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The best app for the Hans Wehr Arabic dictionary

A new Hans Wehr app makes full-text search in Arabic (and English) possible.

Last updated: July 18, 2021

The Hans Wehr is still the best reference work if you want to quickly translate a word from Standard Arabic – especially because it is organized by roots and indicates vowels and prepositions.

In German, the 6th edition was published just a few weeks ago, which includes new terms from technology and from dialects. The 5th edition was published in 1985 and was partly completely outdated. I have no information when the new edition will also be published in English.

The German publisher of the Hans Wehr (Harrassowitz Verlag) does not offer a digital version, let alone an app for cell phones which is very disappointing and questionable.

Gibreel Abdullah is a developer from India. He created a new app for the Hans Wehr dictionary because all other available Hans Wehr dictionary apps used scanned pages which made it difficult to navigate. I guess that the 4th edition was used as a database, but I am not sure.

FEATURES

  • Free and Open Source (FOSS). No Ads
  • No internet connection needed
  • Search in Arabic or English
  • Search for words or search in the definition
  • It shows how often and where the word in question occurs in the Qur’an
  • Dark or light theme
  • Browse the entire dictionary without searching

Disclaimer: I have no idea if there are any copyright issues.

You can download the Hans Wehr app in the Google App Store!

Apple users

So far, there is no version for Apple users, but there is another app that works quite well.

Web application

If you are looking for a web application: On ejtaal.net/aa/ you find the most important dictionaries: Hans Wehr (4th edition), Lane’s Lexicon, al-Mawrid, and the Egyptian Arabic dictionary of Hinds/Badawi. Furthermore, you will get the Classics and many Qur’an dictionaries.

Lane’s Lexicon

The developer of the Hans Wehr app has also launched a similar app for the famous Lane’s Lexicon which is a great tool if you read older texts.

Apple users

Apple users can try another app:

Web application

For offline usage, there is Lane’s Lexicon by Graeme Andrews which is a great tool. It is fully searchable and you can adjust almost anything in the settings. It is available for almost any platform (Windows, Apple, Linux). Just download the appropriate installer.

4 comments
  1. I’ve found ARABIC Dict Box in the Apple App Store very helpful. Certainly I’m at a much lower proficiency level, but gives prepositions, example uses, etc

  2. Wow. Got featured in Arabic For Nerds. That explains the spike in downloads.

    1. Dear Gibreel, thank you so much for your amazing work. I was thrilled to discover your app and share it with the audience. We all very much appreciate it!

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