Must Have Thai Language iPhone Apps: Dr. Wit’s Library Edition

Dr Wit's thai dictionary screen shots

While getting ready for the big move I have been updating some gear such as my camera and laptop which led me to picking up a new 32 gig iPod touch. Music on the go was the main concern but being able to download movies, video’s and apps sealed the deal. After I filled the iPod Touch with music I started looking through all the apps that are available; specifically searching through the many Thai apps. Seeing as the touch uses most of the same apps as the i-Phone I was a happy camper.

Thanks to Cat over at Women Learn Thai I already had a head start on what to look for due to her extensive article on Thai language i-Phone apps entitled iPhone apps: Thai Language Phrase Books. As well,  Dan over at Absolutely Bangkok gave the low down on some of the best and most useful Thai iPhone apps in  Top Thai iPhone Apps.  Both of those articles were very useful and had me downloading apps right away.

As I was perusing the Thai apps available in the iTunes store I came across a Thai language app called Dr. Wit’s Library Edition that I hadn’t seen covered before and got the feeling that this app could fit my Thai language needs very well. After playing around with it for the past few days I think I have a good handle on it’s capabilities and  shortcomings, at least enough to give you my honest appraisal.

Dr. WitDr. Wit’s Library Edition ( English /Thai, Thai/English, Thai /Thai dictionary ) $17.99

Dr. Witts thai dictionary for iPhone

At first glance the features available in this app are pretty impressive:

3 in 1 Dictionary by Professor Dr. Wit Thiengburanathum.

The World’s Most Definitions and Most Entries English-Thai,Thai-English,Thai-Thai Library Edition.

Dictionary Features:

1.English-Thai: More than 4,000,000 entries.

2.Thai-English: More than 855,000 entries.

3.Thai-Thai: More than 855,000 entries.

4.Rapid-access Format.

5.Concise, Easy-to-understand Presentation of Information.

6.New Words survey.

7.Comprehensive, Easy-to-understand Presentation of Information.

8.Built-in full Functions.

9.Real Time and Quick look up Words.

10.Easy to Read Word Meanings with Smart Layouts.

App Features:

1. Faster program loading.

2. Quickly search alphabet index, partial match.

3. Editable history lists.

4. Display definition on lists.

5. Support for Thai with a fully function Thai keyboard.

6. Easy to read word meaning with smart layout.

7. No Required Internet Connections.

After playing with the Dr. Wit app for a few days I have to say I’m pretty impressed, but take that with a grain of salt as I am far from knowledgeable in the Thai language. The program is pretty intuitive and is a great weapon in my arsenal of Thai language tools. Since it doesn’t rely on the internet like so many iPhone apps I have the dictionary at my disposal wherever I am and I can already see where it will come in handy without carrying around a bulky dictionary.

Using both an English and Thai keyboard I can type any word then click on that word to give me the Thai translation which I can show to whoever I am talking with. They, in turn, can do the same by typing in Thai and showing me the word in English.

With the amount of words on offer this is really a useful app that I am very happy with already. Many times when speaking with my girl she will try to explain a word she is looking for but doesn’t know in English. With this app she can look it up quickly and show me immediately in English. For looking up words on the fly this is definitely what I was looking for.

Unfortunately,  There are some draw backs with this app as well. The Thai font is very small and hard to read with no way to enlarge it. Another problem is that the phonetic representation of a Thai word does not show the tone marks of the word. This is a significant omission, at least for the many English speaking users who do not know the tone rules. Lastly, the high price of $17.99 is sure to put some off.

Even with the obvious drawbacks I still think this is an app worth having and I am quite sure it will help in situations where I have gotten into trouble before. The fact that I can travel around Thailand listening to my favorite tunes and have such a powerful little dictionary at my disposal whenever I need it makes this app a winner and something I am sure to get my monies worth out of.

I’ve been playing around with a few other Thai apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that I’ll be reviewing in the near future when I have had some time to suss them out a little more.

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7 Comment(s)

  1. If you would have read my blog nearly 12 months ago today you would have seen a similar post. I purchased 2 iPhones for my wife and I hoping we could both make use of the applications.

    Sadly to say Thailands lack of 3G, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos has 3G, and its limited WiFi coverage let me do “accidentally” drop ny wifes iPhone into the sea, Gotta love insurance.

    Things have not chaanges nor have the scammers that have turned the WWW(W-Stands for Wait in Thailand) into a nightmare. Apples App Store is no better is just the same, but different!

    Lloyd | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Talen you make the point about Dr Wit’s Library Edition being pricey at $17.99, it sounds to me like you’ve acquired a bargain. The mileage you hope to get from it would make it cheap at double the price.

    I know it’s not a language course but its keypad library is worth its weight in gold. How many times could you have used that in the past, it’ll cut out a lot of frustrating moments on your travels.

    I think using it in tandem with a good course book will speed up your language proficiency and you can bet your bottom dollar an update will be out at some point. The small Thai font will be ironed out.

    It reads like you’ve had $17.98 worth of satisfaction already. One cent to go, that should be easy to claw back.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..It Started With a Kiss =-.

    Martyn | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. Martyn. no doubt it was worth every penny to me and I could have sorely used it in the past.

    Most iPhone apps are running between $.99 and $9.99 so it may put off some people looking for something like this.

    Talen | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Lloyd, I was considering an iPhone but knowing that the 3g coverage is spotty at best and limited wifi pushed me towards an iPod Touch.

    It has wifi as well but considering it’s main use will be listening to music I won’t be too disappointed with spotty coverage.

    Talen | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  5. Talen, as usual it’s an excellent review and I’m looking forward to more!

    I bought all of the Thai-English dictionaries for a feature review and Dr. Wit’s products are certainly ahead of the pack (there are three).

    As you’ve already mentioned, the small Thai script is a downside. I can read it, but in the wrong lighting it can be a strain. And when you are out and about in Thailand, it’s always the wrong lighting.

    Other apps allow you to increase screen size by a flick of your fingers, but this one does not.

    There is a rumour of an app that will allow you to increase the screen size of any app, but it has not been created yet (that I know).

    When I get my lazy butt in gear to finish my iPhone app series, I’ll link back to your reviews. You are sure to go into more depth than I will, so I can be even lazier still ;-)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai Language Thai Culture: A Rose (??????) by Any Other Name =-.

    Catherine | May 27, 2010 | Reply

  6. Thanks Cat. The Thai script size wasn’t so much a problem for me because I can’t read it anyway…even if it were as big as a barn.

    There are a few I am still playing with but they leave a lot to be desired so far. But I have found a great air hockey game as well as golf and other goodlies.

    Talen | May 27, 2010 | Reply

  7. Wow, downloaded, thanks for this post! Seems to be a long ever surprising battle the proper Thai language, so every help is appreciated 555.

    BangkokDan | Jun 21, 2010 | Reply

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