Le Dictionnaire Visuel online is in French and shows pictures of all words and speaks all words out loud. The words were recorded with the business accent of Quebec. The English language version of the picture dictionary is called the Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online. They are both free and no registration is required. Here are some tips for using these dictionaries to learn French.
(The review, tips, ideas and other information are below the Archive list)
Disclaimer : We do not have any advertising agreements with the companies mentioned. We recommend them because they are really good products and the online versions are free with no registration required.
Words of the Day Archive
First, a word about the non-free software Dictionaries
In French, the latest edition for computers runs on Windows and the Apple Mac (check the system requirements on their web page if you are thinking about buying it!). Is called Le Visuel multimédia édition 4.
In English, it is called The Visual Multimedia 4th Edition.
If (after you try it out on the web) you like the format (pictures plus audio plus short definitions), you can buy a copy of the current dictionary software for your computer (Windows and Apple Mac computers). The Basic edition offers 3 languages for all word entries (French, English and Spanish). You can buy an add-on pack that adds Italian and German.
There are also several paper versions of the dictionary if you prefer paper dictionaries. Some of them are quite specialized.
About the free Online French and English Picture and Audio Dictionaries
According to their web sites, you can use the images for personal use for free and you can use them on non-commercial blogs.
This blog has no advertising and is offered freely in the spirit of generosity. We hope that we can save people who are learning Quebec French a lot of time and trouble. In fact : Many thanks to the dictionary publishers for making their content (under the conditions they clearly specify) available for personal use and for use on non-commercial, ad-free blogs.
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Here are links to the Home Pages of the free online French and English dictionaries :
Tips for Using Our ‘Words of the Day’ Blog Posts
1. In our Words of the Day blog posts we include links to both the French language version of the web page and the English language version of the web page. This is very handy. It should improve your language learning effectiveness and it should also save you quite a lot of time.
2. On Le Dictionnaire Visuel web site – Click on a word or scroll down their web pages to see the definitions of all the words and to hear the words. You can hear the words by clicking on the little speaker icon beside each and every word!
3. General-purpose computer tip : If you right-click on any image you can ‘Save Image As…’ to your hard disk. You can then double-click the image that you saved onto your computer and print it out. If you print out both the English and the French web pages then you can start your own personal picture dictionary. You can also grab images from any web site to add to your personal picture dictionary.
4. The web page does not include the gender of the words. The software that you can buy from them does include the gender of the words. The gender is very important. You can look it up online at Mediadico, at the Wiktionnaire French (see our sidebar under FRENCH DICTIONARIES) or in any regular French language dictionary.
5. The software they sell offers some important advantages! First, the definitions pop-up on your screen when you click on a word. You will have much nicer access to the speaking of the word, the definition (in English, French and Spanish) and the gender of the nouns – all at the same time.
The Capitaine Quebec Show – Picture Dictionary Videos
Here are two videos from The Capitaine Quebec Show with a few ideas for making a personal picture dictionary and flashcards when you are in Quebec.
The first video explains how printed ads in Quebec usually have a picture and include both the French and the English names for the items. The ads are often delivered all together in a little plastic bag once or twice a week. This is great! You can look for the items that you personally use in your daily life and add them to your personal picture dictionary. If you are new to Quebec (or have young kids) then making personal picture dictionaries is a fun family ‘after-dinner’ activity.
The second video can give you some ideas for making flashcards with sound very quickly. PowerPoint and other slideshow software is very clumsy for making personal learning materials with sound. It is much faster to use your video camera or video recorder in your cell phone!