vietnamese dictionaries for kindle

The dictionaries’ screen-shots

Kindle in my idea, is a very promising device, and I’m compiling, for the purposes of reading, some Vietnamese dictionaries for it. For the Chinese language, there’s no non – trivial solution at the moment, but it’s simple for the cases of English and French. Below are the steps I note down for remembering, it’s just a matter of data conversion and packaging. Non – technical readers can skip directly to step #5 below to download and use the dictionaries.

Dictionaries on Kindle have Mobipocket’s format (Amazon bought Mobipocket in 2005). The data set we’re going to use is available on StarDict in which the English ↔ Vietnamese and French ↔ Vietnamese data was originally created by the author Hồ Ngọc Đức. The data set has some minor holes and errors, but it’s the most usable set for Vietnamese at the moment (many Vietnamese softwares, websites… use this data).

1.   Download the data from StarDict, e.g: stardict-dictd_anh-viet-2.4.2.bz2. Extract it, there will be a .ifo (info) file, a .idx (index) file, and a .dz file which actually has .gz format, rename to .gz and unzip to get the real data file (.dict).

2.   Convert the data to an intermediate format, we’re going to make a tab – delimiter file. Fire – up StarDict utility: stardict-editor, jump to the 2nd tab (Decrypt), browse to the .ifo file and have it convert the data to something like: dictd_anh-viet.txt.

3.   Convert to Mobilepocket format: python -utf dictd_anh-viet.txt. The python script used to convert data is available at this site and would produce a file like: dictd_anh-viet.opf.

4.   Package the final .mobi file: wine mobigen.exe dictd_anh-viet.opf. The mobigen utility is available from here, for convenient reason, I would just use this Windows’ binary via wine.

5.   Connect your Kindle using USB cable and copy the or files over to the ‘documents’ directory. The dictionaries should be available for use right now on Kindle’s home page. We can also set one of these to be Kindle’s default dictionary so that we can lookup words’ meanings without leaving the document we’re on!