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If you have the mouse cursor over a word and type Ctrl Cmd D, Mac OS X shows a little floating dictionary box, containing the word meaning. In my case this works just for english.

As I talk another language I wonder if it is possible to make this dictionary show the meaning of words in that other language.

Actually, if I try, it shows me an empty box.

Is there a way to do that?


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I didn't know of this functionality! Thanks! – JT.WK Jul 6 '10 at 23:04
OS X is a chest full of little treasures... – SpaceDog Jul 8 '10 at 15:53
up vote 2 down vote accepted

No. Apple only ships the English version of the dictionary (for which they paid the license!). It would be quite costly for them to license the Dutch one (the digital version is quite expensive) and the same probably holds for other language areas.

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Thanks! I was suspecting that. Apple profits are surpassing Microsoft's. I am sure they can stop being cheap and license all dictionaries for all languages. There's no need to license the top dictionary of all languages. A good one is cheaper, if they want to go this way. – SpaceDog Jul 6 '10 at 21:03
Apple makes 9 billion a year, roughly (up to March 2010), and Microsoft 16 billion, so almost twice as much. If you ship a dictionary, ship a good one. But maybe one day they could use online versions: now they already include Wikipedia as an option in Dictionary as well (nicely formatted). If all dictionaries go online, this might be an option for Apple to include those online versions "live" in the Dictionary app, as they do for Wikipedia. – Henno Jul 7 '10 at 4:05

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