For people who love languages
VOLUME 13, NEWSLETTER 1 January 2011
Featured Language: Chinese
Words of the Year
Looking Back at 2010
How to Buy a Dictionary
Tools to Try: Pimsleur
Spotlight: Free Trials
About Our Company
View Our Products
Product Support
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Featured Language: Mandarin Chinese

With more than 1.3 billion speakers worldwide and a rapidly growing online presence, Mandarin Chinese is our language of the month for January. Read on to find out how to win one of 10 free Mandarin Chinese-English dictionaries for iPhone/iPod touch in our January giveaway.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 3, which means you still have time to freshen up your Mandarin skills before the festivities begin. Whether you are participating in one of the many large celebrations taking place around the world or at home with family and friends, the event is a great opportunity to celebrate Chinese language and culture.

No matter what level of fluency you have in a language, you will always need dependable reference tools to help you through the learning process. The best reference apps are easy to use, contain reliable and robust data, and help you find what you’re looking for quickly. Our iPhone and iPod touch Mandarin Chinese dictionary is the perfect reference tool to use at home or on the go because it requires no internet connection or data plan to use. Harper Collins provides the dictionary data it includes, so you can be confident that you’ll always find the word you’re looking for.


This month, 10 lucky readers will win a Mandarin Chinese-English dictionary app of their very own! Just check out our Facebook page here and comment on our post about language learning tips. The first 10 people to share a language learning tip will receive a code to download a FREE Collins Pro Mandarin Chinese-English Dictionary for iPhone and iPod touch ($24.99 USD value). Hurry and post a comment to claim yours now before they’re gone!

Ultralingua Online Dictionary: Words of the Year in Three Languages

Language lovers from around the world regularly use Ultralingua’s Online Dictionary which provides access to all of our monolingual and bilingual dictionary content. You can access all of Ultralingua’s dictionaries, search for words in any language Ultralingua offers, and have full access to all Ultralingua’s verb conjugations. Our online dictionary also provides you with number translations and online grammar reference tools in multiple languages. You can even access French and English monolingual definitions and synonyms to help you expand your writing.

So, how has Ultralingua’s Online Dictionary been used in 2010? Take a look at the most frequently searched words to find out:

in merito
(in regards to)

* English translation in parentheses

Ultralingua’s Online Dictionary’s top ten words reveal trends that are occurring around the world. Internationally throughout 2010, Ultralingua users looked up words of introduction, romance, and language that indicate exciting life milestones. These themes are scattered throughout our top ten lists in each of our featured languages. Regardless of what language you speak or what country you are from, it looks like 2010 brought similar memories to people throughout the world. Ultralingua wishes you the same love, happiness, and exciting achievements in 2011.

Happy New Year from everyone at Ultralingua!

Looking Back at 2010

2010 was a year full of exciting changes for Ultralingua. We completely overhauled our website to make it more usable, launched new products to support your love for languages, and added some brilliant people to our team. Read more about these changes and what they mean for the future of Ultralingua below.

Ultralingua’s Website Overhaul

In April 2010, Ultralingua launched a redesigned website to make it easier for you to learn about and download our products. You can now browse all Ultralingua products according to language and view individual product pages to provide you with more information about each product. When you are ready to buy, simply choose a language, pick a product, and download. Our updated home page now displays featured products and special offers, so it is always easy to find out what is new.

Taking iOS Apps to the Next Level

Our iPhone and iPad apps saw huge changes and additions in 2010. Check out a few of the updates we provided in 2010:

  • Search suggestions: If you enter a word and no matches are found, your search results now include related words and similar spellings. This makes it easier to find what you are looking for even if you don’t know exactly how to spell it.
  • Quick reference guide: We updated the About screen on our iPhone/iPod touch apps to include a link to view our quick reference guide. This document explains the features of the apps in detail and answers some frequently asked questions.
  • Multitasking: Can’t decide if you want to listen to music or work on translating your German homework? Do both. Ultralingua has improved our apps’ multitasking abilities. Now, it is easier and faster than ever to complete multiple tasks on your device while using Ultralingua apps.
  • History improvements: Your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch can now save the point where you left off. You can leave your Ultralingua app and come back later to the exact location you ended with on your last session.

If you need help updating your apps to take advantage of all of these features, we encourage you to refer back to our How to Update article.

Ultralingua for iPad

One of our most significant milestones of 2010 was the release of our iPad apps. Customers and developers alike eagerly anticipated for the launch of Apple’s iPad last April. The announcement of this amazing new device sent app developers like us into a whirlwind of design and development as we aimed to have iPad apps ready for users like you as soon as possible.

At Ultralingua, we knew packaging both iPhone and iPad versions together in a single app was critical, so users only have to purchase our dictionaries once to load them onto all their iOS devices. We began development the moment the iPad was announced, and were able to incorporate some excellent, original features into the initial release. We rethought everything from the display of verb tables to the way you search the dictionary, and optimized it all for display on the iPad’s unique user interface.

If you picked up an iPad recently, don’t forget to install your Ultralingua dictionaries so you can take advantage of all these powerful features.

Responding to Tragedy: Haitian Earthquake

It has been one year since a devastating earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The earthquake impacted 3.5 million people who called Port-au-Prince their home, equaling nearly half of Haiti’s population. Volunteers from around the world came to Haiti to provide medical relief and help to rebuild what was lost. At Ultralingua, we recognize the difficulties that arise when there is a communication barrier, which is why we believe portable language tools are so valuable. While facing such extreme destruction and chaos, communication is essential.

