Even the dictionary is changing its face. Thankfully, names like Webster and Oxford still exist in the hardbound physical form and haven’t gone the way of Encyclopedia Britannica. But dictionaries have been evolving especially in the digital world. A dictionary as a web application gives you instant benefits like audio pronunciations and hyperlinked references.
We have already seen some examples of online dictionaries that give us one-click access to meanings, synonyms, antonyms, usage, and more. Now in another helpful twist, we see the arrival of video dictionaries. Are video dictionaries really helpful, or are they mere entertaining video memes? You decide as I give you a roundup of five online video dictionaries to make use of.
The word sounds dangerously close to “vilification”. Perhaps, Vifinition is the most well thought out video dictionary yet. It is a crowdsourced urban dictionary where anyone can submit their explanation with the help of videos. So, the second you land on the site, you are greeted with the “Vinification of the Day”. Submitted videos get rated by the community. Though, some of the words (or phrases) haven’t entered the English language yet, they find a place here in the user-defined urban dictionary.
Don’t come here looking to make sense of a word – come here to have your five seconds of fun. With more creative users, Vifinition could grow into a cultural capsule of the times we live in and the language we speak.
I won’t take you into the video urban dictionary here because Joshua did his Vifine ALL The Things With Vifinition, The Crowdsourced Video Dictionary.
Vifinition could be the new urban dictionary of the masses, but UrbanDictionary TV surely is putting up a fight. It’s a fight for the popularity stakes, and UrbanDictionary being older is ahead so far. Behind it is the definitive source for urban slang – the original Urban Dictionary. If you want to contribute, look up words on Urban Dictionary and submit your own video (YouTube and Vimeo uploads will also do). The good ones get pulled here into UD TV.
UD TV is like a continuously playing reel of videos. There is no particular way of searching for an urban slang. You have to work through the words by clicking the Next button on the player.
Wordia is a learning platform that uses interactive games. The learning games are based around words and vocabulary. Wordia games focus on four key areas of the English language – oracy, grammar, spelling and auditory (Phonics). Wordia is a great learning resource for kids as the games are continuously evolving with new ones also getting added to the roster. Some word definitions are described by eminent personalities.
The video definitions are more elaborate than the textual ones (taken from Harper Collins) which are also mentioned on the sides of the videos. You can search for a word from the search box or drill down the alphabetical listing. Some words come with meanings in video alone, while some also have games associated with them.
Vidtionary is a very simple video dictionary on a WordPress platform. It is a simple collection of words and 247 videos that can be associated with them to better illustrate their meanings. You can browse them alphabetically. There are also collections of videos on specific topics like animals, insects, places, transportation etc.
Signing Savvy is a very useful sign language video dictionary to have around. It’s great if you want to learn sign language as it has several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, finger spelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.
It is a complete resource where you can do more than interpret the visual cues. You can build word lists, flash cards, and quizzes, plus more to get to a level of proficiency. Use the search box or the topic groups given by its side. Signing Savvy also has free iOS and Android apps if you want your reference to be mobile.
The five online video dictionaries underscore the potential for both fun and serious learning. Taking these five as an example, a more complete resource could be easily built…something like a ‘video Wikipedia’. If you are running short of dictionaries to reference, try the ones we have covered before:
- 7 Free Online Medical Dictionaries for Some Word Aid
- 8 Online Audio Pronunciation Guides That Help You Speak Words Correctly
- 7 Chrome Extensions That Help You Look Up Words & Meanings As You Browse
- 10 Online Synonym Dictionaries To Help You Find A Similar Word
- 10 Online Slang Dictionaries To Learn Jargon & Street Language
How do you rate these four video dictionaries? Do you think with some tinkering they can become essential reference sites? Give us a word or two of your opinion in the comments.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons