The Visual Thesaurus

I am convinced that a lot of you will absolutely love the Visual Thesaurus.
As its name indicates, it is a thesaurus, which, thanks to the magic of IT, makes language come alive and allows you to manipulate it in an organic fashion. Enter a word, say translate, and just watch it sprout antonyms, synonyms, associates, etc., all with definitions and explanations. Click on one of these other words, and the whole map rearranges itself to put it at the centre and create yet more associations. Edit the search feature and you’ll get translations of the words in French, Dutch, German, Spanish or Italian (although the international edition is still in its beta version).
It’s just fantastic. I remember mentioning a post from the entrenched translator about how sometimes, to find the right way of expressing an idea, you have to randomly hop from word to word, until these connections lead you, in a very roundabout way, to where you wanted to go. Well, this is the embodiment of that process, each click bringing about more relations and concepts linked, in one way or another, to your starting point. I find it’s an invaluable tool.

By | 2016-10-18T15:50:59+00:00 July 6th, 2005|Translator's tools|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. MM July 6, 2005 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Céline,
    You know, that looks awfully familiar. I’ve seen something like that free on the Net, but it may just have been the trial version. Anyway, there’s something a bit similar done by the IT department at Leipzig University. It may be better in German than in English or French.
    Set your language, look up a word (nachschlagen!) and scroll down, then click on detaillierte Darstellung (more details) too.

  2. Susan July 11, 2005 at 2:41 am

    Hi Céline,
    I have to agree with you. The Visual Thesaurus is an absolute kick to use. I am such a word geek that I had to get a subscription. You can get lost in the program going from synonym to synonym. It is almost like a game, finding new words to try.
    I also love the site …

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