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Fora Dictionary for Android™

Fora Dictionary is an extensible multilingual offline dictionary application for Android devices.

Features

  • Suggestions
  • Installable packages (WordNet, FOLDOC, Factbook, Moby)
  • Automated downloads (ENG-DEU, DEU-ENG, ENG-HUN, HUN-ENG, ENG-CZE, ENG-TUR, CRO-ENG)
  • Multiple offline dictionary formats support:
    • StarDict dictionaries
    • XDXF dictionaries
    • DSL dictionaries
    • DICTD database dictionaries
    • Plain (tab-separated/TSV) dictionaries
  • Wikipedia (with suggestions and random)
  • Wildcard search
  • Fuzzy search
  • DICT protocol
  • Full rich-text content and hyperlinks support for definitions
  • Unified dictionary management for all types of dictionaries
    • Add
    • Remove/delete
    • Enable/disable
    • Reorder
    • Assign color
    • Show information
    • Recommend
  • Multiple dictionary arrangements using profiles (grouping)
  • Reader mode
  • Word history and elegant navigation
  • Word list
  • Random word
  • Lookup via system clipboard (clipboard monitor)
  • Text-to-Speech (available in EN_US, EN_GB, FR, DE, IT, ES)
  • Speech input (available in EN, ZH_CN, JP)
  • Customization
  • Export options
  • Email/SMS options
  • Query API
  • Tablet friendly
  • Portable, all-in-SD configuration

Downloads

QR-code for Fora Dictionary

If the QR-code doesn't work, below is a list of available downloads.

Name Application Version
Fora Dictionary Pro ForaDictionaryPro.apk 19.1
Fora Dictionary ForaDictionary.apk 15.4

Note: "Phone calls" permission is about a compatibility issue and completely irrelevant to the applications.

Instructions for manually installing packages

  1. Delete previous version(s) of the package, if any, using the Dictionary Manager.
  2. Install package application (note that some packages may require relatively larger free phone memory when installing).
  3. Extract the dictionary data and after successful extraction, uninstall package application to reclaim phone memory.
  4. Open the Dictionary Manager and select "Rescan storage" from menu to add the dictionary to the current profile.

Note: Packages assume you are using default storage directory. If you have changed the storage directory and getting “Dictionary not found” error, you should manually move the extracted dictionary directory (contains 3-7 files such as fdblite.properties) from the default storage directory to the current storage directory and then select “Rescan storage” from the Dictionary Manager menu.

Screenshots

Extending

There are 5 ways to extend Fora with various sources ("dictionaries"):

  • Packages (5 items): Ready-to-use offline dictionary installers tailored for using in Fora. The English Dictionary Package is based on WordNet-3.0 and is comprehensive.
  • Downloads (7 items): Several bilingual offline dictionaries to choose from.
  • Offline dictionaries: Any dictionary of supported formats can be used in Fora. All dictionary data is stored portably in the SD-card. You can even create your own dictionary/glossary as TSV/Plain dictionary using a text editor.
  • Wikipedia(s): Integrated Wikipedia article fetchers displaying concise Wikipedia definitions.
  • Network dictionaries: Configurable DICT-protocol dictionaries.

You can use any combination of the above dictionaries within the integrated interface.

Remarks

  • Storage: Fora Dictionary requires an SD-card present. It creates a directory in the SD-card named ".fora" in which it stores all dictionary and configuration files.
  • Packages: You can add dictionaries using pre-configured dictionary packages. Packages normally do not occupy space on phone memory, they are essentially self-extracting dictionary data archives. After extracting the dictionary, you can safely uninstall the package application to reclaim phone memory.
  • Management from user interface: All dictionary management tasks (add, remove, organize) are made from the application's user interface (sometimes at the expense of some patience).
  • Sidebar: Sidebar allows you quickly visualize and navigate results.
  • Hyperlinks and inline shortcuts: Fora supports most hyperlinks in dictionaries and features context-specific inline shortcuts.
  • Profiles: Fora Dictionary comes with a handy feature for power users. You can save and reuse complete dictionary arrangements as profiles.
  • Clipboard activation: If you need to lookup from other applications, for instance while reading something in the browser, you can copy the word to the clipboard while the application is running behind. Fora will pop up for lookup results.
  • Configuration portability: The configuration directory (".fora") in the SD-card is completely portable. That is, you can share individual dictionaries or the whole ".fora" directory with friends. When you place a new dictionary copied from another configuration directory, Fora will recognize it when you select "Rescan storage" from the Dictionary Manager menu.

Pro Edition

You can order a license code in order to remove ads and/or 5-dicts restriction permanently. It costs $5 and will be delivered instantly to your email.

To enter your license code, please use the button on home screen or Menu > More > About > License > "Enter License".

The Pro edition is also available in the Amazon App Store for Android.

Note: We can't sell the Pro edition in Google Play due to technical limitations, please see here. Using the custom payment system based on PayPal and license codes is the best we can do to bring you the latest and greatest version of the app, thank you for your discretion.

