in a given context.

Mind you words, not phrases... and there is, to my limited knowledge, no Hindi and no Japanese either.

If that would help you try "dict[dot]leo[dot]org", a web site/service originally of the Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. Now it is run by Leo GmbH, a commercial venture.

The hilarious thing about computer translators is taking a simple sentence, like "Good afternoon, how are you today?" and moving it through a cycle, say: English to Chinese to Portugese to Hindi to Russian to English. Always good for a laugh.
Unfortunately, this site translates only to or from English. Oh well...