The big bab.la user survey 2009

We had a fantastic response to our bab.la user survey. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to participate, your thoughts on how we can improve the website are invaluable to us. We have comprised a list of the most frequent comments from the 8 languages in which the survey was conducted and answered your questions about how you think we could make bab.la even better. As you can see we have taken all of your comments on board. Below you will find the Top 10 user comments and questions and our answers regarding how we plan on using your feedback to improve the site.

Please add more specialist dictionaries to your site, such as business, medicine and architecture.

We are currently working on this. We have editors for every language who add more words to each dictionary on a daily basis. Unfortunately we can’t do this any faster due to the number of different projects which we undertake. You can also help us out by making word suggestions yourself and together we can move a step closer to having more specialist dictionaries.

Could you add a phonetic dictionary and an audio option where you can hear the word pronounced?

We already have this option available for several of our dictionaries. Please click on the audio symbol on the left hand side of the words in order to hear the words pronounced. We are in the process of adding this product for other languages but unfortunately it takes some time.

Could you please add an automatic translator?

This is a very different product to the other services we provide. We would recommend you use Google Translate if you are looking for such a tool. They do this very well and we don’t intend on competing with them. We do however provide a professional translation service for a fee, which is very useful if you need the precise translation of a larger text.

Could you please add more concrete examples of how to use words in the dictionaries in order to make the context clearer?

Just below the word translations we have sentences where you can see how to use the words. We also have a forum where you can ask other users questions about how to use a word in the correct context. We are continuously working on improving the examples in our dictionaries.

Could you add a book of the week recommendation?

We previously had this product but unfortunately it wasn’t used. So we decided to concentrate our work on other products which people use frequently.

Could you create an online language school with teachers readily available to answer users’ questions?

This is a great idea. We have teamed up with Englishtown to provide this service and we would highly recommend it. Their teachers are available to answer questions.

Could you please add a word of the day product with examples of how to use the word?

This is an excellent idea. We have a daily vocab lesson available for German. Unfortunately we don’t have the time to do it for all languages at the moment but we will keep it in mind for the future.

Could you add more videos and media learning?

Some of the quizzes such as the Pink Flyod quiz already have videos and users can add more. Our partners at Englishtown also offer English listening comprehensions which you can use daily in order to improve your English.

Could you please show not only the translation of the word searched for but also synonyms?

We already have this option for several languages; you can find the synonyms below the direct translations. Unfortunately it is not available for all languages at the moment.

Lots of people commented on the vocabulary lessons. Below is a list of the main requests regarding the vocab lessons.

Could the vocabulary trainer be programmed so that a word is repeated shortly after you get it wrong?

The vocabulary lesson is programmed so that when you get a word wrong it is shown twice more in your card stack so that you have a better chance of remembering it.

There are a lot of mistakes in the vocabulary trainer, can you fix that?

Many lessons are added by users. Use the ratings and comments by other users as a guideline to check the quality of the lessons. Authors marked as pro are professionals who have shown a high level of quality in the past. With these users there shouldn’t be any mistakes. If you encounter a mistake please use the contact form so we can correct the problem.

Can users make their own flashcards using words which they choose?

You can click on create your own lesson in order to do this. You can choose to either share your lesson with other users or keep it as a private lesson.

Can you make the flash cards available to print?

This great idea is on our (unfortunately very long) to do list.

Once again we would like to say a big thank you to everybody who took part in the survey. bab.la users are the reason that the site is continuously growing and improving and your contribution is very important. Keep up the good work! Thanks for helping us on our way to becoming the biggest online dictionary in the world! The 5 lucky winners of the Kiva starter pack are: Toni Pérez Morell, Kim Feeney, Carolina Mena, Jean-Luc Runavot and Ana Luiza Couto.

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