Arab/Eng definitions a mouseclick away with VerbAce

Just came across a handy program called VerbAce that looks up words in Arabic or English and supplies related words with the click of a mouse.Verbace

I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work equally well with all Arabic-language sites. For example, it works like a charm with the Arabic version of, but is (through no fault of its own, I think) useless with Egypt’s Al-Ahram.  It doesn’t integrate as seamlessly with Al-Watan Al-Arabi, but does the trick if you manually copy and paste a word from the page, which admittedly isn’t a terrible hardship.

But these issues are probably not VerbAce’s fault. These sites are each using different HTML encoding  schemes for Arabic. Thus, Al-Ahram is gibberish by default in FireFox, while IOL looks normal. Whether that’s bad coding on Al-Ahram’s webmaster’s part or merely encoding geared to Arabic versions of Windows, I don’t know.