Readlang Blog

Read for pleasure and super‑fast language acquisition

Smart Definitions

March 23, 2023

Using an external dictionary in the Readlang sidebar is very useful for those times when the simple translation doesn’t quite cut it. But the quality of the different external dictionaries varies a lot, some of them have stopped working within Readlang, and the problem with all of them is that they aren’t aware of the context around the word or phrase you’re translating.

Smart Definitions in Spanish

Enter the experimental “Smart Definitions” feature. This adds a new “Define” tab in the sidebar that gives you an AI generated definition of any word or phrase you click on. The incredible thing is that it’s aware of the entire sentence and takes that context into consideration. It works like magic! (Actually, behind the scenes, it’s using ChatGPT)

This works very well with Readlang’s monolingual mode. You may even find it useful for reading very difficult texts in your first language!

Smart Definitions in English

Right now it’s only available to paid subscribers reading texts in English, French and Spanish. There’s no reason I can’t also bring it to other widely spoken languages too, but that’ll depend on whether people find it useful. (Unfortunately less widely spoken languages won’t work so well.)

If you give it a try, please let me know what you think!

UPDATE (25th March 2023): Just added German support!

UPDATE (8th June 2023): The tab has now been renamed from Define to Explain and the feature is called Context-Aware Explanations. It’s now available in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

UPDATE (27th June 2023): Read the new blog post for more updates on this feature, which is now called Explain and supports even more languages.

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