Is your go-to dictionary CamDictionary?

For me, one of the biggest kicks I get out of teaching is when I learn something new from my students. When it comes to learning about technology however, I find that I’m usually the one pushing technology onto my students. I suspect that one reason is because I teach in a humanities faculty rather than a faculty for computer science or engineering.

There are a number of outliers however. Enter, Ibuki.


Ibuki is being groomed to take over the reigns of his father’s seafood business. As this business requires a lot of trade with foreign suppliers, Ibuki is busy studying to pass the IELT’s test, so he can spend a year studying at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Ibuki comes to every class armed with his iPhone and iPad in hand ready for

action. He has helped me a number of times in the last year as a tutor for students who are a little slower with technology and he has been a wonderful source for feedback on some of the different approaches I have taken using technology.

For today’s blog entry however, I asked Ibuki which site or app he’s using the most to prepare for next month’s IELT’s test. His response, “CamDictionary”.


The app, available on Android and iOS platforms takes advantage of your mobile device’s camera. While reading a text, one can open up the app and focus the camera on an unfamiliar word or phrase with the eye-like image appearing in the middle. Then, recognition and translation results can be received instantly. Although Ibuki is posing with the app on his iPad, CamDictionary is one app which Ibuki recommends as being better suited to a smart-phone because of its ease in taking tall and narrow photos of text.

Teachers should also be relieved to know that our students are in safe hands with the definitions they receive when using this app. The app has built-in Collins and Oxford dictionaries which students can access for more professional explanations. As of writing, the app serves 37 languages, so teachers and students who use languages outside of English and Japanese also have reason to get excited.

On a final note, to test test this app’s efficiency, fellow DMLL contributor Travis Cote and I compared Ibuki’s speed between finding a word in a paper dictionary versus CamDictionay. The results were,

1. Paper Dictionary- 34 seconds

2. CamDictionary- 7seconds

Do you have a favourite dictionary app?


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