Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yandex, WTF?

I've been wanting to write this post for a couple of days now, but I've never gotten around to doing it. Sometime ago, Yandex all of a sudden became a little bit prettier, and way more useless. Yandex used to be my absolute favorite Russian online dictionary, it was more or less perfect. The only thing it lacked was accent marks, but you can find those by clicking the middle box in the translation field, instead of the box to the right (I no longer remember what that box said). Now I have a couple of things to complain about though.

1) By changing from "только перевод" to "только энциклопедии" when doing your search, you can sometimes get accent marks, if there happens to be one in one of the articles that you get as results for your search, but that is not always the case. Actually, I've only managed to find accent marks for a couple of words... for a Russian dictionary, this is very bad. (Can you somehow find stress marks on Rambler?) You need to be able to see stress changes from singular to plural, stress patterns in the past tense, irregular stress patterns for short form adjectives, and so on... and this used to be possible on Yandex.

2) I really have the impression that with the older version, you could just start typing after you had made your search, whereas you now have to click the search field again in order to be able to type. The only positive thing is that the entire word is marked as soon as you click the typing field, but it still makes for way too much clicking.

These are small things, but incredibly important if you want to get anywhere with Russian.

Are there any other good Russian dictionaries that provide plenty of examples as well as a user-friendly interface? I absolutely need a dictionary that will auto-complete as I type, that's the number one criterium, and at least that is still working on Yandex...

The other Russian dictionaries I use are The Russian Dictionary Tree and Multitran, but none of them are good enough. Oh, and this one, which is excellent for all the details.