SmartPhone Dictionary Apps for Greek and LatinSeptember 15, 2011
To be filed under: this is why it’s good to hold an office hour in the department and chit-chat with the graduate students…
It turns out, there is an app for that. In response to the question, “How did you look that up so fast?” the student responded, “I have a Lewis and Short app ($3.99) on my iPhone.” Turns out there’s an Liddell-Scott-Jones app too ($1.99) – the student said the iPhone 3 supports a Greek keyboard for input and “it was the best $1.99 I ever spent.” Some commenters I’ve read prefer the Lexiphanes app ($3.99) which includes both LSJ and a Homeric lexicon. By the same developer (and Classics PhD candidate), Harry Schmidt, as Lexiphanes is Lexidium ($3.99). I highly recommend Schmidt’s website for those interested in computer-aided philology – it was new to me and he has interesting posts as well as a not-yet-iPhone program called Andromeda, a “platform for digital philology,” that sounds worth watching.
These aren’t new tools – RogueClassicism reported on Schmidt’s iPhone aps in 2009 – but I have a dumb phone, myself, so they were new to me. Since I’ve written about portable digital tools for language students in the context of our Kindle experiment, I thought a post was worthwhile. If you have students with iPhones/iPads/iPod Touches (iPods Touch??), you might want to suggest these apps to them for inexpensive dictionaries-on-the-go. A quick Google suggests that there is an Android LSJ app ($2.99) but it works with a romanized keyboard only; and there’s a Lewis’ A Latin Dictionary app for Android ($2.99) but not one for the full Lewis and Short.
There’s some further discussion on the Textkit boards about reading classical texts on iPhones, if you want to look for more leads for good apps and general commentary on e-texts in classics.
Got another favorite I didn’t find? Leave a comment or drop me a line. Thanks!