For homework assignments—and for researching new words for your journal (nag, nag)—it’s helpful to have a few dictionaries on hand. At the end of the Richardson textbook there’s a short Esperanto-English dictionary, and in class we handed out a brief English-Esperanto dictionary to complement it. But these are relatively superficial references. There are many other sources you can (and should) use, both online and off.

In print

There are a plenty of printed dictionaries to choose from. The online bookstore of Esperanto-USA has quite a few. For beginners, however, the following are probably the best places to start:

Benson, Peter. Comprehensive English-Esperanto Dictionary.
Benson’s dictionary is the most extensive English-to-Esperanto dictionary available. It’s particularly helpful because each word is listed not only with its primary meaning(s), but also its use in various idioms. 1995. ISBN: 093978503X. 607p. $27.00.
Mclinen, Andrew. Pocket Esperanto Dictionary.
Like all concise dictionaries, this shouldn’t be one’s only reference. But it is very useful—and portable. 2001. 406p. ISBN 92 9017 072-7. $25.80
Ilustrita Oficiala Radikaro por Lernantoj.
This tiny book is a great resource for beginners: it contains over 2600 of the most commonly used words with their definitions in simple Esperanto. (This is the same dictionary we currently have on bulk order; when it comes in, copies will be available in class for $4.) 2008. 98p. ISBN 978-85-60661-05-3. $6.70.


Some sites you might find helpful:

  • Lernu! has a handy dictionary tool: look for it on the right-hand side of the page. Just type in a word, choose your language, and get a translation into (or out of) one of 35 languages!
  • Bazaj radikoj Esperanto-Esperanto by Wouter Pilger. A predecessor to the Ilustrita Oficiala Radikaro, this handy little dictionary presents the most common words of Esperanto with simple definitions in basic Esperanto.
  • Reta Vortaro (or ReVo), is a comprehensive dictionary for advanced students. Roots and derived forms are defined at length (in Esperanto), with occasional translations offered in national languages as well.