About the Open Dictionary

What is the PONS Open Dictionary and what is it for?

We at PONS have a passion for languages. Our lexicographers are language professionals from all over the world who have been using their linguistic, translation and lexicographic expertise to compile reliable PONS dictionaries for the past 35 years or so. These dictionaries – along with a number of other language services – are now at the disposal of our Community totally free of charge. But that’s not all. As a member of the PONS Community you can contribute your own linguistic discoveries to our dictionaries. Whether you are a language professional or a language aficionado, why not share your linguistic knowledge with the entire Community in PONS’s OpenDict? Have you encountered a word or meaning which is not yet recorded at PONS? Are you able to find and check its translation, e.g. because you are a native speaker of the target language, or by consulting native speakers in your environment, or through your work in the field of translation? Then we cordially invite you to compile an OpenDict-entry. New entries can be missing words, missing phrases or even a sense of an existing word which has not yet been translated. Feel free to fill out the OpenDict entry template intuitively. Alternatively, you can refer to the following detailed instructions.

How to Compile a New OpenDict Entry

Signing In

If you want to compile an OpenDict entry you must first sign in as a registered user. If you haven’t got a PONS account yet, you can get one completely free of charge here . You can tell you are signed in if you see your name at the top of the page on the right, next to the Facebook and Twitter Icons.

Is the item already recorded at PONS?

Before you compile your entry, please make sure that your word, meaning or translation is not already recorded in the corresponding PONS dictionary.

Step by Step

To compile an OpenDict entry, first click on the button Compile a new entry, which appears at the bottom left of each search result. A template appears which will help you to compile your entry. We want it to be as quick and as easy as possible for you to submit a suggestion for a translation equivalent, so, feel free to go ahead and fill out the entry fields in the template. Our experienced lexicographers will take care of standardizing entry presentation. If you are curious to learn more about the craft of bilingual lexicography, we invite you to consult the following information provided by our professional lexicographers.

Simple Entries

  • Select the source language of your entry at the top left of the template in the entry field Source Language
  • Next, check the Headword field. Please note that the headword which appears automatically in this field is the word you last typed into the search. If you want a different item, simply adjust spelling, capitalization or wording accordingly. The headword should ideally be in its so-called canonical form. For nouns, this is generally the singular form without an article in front of it, e.g. child (instead of the child or children); for verbs it is the unconjugated base form without to in front of it, e.g. disappear (instead of to disappear, disappears, etc.). Multiword phrases are generally entered under one of their elements. The expression to go out for a meal, for example, is entered under the headword meal.
  • Now, select the Part of speech of your headword from the dropdown menu.
  • For the Word/Phrase field you may need to adjust the word or change the automatically entered word to a phrase, e.g. to go out for a meal under the headword meal; in our dictionaries we use the abbreviations sb for somebody and sth for something, e.g. to be at ease with sb under the headword ease, to box sth up, under the headword box up.
  • Our lexicographers verify each OpenDict entry to ascertain that all of the information is as correct and as homogenously presented as possible. You can help to simplify their task by providing information about where you encountered the word or phrase under the heading Contextual Information. Indicating the national context in which you encountered an item is an important detail which can be particularly relevant for languages such as English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. This information also helps other users to better understand exactly which particular usage of the word or phrase you are translating. Our dictionary records authentic and actual usage, so we kindly ask you to refrain from simply copying other dictionaries. This is unprofessional practice not only in our view but also for copyright reasons.
    We look forward to seeing the fruit of your own personal linguistic experiences!

At this point you may want to click on Preview to see what your entry looks like thus far. This will help you to decide whether you need to add any further details.

Entering Further Details

Click the button Further Details to add important further specifications to your entry:

  • Sense: many words have more than one meaning, e.g. rich - wealthy as opposed to rich - of food. So, in this field it is useful to specify which sense of the word you are translating. This way, all users will be able to decide which context to use your translation in: wealthy would be reich in German, while of food would be gehaltvoll.
  • Grammar: The dropdown menu contains a list of grammatical information pertaining to the part of speech and the language that you clicked. For German, Romance and Slavic languages this will be, e.g. the gender of a noun. For verbs it is possible to specify whether the verb is transitive, intransitive or reflexive.
  • Field of specialization: Here you can select a field of specialization to which your entry belongs, e.g. to like sth (internet). This helps to distinguish the special sense as used in social media (German liken) from the general sense enjoy (German mögen). If the field label you need does not appear in the list, you can enter your own field label by clicking Other at the bottom of the list.
  • Region: Here you can click on a label to indicate usage in a particular country or region, e.g. doozy (American), or Alsterwasser (Northern German).
  • Style: Here you can select a stylistic or usage label from the dropdown menu to show that your item does not belong to standard usage, e.g. doozy ( informal).
  • Category: If you want to further classify your entry, you can choose a label from the “Category” drop-down menu: Abbreviation (e.g. etc. for et cetera), Clipping (e.g. uni for university, Collocation (e.g. to set the table), Idiom (e.g. to have a bone to pick with sb), Proverb (e.g. the early bird gets the worm).

It is possible to use a combination of these labels, e.g. doozy ( American, informal). You can also add more than one label from a particular category, e.g. dresser in the sense chest of drawers (American and Canadian). To do so, simply click the green + sign to the lower left of the entry field and then select the additional label.

Adding Equivalents

Key your equivalent into the entry field Translation, on the right . If you need to add additional equivalents, click the blue + sign at the lower left of the entry field. This way you can enter each equivalent individually. Each equivalent field has its own Grammar, Region and Style fields.

Checking the final version of your entry and saving

Before saving your entry you may want to see a preview. Simply click on the corresponding button at the bottom right. Then, if you are satisfied with the result, click on Save and submit. A message will appear on the screen informing you that your entry has been successfully saved and submitted to our editors.

Want to compile another entry?

If you want to compile another entry please bear in mind that you must call up a new entry template with the button Compile a new entry or by clicking on the link Compile another entry . If you do not do this, you will overwrite your previous entry.

Want to edit an existing OpenDict Entry?

You can add additional information to existing published OpenDict entries by clicking on the blue pencil icon at the top right of the entry and then clicking the link Reedit this entry.

See a List of your OpenDict Entries

A list of all of your OpenDict-entries with their publishing status can be consulted on your Contact Card . To get there, either click on your name in one of your OpenDict-entries (click on the “i” symbol at the top right of the entry, then on “Authors and versions”), or click on your name at the top of the page. Remember, you can only see your name at the top of the page if you are signed in.

Viewing your entries

You can view a list of all of your submitted entries on your Contact Card . To get there from one of your published entries click the blue “i” at the top right, then on the link Authors and versions, and finally, on your name. Alternatively, you can click your name at the top right of our homepage. Please note that you must be signed in for this.

Your PONS Profile

Your Contact Card is also the place where you can publish your Profile, for example, to make your services as a language professional known. From here, other users can follow you and the entries you write. You can also keep track of the users that you are following and the users who are following you. In addition you can pick up your private messages from other members of the PONS Community from your dropbox.

To edit your profile click on Edit profile at the top right of our Page.

A few Sample Entries

Click here to view a few OpenDict entry samples.

We hope you you enjoy compiling OpenDict entries at PONS and thank you kindly for your contribution.

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