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  • Review

    Tatoeba.org (which is Japanese for “for example”) is another crowdsourced project that the language student shouldn’t do without. Let’s say you’re learned a new word, but this word is isolated; you don’t know what context to use it in. You only have to pop it (in your language or the target language) into the search engine and specify what languages you wish to receive results in, and Tatoeba will return full phrases using the word you want to learn.

    Tatoeba is very useful in that unlike other multilingual dictionaries, this one isn’t sourced in web translations, but rather in human volunteers translating sentences into their language everyday, which means there are people translating English into French and Italian, but also Xhosa, Nahuatl, Ainu, Hawaiian and other decidedly minor languages. The human side of Tatoeba is what makes it slightly imperfect, although thankfully it has a veritable army of corpus maintainers (AKA editors) to make the sure a quality standard is held up. Tatoeba also is a tad bit incomplete: the English corpus is huge in comparison to other languages’ corpi, but they’re growing every day.

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