German to English dictionary in the Kindle

I wanted to read books in German in my Kindle, but because I don't know any German, I need a dictionary. If that's what you want, a dictionary for German that works in the Kindle, then download this:
Long version:

I went through a lot of problem converting the StarDict dictionary of German to English. It really took me days. So let me dump the process here, roughly:
  • download the stardict file. I believe the extension is .xdxf
  • use pyglossary to convert it to a tab-separate text file
  • use tab2opf from this dude to convert the text file into an OPF set of files (.opf plus a bunch of HTMLs)
  • go to and download the proprietary "kindlegen" tool
  • use kindlegen on the .opf file. If all goes right, you'll get a .mobi file at the end.
After that, put the mobi file in the Kindle (I use Calibre for that) and make it the default dictionary, by going to Home, then Menu, Settings, then Menu, then Change Primary Dictionary.

There's a big catch. They clearly tune the Kindle to use as less power as possible. So it makes sense for the English language to save a few CPU cycles by skipping dictionary lookups when the word starts with an uppercase letter in the middle of a phrase. Like for example if in this phrase: "I think Amazon sucks at making internalized products". In English, a dictionary lookup for "Amazon" doesn't make sense.

As you, a smart reader, knows, the German language uses capitalized letters for all nouns. So it's effectively impossible to lookup the meaning of for example Weihnachten (christmas). The only workaround I could think it's to edit the content of the book and search all capitalized letters by lower case ones.

Or, alternatively, stop wasting time tuning the Kindle and go study German so you don't need a dictionary in the first place :-).

UPDATE: Thanks to helpful suggestions from Ea and stehk from MobileReads, I changed directions and decided to buy a better dictionary that actually works with all inflections, and is much better overall. The process was very complicated, but here's the outline:
  • buy the book from (this one is good, thanks stehk!)
  • download their mobile reader. Because I don't have Windows, I had to setup it up using "msiexec mobireadersetup.msi"
  • run the reader.exe from wine
  • find your way through their hideous interface to login, download and activate your books
  • make sure you can open that book from their reader
  • go to the list of ebooks in the reader program, right+click and take a look at the properties, to see where the file is now. From outside Wine, copy that file to somewhere you know. Like /var/tmp
  • Go to and find the PID of your "device". Device in this case it's actually the "Windows" Mobipocket Reader.
  • Use MobiDeDRM to decrypt your book. As explained here. If you keep getting "invalid PID checksum" errors, try a different version of the script. Sample command:
    • python pons_gross_de2.prc pons.prc 'KYJZGSJ$HC'
      • (this is a fake number. Note that I enclosed the PID with single quotes)
      • (this command can take several minutes depending on the book size. It took about 10 minutes for this 20MB dictionary)
I have no words to describe how disgusted I am with all of this. First, we all know how stupid DRM is, in so many levels. It just makes the lives of honest dudes more difficult (I'm freaking BUYING the book and not distributing it). But worst of all, AMAZON OWNS MOBIPOCKET.COM!!! And I'm having to DE-DRM their own ebooks so I can read them on my Kindle!!!!!1

Are you also angry? Than use or a simular search engine to find *other* ebook stores that sell books compatible to the Kindle. Don't buy everything from Amazon. Besides all, they seem to be doing predatory prices too, which is bad for all consumers in the long term.


  1. By the way, I need to say that this dictionary is very limited so dont get too excited.

  2. least its a step in the right direction!

  3. This post was super helpful to me (i managed to create a working Portuguese-English dictionary). I have one small problem: all the entries run together. But that is really a small problem. Thanks for the help!

  4. I read about your adventure in MobileRead.

    In pyglossary, in the "Convert" tab, I choose "Read from format XDXF" and then "Write to format Tabfile (txt, dic)". Is this what you did?

    The resulting tab-delimited file has corrupted the entries by mixing them up.

  5. Never mind. The dictionary I was trying to convert was malformed, both in XDXF and DCT.

    It was the Brazilian Portuguese > English, which I guess J. Beaman was also trying to convert. The Portuguese > English works beautifully, though.

    Thanks for your how-to!

  6. I'm glad it helped. Maybe you could share it the generated file with other people? ;-)

  7. Sure! I created a detailed how-to in Spanish right here:

    The resulting Portuguese > English MOBI dictionary is attached to that message.

  8. Hi can you write how I can do .xdxf dictionary from startdict format?

    I cant find dictionary English-Czech


  9. They keep changing the URL of the XDXF dictionaries. Currently it's here:

    If they change again, search for [startdict xdxf download] at Google.

  10. I cannot be grateful enough!! :D I was getting tired of stopping to read to look up a word in a dictionary.. xD

  11. hi! y have a problem, When I type: filename.txt, y get this message: print "tab2opf (Stardict->MobiPocket)"
    SyntaxError: invalid syntax

    please help!! thanks

  12. What about the Pocket Oxford Duden? Will this process also work for that?

  13. Just answered my own question. Even though the sample has German to English, that dictionary (Pocket Oxford Duden) is definitely only English to German. Waste of $9. :(

  14. Hi Yve Junquera,

    I just bought a german-spanish dictionary thinking that I could use it in the Kindle. But no no. DRM is in the way.

    Could you please tell the dummies how to get rid of the DRM so it can used on the Kindle.

    Thanks a lot.


  15. Thanks for the dictionary. Is there something better now. Perhaps that recognises capitalised words?

  16. Is there a possible way to make an english-greek dict. for kindle with babylon free bgl dictionaries??

    plz respond to this.

  17. Thanks to everyone there is a torrent going around search "69 retail" which should give a German to English dictionary. But it doesn't the original seeder has also commented this. It seems like a GOOD! Mobi format German to English dictionary is proving very difficult to get hold of!!!!!!

  18. Out of all dicts...only ger-eng is missing in the torrent....

  19. Various aspect of online dictionary translating software that have a unique way to read it in different file formats.

    german english translator

  20. Nice & interesting thought.


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