Dictionary Converter

Starting with v10.0, the desktop converter utility is bundled with the main application. See Dictionary Manager menu ("Extract converter") to extract the latest version of the utility. You can also download it here: ForaDictionaryConverter.zip

Desktop version which can also be used to convert dictionaries adds some additional features like import/export and is the recommended tool for setting up dictionaries.

Terminology

Any source is treated as a dictionary. Below are descriptions of some terms used in management;

  • Database: Collection of all dictionaries of all types
  • Profile: An arrangement of dictionaries picked from database (kinda bookmarking)
  • Remove: Remove dictionary from current profile and retain it in database for using in other profiles
  • Delete: Delete dictionary from database and remove from all profiles (permanent deletion)
  • Existing: A dictionary in database ready to be included into current profile
  • Local: dictionary stored locally in the SD-card (offline dictionary)
  • Network: dict.org, etc. server dictionary (online dictionary)
  • Indexing: converting/importing a local dictionary into database (slow, but once)
  • Package: Dictionary installer (does not need indexing)
  • Download: Automated process of downloading & indexing
  • Rescan: Checking for new files copied & placed into SD-card
  • Switch: Change active profile

User Manual

Attaching Resources
Fora Dictionary can index ZIP files containing resources (images, sounds, videos) and locate resources automatically during lookups. It supports classic ZIP files (non-ZIP64) and the encoding of file names of the resource files should be ASCII/Latin only. Also, the ZIP files should not contain subfolders (flat structure).

Steps for attaching resources to a dictionary:
1) Extract resource files to your hard disk
2) Group the resource files into folders. Each folder can contain a maximum of 65,535 resource files
3) Create ZIP files for each group. In order to make ZIP files’ structure flat, select all files in a group at once (not parent folder) and use the context menu (right-click) to create ZIP files. You can use 7-Zip on Windows or “Compress” context-menu on OS X. You can give any file name to the ZIP files as long as it ends with .zip
4) Create index files for each ZIP file using the desktop converter utility. For example, for a ZIP file named sounds-1.zip, you should have a corresponding sounds-1.zip.rndx file. This *.rndx file allows instant retrieval of a resource during lookups
5) Move all ZIP files and their RNDX files to the folder of the dictionary in storage (the folder contains dict.index, dict.data, fdblite.properties, etc)

Sharing And Moving
Fora Dictionary allows simplified sharing of dictionaries by means of Import and Export concept. To share or to copy/move a dictionary, you “Export” it in the source app, which creates a standard ZIP archive optimised for sharing, and then “Import” it in the target app.

Search Capabilities
There are three levels of search for each dictionary: regular (exact), extended (diacritics-tolerant and second/third word matching), and full-text search (searching exact matches in article bodies).

Pro Edition User Manual

Please refer to iOS page for Pro Edition user manual.

FAQ

Q: I can’t find the .fora directory.
A: Probably it is considered hidden. Please use a third-party file manager such as: muCommander

Q: How do I use Hunspell dictionaries?
A: You import it as a regular dictionary, and it works as a stemmer. Note that the source language of a dictionary (recorded on indexing) must match the Hunspell dictionary's language.

Q: Why does the app uses internal memory of device?
A: On recent versions of Android, the internal storage (instead of SD-card) is reported as the "external storage". You can easily change it using the topmost setting, "Storage".

Q: I can’t find some features listed in description.
A: Make sure you have an up-to-date menu layout. Go to settings and select “Restore defaults” from menu.

Q: When I select "Receive Dictionary" to transfer over Wi-Fi, I get "Address In Use" or "Bind Failed" errors.
A: Network addresses are shared across all apps on a device. The error indicates that another app is currently using the address (specifically, it's TCP/53132). Closing running apps or restarting the device should free up the address and allow the app connect successfully.

Dictionary Links

Below are some example repositories that host dictionaries that you can download and use with the application. The links are provided for informational purposes only, and we are not responsible for their content in any way.

XDXF dictionaries
http://sourceforge.net/projects/xdxf/files/

FreeDict dictionaries
http://www.freedict.org/en/flags-dict-tgz.html

German-related dictionaries
http://www.dict.cc/?s=about%3Awordlist

Miscellaneous dictionary links
http://goldendict.org/dictionaries.php

Example search
Google search

Known Limitations

  • Indexing: indexing some dictionaries is slow due to the application's architecture. This issue is mitigated with a desktop companion which can be downloaded freely (see above).
  • Reader: selecting text in reader is not comfortable since rendering components of the OS do not support it well. Improved in Android 2.3.

Uninstallation

Fora stores settings and dictionary data in the SD-card, hence, you will need to manually delete the ".fora" directory in the SD-card to clean up after uninstallation.

For Developers

You can throw an Intent with action "com.ngc.fora.action.LOOKUP" and string extra "HEADWORD" to lookup in Fora Dictionary (since v4.0). A query API is documented here (since v9.0).

Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.