ESL Tech: Using technology to learn English

How to create a customised dictionary 'app' with ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a great tool for anyone learning languages. And even if you’re not a language learner, you might find useful this short guide to creating an app in ChatGPT.

The best thing is that you can create this app in ONE STEP and using the free version of ChatGPT.


Here’s what we want to do: we want to set up ChatGPT so that whenever we enter a word, we get the meaning in simple English, five example sentences containing the word, an idea of whether the word is common or not and a translation of the word in Chinese… or whatever language you like.

The prompt

If you were to build an actual app to do this, it would be incredibly difficult, but in ChatGPT, all you need is a single prompt.

First, make sure that you begin a new thread.

Then, paste this prompt, tweaking it as you wish:

In this thread, whenever I give you a word, I want you to do the following:

1 Provide the definition in simple English
2 Tell me if the word is common or unusual
3 Provide five example sentences containing this word
4 Translate the word into Chinese

ChatGPT replies:

Let me test it with a couple of words:

Remember that ChatGPT creates a unique URL for each of your chats.

So, simply bookmark it and you can return to it again anytime!

And we’re done! We have a customisable dictionary app. All we need to do is click on the bookmark and enter a word. You’ll find that, unlike a real dictionary, it also works with phrases. Try entering 'give someone a piece of my mind'.


Just for fun, here’s a customisable cooking app. Make sure to include the sentence about being a Michelin chef for best results!