Glossa: a Latin dictionary

A free web-based Latin dictionary with all of the bells and whistles of the modern web.

Praise for Glossa

"curre! noli ambulare! You'll want to be able to say you were in on the ground floor of this so you can impress all of your classicist friends."
- Larry Martin, Ascension Academy

"magnĭfĭcē! (the adverbial form of magnĭfĭcus, courtesy of Glossa!) Well done, A3W! (Glossa even supplies macrons and breves!)"
- Sharon Kazmierski, LatinTeach

"Oh, it's so SHINY."
- The "Medievalists - We Go There" blog



glossa screenshot

As a Latin teacher, electronic dictionaries were always an issue. All of the existing Latin dictionaries were very clunky to use, and I wanted to create something that was slick and fast. For the dictionary itself, I used a widely-used dictionary which is now in the public domain. It had already been converted into a TEI format, but I needed to put in into a MySQL database. This meant decoding some of the TEI markup and making the text HTML ready (Latin has long vowels like ā, and the dictionary also has a lot of Greek in it). This was by far the most difficult and time consuming part of the process.

In the application itself, everything is loaded via AJAX, including the definition of the word, the ten words that precede and follow the word you’re looking at in the dictionary, and a list of words you recently looked up. You can also highlight any Latin in the definition itself and look that up with one click.


Technologies: PHP / MySQL / jQuery / AJAX / XML

Tasks: Designed UX/UI, decoded TEI files, wrote all code

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