Friday, 29 June 2012

Using Babylon-based dictionaries on your Kindle

UPDATE! A Follow-Up Post on this Project
Since this post got wide attention, I've decided to follow-up on this project.
See my new Babylon-based dictionaries on Kindle - Round 2 post.
Now the project is shared as open-source and pre-built dictionaries are organized and shared.

Lost in translation
The problem
Addressing this issue started by by trying to purchase an Italian-English dictionary for my 2nd generation Kindle, running Kindle software v2.5.3.
One dictionary was offered for sale  (as an ebook) on Amazon's website. The problem was that the dictionary was not actually available for the device for another whole year..

Good translations
Babylon, on the other hand, offers high-quality dictionaries, spanning over pretty much every language. Babylon Translator is a paid software for Windows. Its dictionary files (.BGL) are offered as free downloads.

In a perfect universe
If I only had a way to import Babylon's free content dictionary into my Kindle and use it as the built-in dictionary, it would have been perfect..

The solution presented here was tested on my Kindle 2. I'm pretty sure it should work on newer versions of Kindle as well.
The same Babylon dictionary, used on my PC (Left) and on my Kindle (Right)
(Click for full size)
Article Level:
Reasonably moderate