February 25, 2009

It's alive! LEXiTRON v3.0 set to drop Saturday

LEXiTRON is the free Thai-English dictionary from Thailand's National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC). Because it's free, it forms the basis for many third-party dictionary services.

The dictionary itself isn't awful, but the website has always been a pain to use. It makes users to register in order to download the dictionary, and then often doesn't actually send a download link.

That may be about to change. The LEXiTRON site is down, replaced with this simple message:
เตรียมพบกับ LEXiTRON Version 3.0 รูปแบบใหม่ เร็วๆนี้ ( 28 กุมภาพันธ์ 2552 ) ขออภัยในความไม่สะดวก เนื่องจาก ขณะนี้ทางทีมงาน ปรับปรุงระบบและรูปแบบของเว็ปไซต์ LEXiTRON ใหม่ทั้งหมด
Translation: "Prepare to meet LEXiTRON Version 3.0 in a new format. Coming soon (28 February 2009). We apologize for the inconvenience. The LEXiTRON team is currently making improvements to the format and system of the whole website."

That's this Saturday, in case your calendar isn't handy. So keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, Chris Pirazzi of Slice-of-Thai.com (and the new Paiboon dictionary) wrote in to let me know that the new blog Bangkok Library has posted the full download of LEXiTRON version 2.6 on their website.

It's nice to have a no-hassle download. You can get the complete 600MB version with sound files, as well as the 50MB basic dictionary, and even the 5.6MB raw data files. I had some trouble with download speed at first, but it turns out that was probably the fault of my ISP, not the Bangkok Library website.

If you've used LEXiTRON in the past, version 2.6 is already a big improvement in functionality and usability. The audio is computer-generated, unfortunately, so sometimes it's not very clear. Words sound clipped, which can make tones and vowel length hard to hear (and imitate).

Anyway, we should know soon enough what version 3.0 has in store.


  1. Thanks for mentioning the Bangkok Library website. Quite by coincidence, the Bangkok Library website is going to be upgraded very soon too, but we'll make sure that users can continue to download Lexitron 2.6 and (if the user agreement allows) any future versions. In addition to hosting these downloads, we intend to review and promote more libraries, which is what we aimed to do when the site was launched earlier this year. Since then, we've just been bogged down with work!

  2. i was wondering what would be the best (most thorough) thai-english dictionary in your opinion? I'm in Thailand,and I have the SE-ED green dictionary (30,000 words, supposedly), but I recently came across an old copy (not mine) of a New Model (orange cover) dictionary that seems to have many more, including a phonetic rendering (in Thai) of difficult to spell words, and a lot of historical names etc.

  3. For me, the best Thai-English dictionary is Domnern-Sathienpong's Thai-English Dictionary, 3rd edition: it has the best word equivalents by far, but it is far from complete, and sometimes very frustrating for that reason for a translator. I complement it usually with Wit Thiengburanathum's T-E D, old, badly produced with plenty of boobs, but fairly complete (it claims 'The Nation's most entries').
    Online, I would recommend the use of www.thai-language.com/dict, along with guru.sanook.com/index.php,english-thai-dictionary.com/index.php, lexitron.nectec.or.th/2009_1 and www.thai2english.com/dictionary/ which have different, sometimes complementary, strengths.

  4. I just bought the Damnoern 5th edition (I think it's the newest one, just out this year) and have found it to be a great help, especially for colloquial particles and slang. Thanks!!