Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
  1. #1
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    What would be better for an intermediate/advanced learner?
    Some people advise to use only monolingual dictionary.
    Is this useful also for learners who have a little bit more experience?

  2. #2
    Noego is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    583
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Welcome to the forums!

    Here's my take on it:

    Switch to a monolingual dictionary as soon as possible. That's what I did.

  3. #3
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Thank you...
    I am happy to join you all.
    It's been several months since I entered the forum but i never posted so far...

    Did you have any trouble in abandoning bilingual dictionary? I mean...
    is there a period of time during which you will not fully understand the meaning of the words you look in?

    P.s: please always correct my mistakes if you want...I'm here to learn...any mistake you'll correct is something new I will have learnt...

  4. #4
    Noego is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    583
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    I've been studying and practicing English on and off for a good 13 years.

    To be honest, I never really used a bilingual dictionary. My mother was a translator so I simply asked her what a word meant when I didn't know.

    Once you've built up your vocabulary to a certain point, learning new words become surprisingly easy. I learned most of my vocabulary through exposition and most importantly in context.

    If you're worried about not understanding the definition, I would like to suggest a good dictionary:

    Collins COBUILD Dictionary

    The definitions provided in this dictionary are simplified on purpose. It's very easy to understand what the word means. Some definitions lack precision but the simple definitions make up for it, I found.

    As for the corrections:

    " It's been several months since I entered (joined) the forum but i (I) never posted so far..."

    I would say either;

    "I never posted before"
    or
    "I've never posted so far"

    Be vigilant about "I". It's a simple mistake to correct and most people write "i" instead of "I" out of laziness. It really cripples a message when "i" is present instead of "I".

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,016
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    Did you have any trouble in abandoning bilingual dictionary? I mean...
    is there a period of time during which you will not fully understand the meaning of the words you look in?
    Many people take their time when changing to using monolingual dictionaries. Look up the word in the monolingual dictionary first, then by all means use a bilingual dictionary if you're don't feel sure about the word. After a while, you will gain greater confidence in using the monolingual dictionary and find less need to go for the translation.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,556
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Many people take their time when changing to using monolingual dictionaries. Look up the word in the monolingual dictionary first, then by all means use a bilingual dictionary if you're don't feel sure about the word. After a while, you will gain greater confidence in using the monolingual dictionary and find less need to go for the translation.
    Yes - use both; but a monolingual one should be the last point of reference. If I've a fairly good idea of what a word means, and just want confirmation, I go straight to a monolingual dictionary. If I'm completely lost, I try a bilingual lexicon and then check back in the monolingual one.

    If you're stuck with just a bilingual one, check back - in the other direction (e.g. Fr-Eng, then Eng-Fr) - to make sure you've got a suitable word.

    The most insidious things are those electronic one-way things; they're useful to get a first approximation, but not to rely on as an infallible crutch. A lot of language learners use them as a drunkard uses a lamp-post (to recycle an old joke) - more for support than for illumination.

    b

  7. #7
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Thank you noego...I think I also made a mistake in writing "look up" instead of "look in"...thank you very much for the dictionary....I must buy a new one as soon as possible....Mine is the "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English"...but it's very old and lacks some explenations....

    Tdol/BobK: yes that is what I sometimes do. But unfortunately I don't have much spare time at the moment. I think I'll have to put off your method, wihch is certainly one of the best, until I have more time. Thank you very much
    Last edited by Englishlanguage; 14-May-2007 at 15:18.

  8. #8
    savedhamlet554 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    61
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Hi,
    I do agree with BobK as well. That's how I usually go. For my intermediate and advanced level students I use monolingual dictionaries in class only. If they aren't happy with the monolingual explanation, I give them a German translation if necessary. What they use at home I can't control anyway but it's important to teach them how to use the monolingual dictionaries. Usually they are allowed to use one in their class tests as well, so it's best if they know their way through the dictionary, also how to use co-references, etc.

    At home I use both myself, monolingual dictionaries if I'm almost sure and just need to reconfirm and the bilingual one if I'm lost for a translation. But especially when correcting papers of my students I work with the monolingual one only as that one gives me almost all the English contexts in which the words are used. The dictionary I use is also the Collin's English Dictionary - the big one! - I've had a small rather dull version which was cheap but not helpful at all.
    Last edited by savedhamlet554; 23-Nov-2008 at 22:03.

  9. #9
    Tangerine's Avatar
    Tangerine is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Barbados
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    I believe, It depends on what you need.
    If you are looking for the immediate translation, use the bilingual, but if it has to do with meaning the monolingual is better.

    Slowly try to stop using the bilingial one

  10. #10
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

    Thank you Tangerine. I need a dictionary to learn vocabulary.
    What about this Dictionary.com?
    Do you think it can be used as a reliable dictionary?

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Hyphenation English dictionary
    By andrew7777777 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2007, 06:37
  2. Not in my dictionary
    By morning in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-Jan-2007, 12:46
  3. monolingual dictionary
    By rovi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2006, 15:20
  4. Bilingual skills / bilingual skill
    By englishstudent in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19-Aug-2006, 19:18
  5. Dictionary Words
    By jack in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Nov-2004, 15:18

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •