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GoldenDict screenshot.
GoldenDict screenshot
Developer(s)Konstantin Isakov
Stable release
1.0.1[1][2] Edit this on Wikidata / 4 December 2010
Preview release
1.5.0-RC2[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 26 April 2016
Operating systemWindows, Linux/X11, macOS, Android, Maemo
TypeDictionary, Translation
LicenseGPL-3.0-or-later (Website abandoned. Please visit GitHub Repo for latest releases)

GoldenDict is a free and open-source dictionary program that gives translations of words and phrases for different languages. It allows the use of several popular dictionary file formats simultaneously and without conversion.

The project aims to create a feature-rich dictionary search program.


  • The desktop program is free and open-source software (FOSS).
  • Supports multiple electronic dictionary file formats,[4] namely:
    • WordNet – a free lexical database for the English language
    • XDXF dictionary (XML Dictionary eXchange Format)[5]
    • Babylon (.bgl) files with images and resources
    • StarDict (.ifo / .dict / .idx / .syn) dictionaries
    • Dictd (.index / .dict / .dz) dictionary files
    • ABBYY Lingvo (.dsl) source files, together with abbreviation files. The files can be optionally compressed with dictzip. Dictionary resources can be packed together into a .zip file
    • ABBYY Lingvo (.lsa / .dat) audio archives. Those can be indexed separately or referred to from .dsl files
    • Sdictionary (.dct) dictionaries. This format is also known as sdict.
    • Aard (.aar) dictionaries
    • Sound packs (.zips) in zip archives
    • MDict (.mdx / .mdd) dictionaries
    • EPWING (.Catalogs) dictionaries
    • .ZIM file format : an open file format that stores wiki content for offline usage. Its primary focus is the contents of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. GoldenDict is an excellent alternative to the official Kiwix software to read .zim files. GoldenDict can also provide full-text search and is specially useful to consult Wiktionaries offline.
  • Uses WebKit layout engine for a more accurate article representation (including formatting, colors, images and links)
  • Supports lookups on Wikipedia, Wiktionary, or any other MediaWiki-based sites
  • Can use arbitrary websites as dictionaries via templated URL patterns
  • Can translate long text of many languages (e.g. through Babelfish, by adding this line in GoldenDict: for translating from French to English)
  • Hunspell-based morphology system, used for word stemming and spelling suggestions
  • Can index arbitrary directories with audio files for pronunciation lookups
  • Can feed look up word to external program and print program output along other dictionary results
  • Full Unicode case, diacritics, punctuation and whitespace folding. This means the ability to type in words without any accents, correct case, punctuation or spaces (e.g. typing "Grussen" would yield "grüßen" in German dictionaries)
  • Supports Russian, Greek, German, Belarusian and Japanese transliteration
  • Native TTS support in Windows and macOS
  • Scan popup functionality. A small popup window displays the translation of a word chosen from another application
  • Support for global hotkeys (to activate the program window or translate a word from the clipboard)
  • Tabbed browsing in a Qt 4 interface
  • Supports NPAPI web plugins (e.g. Flash Player)
  • Supports dictionary custom icons
  • Cross-platform: Linux/X11, macOS, Maemo, Android and Windows + portable to others (Android application is closed-source and is available in Google Play as both paid and free version (which displays advertisements and is limited to 5 dictionaries))
  • Allows playback of pronunciation sound clips in different languages using Forvo online service. This feature requires an API Key from Forvo (24 USD/year for individuals[6]).
  • Allows listening pronunciations from Lingua Libre, a Free and Open Source alternative to Forvo with more than 609.000 pronunciations.[7] Pronunciations from Lingua Libre can be downloaded freely and used offline on GoldenDict as "Sound Directories".[8]

Advantages and shortcomings[edit]

Compared with other similar software GoldenDict:

  • Supports several popular dictionary file formats, whereas Babylon and ABBYY Lingvo dictionary software support only one (native) format, and Stardict supports only two formats.
  • The program's internal use of the WebKit layout engine allows displaying articles in a format similar to web pages in a web browser, which ABBYY Lingvo, StarDict and Babylon are unable to do.
  • The current version (1.5.0-RC2-) can perform full-text searches inside articles of a dictionary.[9] Finding text in the currently displayed article is also possible.
  • The Android version of GoldenDict is not open-source.
  • GoldenDict lacks important features of Japanese dictionary programs. For example, it doesn't provide search by radicals for Japanese. Unlike specialised programs like Tagaini Jisho
  • GoldenDic is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and allows contributions from users on GitHub. In contrast, "ABBYY Lingvo[10]" or "MDict[11]" are proprietary software and users cannot actively participate in their development.[12]
  • The Android app version has not been updated for years, and was remarked by Android systems as “designed for older systems.”

GoldenDict Forks[edit]

It is recommended to use the Official version of GoldenDict from the GitHub Repository. The “Early Release” versions should be used instead of the “Stable” release, which is obsolete. The Official version of GoldenDict from the GitHub Repository is free of any kind of tracking and respects users privacy.

Please note that non-official versions of GoldenDict (e.g. GD++ by "nonwill") are suspected to include spyware/malware and violate the GPLv3 License. [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Release 1.0.1". 3 December 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ File formats supported by GoldenDict
  5. ^ "goldendict on". Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Forvo Pronunciation API, plans and princing". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  7. ^ "LinguaLibre:Stats - Lingua Libre". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  8. ^ "Index of /datasets/". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  9. ^ goldendict/goldendict, goldendict, 2021-11-20, retrieved 2021-11-20
  10. ^ "ABBYY Lingvo Dictionaries for iOS, Android & Windows Phone". ABBYY. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  11. ^ "MDict | One app for all dictionaries". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  12. ^ "What is free software and why is it so important for society? — Free Software Foundation — Working together for free software". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  13. ^ "GoldenDict GPL Violations ( List of Violators - Companies and Individuals) · Issue #1424 · goldendict/goldendict". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-11-30.

External links[edit]