Shortly after the earthquake struck, Ultralingua responded by creating a free Haitian - English Medical Reference Guide for iPhone and iPod touch in partnership with Professor Bryant Freeman from the University of Kansas. Almost a year later, the Haiti recovery effort is still in progress. Homes, schools, and hospitals must be rebuilt, and the need for volunteers is still great. To support the continuing recovery effort in Haiti, the Haitian - English Medical Reference Guide is still available at no cost through the iTunes store. Remember to spread the word about this free reference tool.

Exciting Additions to the Ultralingua Team

In 2010, Ultralingua welcomed four new employees to our team. Now, as we move into a new year, they have settled in, learned new things, and are working on new and exciting projects. When asked about their favorite part of the job, here is what they had to say:

“I've been working with another iOS developer on a few new features for the iPad dictionary. It's been great to get around to improving some parts of the application that we’ve had our eyes on since day one of that platform. I've really enjoyed evaluating our software's usability and user experience and dreaming up not only new ideas but how we can improve the products we currently offer.”
- Ben Cochran

“My favorite part of the job is just having such a wonderful work environment. The shared love of languages means there are always great conversations to be had!”
- Anna Marco-Cortiel

“Some of my favorite moments have been the stories our new linguist Anna has shared with us. She has quite the memory and has seen a larger part of the world, so they are always entertaining. I love every minute of being in our open office culture.”
- Allison Knapp

“Getting to see my work out in the marketplace is a huge thrill. Whether it's the icons I’ve designed showing up in the iTunes store, or seeing pictures from Tribeka of our banners hanging in retail locations in Europe, it's great to see something that I worked on out there in the real world in its finished form.”
- Chris Ernt

How to Buy a Dictionary

In our October 2010 and December 2010 newsletters we discussed how to interpret product descriptions from different publishers. This month, we are providing some helpful tips on what to consider when making a product decision.

Step 1: Determine what you value in a dictionary

Think about how you will use your dictionary and what it needs to include in order to meet your needs. Dictionaries vary in the quantity of entries they contain, the depth of each usage example and phrase, and the additional features they provide. As you begin your search for the perfect reference tool, consider whether you will access it with an internet connection or without. Compare additional learning features like flashcards, word additions, verb conjugations, and history to see which is right for you.

Step 2: Determine how words are counted

Is the amount of content in your dictionary important to you? What about the depth of each entry? The headword or entry count in the product description can inform your decision, but only if you understand what the numbers mean.

As last year’s October and December newsletters discussed, there are discrepancies in how publishers count the words in their dictionaries due to differences in data and a lack of industry-wide standards. Some dictionaries that boast exceptionally large word counts may be counting every word in their dictionary to achieve that number, including those in the definition and explanation of a word. Other dictionaries may count the number of words that are defined. For example, check out Ultralingua’s definition and translation of “bend” into German:

Bend dictionary entry

This definition could be counted as 10 words or as 1, depending on the publisher. To make sure your dictionary will meet your needs, pay attention to how the words are counted and do some comparative research, so you know exactly what you are getting.

Step 3: Pick your version and try it out

We recommend choosing a software-based dictionary because they are portable, receive updates automatically, and are the quickest and easiest to search. They often offer extra features that print dictionaries do not. The decision of whether you want a mobile dictionary or desktop version depends completely on your personal preferences and needs. Once you choose your platform (Windows desktop software, iPhone mobile app, etc.) you should download a trial or see sample uses before making your decision.

Tools to Try: Pimsleur

When learning a new language, you will want to have a variety of learning tools at your disposal to master speaking, comprehension, reading and writing. Pimsleur offers audio lessons that help you learn to speak with accurate pronunciation and rhythms, as well as comprehend the language as others speak it.

The Pimsleur learning program has options for all skill levels. Beginner lessons are available for casual travel, and advanced lessons can help the more fluent speaker polish their skills. Pimsleur lessons contain conversations between native speakers with pauses for explanation of dialogue and time for the listener to practice repeating key phrases. The Pimsleur program uses memory and recall as the foundation of the program, so lessons are interactive.

Lessons are available in over 50 languages, including French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Urdu. Check out the full product line here.

Note: Ultralingua and Simon & Schuster, publisher of the Pimsleur program, partnered to bring you the Klingon-English Dictionary.

Spotlight: Free Trials

Did you know that you could try full versions of most of our products before you buy them?

Free trial downloads are available for all Mac, Windows, PalmOS, and Windows Mobile applications sold from our website. Just select the “Free Download” option next to any product to install and begin using our software.

Trial downloads provide complete access to our software for 10 usage days. There are no limitations on what features or data you access during this period, so you can take your time learning whether they are a good fit for your needs. Because the trials are available for 10 days of usage, not just 10 consecutive calendar days, you don’t need to rush into any purchasing decisions. We encourage you to ask questions in our forums during this period to get responses from fellow users and our support team, and when you are ready to purchase a registration key just come back to our site and choose the “Buy Now” option.

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter. If you have comments or suggestions regarding our newsletter please contact us here. If you have technical support questions, please visit our support page to read our FAQ and contact customer support. Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Palm and Pre are trademarks of Palm, Inc. Windows Mobile is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Ultralingua, Inc.
1313 SE 5th Street, Suite 108, Minneapolis, MN, 55414