Boyue Alita and dictionaries
#1  bazz2004 05-23-2020, 12:56 PM
I'm not a geek, own no smart phone and have really struggled with this Android e-reading device.
I'm using it as an aid to learning French but for some time could only use it as a basic e-reader.

Some negatives:
It looks similar to the iPad but is very slow to boot up. In no way is it intuitive to use and the English instructions are awful.
It's mega expensive.
The long promised Android update is not yet in sight.
Using dictionaries and taking notes isn't the wonderful experience I expected.
To get the sd card holder to pop out you need to use the little tool that comes with a mobile phone. Sticking a straightened paper clip in the tiny hole doesn't work. I originally thought that I had a faulty unit.
Like the iPad it's very fussy about the lead you use to connect it to a computer.

Some good things:
It will give your brain a real work out when trying to get it to do what you want.
For European languages once you master dictionaries it's pretty neat.
It'll handle epub and Amazon mobi files - there's a Kindle app available. I've not enjoyed using the Alita with pdf files.
You can get it to read text in different languages in the voice of your choice - there's a fair selection.

The reviews seem either to be effusive or from those who returned it after being defeated by it's complexity. My sympathies are with the latter having wasted no end of time trying to master what should be the basics.

Here's my take on installing dictionaries. Forget about downloading StarDict language dictionaries and all the guff about putting them in Dict folders in the root directory. There are some driven close to madness after following tips that don't work for them.

After an exhausting session into the small hours and yet another failure I had a rethink. Some reading apps are not compatible with some dictionaries which complicates an already difficult situation.

After trying loads of reader apps I concentrated on Librera which seemed the most promising. I have it working fine now with online dictionaries like Word Ref and Google translate. It really frustrated me that none of the StarDict dictionaries I installed worked so I changed direction and looked in the Google Play store for offline dictionaries. This time I managed to have the option of translation from a number of different dictionary sources. Stuff was actually working. There are some really good dictionaries for free.

The Boyue OS reading app was a real disappointment last year but they have worked on it. I've had it reading text out loud and you can use it for note taking. However, I don't think it comes close to a small notepad and pencil. The latter can be dropped onto any surface without breaking.

If I select a word in the Boyue app it translates but what has really impressed me is that if I select a chunk of text it gives a very good translation. When I tried this in reverse with an English novel the translation into French looked impressive. I'm not fluent but probably at an advance level. In short, don't write off the Boyue reading app - it's much better than it seems.

Just a little on specifics while I can still remember some of what I did. Install Librera and a couple of free dictionaries downloaded from the Play store. Open the book in Librera making sure you have wi fi still activated on the device and press the cog symbol. Look down the list of Preferences to the last one - Open selection in dictionary. If the box at the left is unchecked when you touch a word to translate it will give you a choice of the available dictionaries.

If you tick the box to the left and select a dictionary it's that one that will keep opening as default until you change it. Use the back arrow at the top to revert back to reading the book when you have finished checking the translation.

I've not enjoyed much success with pdf files and the above relates to my use of epub format books.

Hopefully, this may be useful to others. It's easy to waste hours on the StarDict and GoldenDict route which for me was a dead end. Unfortunately there is a shortage of help available for Boyue devices.

#2  bazz2004 05-25-2020, 11:02 AM
It's a surprise to get no comments after the number of views.
I'm getting on better now with the reading and translation in Librera but am still not fully satisfied. Hopefully my explanation was OK and some others have actually got a grip on these devices. The menu showing the available dictionaries has multiple entries for the same item and some of them are not dictionaries. It's untidy but there is apparently no way that I can get in there and delete items.
Also, I've found that a finger works fine with the Boyue reading app but the stylus is needed for Librera.
I came across a paragraph with a couple of French expressions which was translated literally in Google Translate. (eg "make hay when the sun shines" isn't about haymaking)
After being impressed with the translations in the Boyue app I tried the same paragraph there hoping for a sensible translation. Result - exactly the same words so it is presumably using Google Translate as its engine.

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