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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 73
    #1

    What is the most efficient...

    ...way to develop my English vocabulary? I tried simplified readers by Penguin, but I was upset when I didn't understand every idiom(It was hard to find in a dictionary, I was convinced I understand but, in fact teh meaning was different). Then I tried to read bilingual English-Czech readers, but the original was old (Jack London) or the translation to my native language(Czech) was erroneous and confusing(Orwell 1984 - cool book,but problems). I tried to read English newspapapers but I wasn't sure about whether the language is not too official and I foud out that some idioms are hard to get or misunderstood. I tried to watch DVDs , but there was vulgarisms or specific language.
    I tried to find useful phrases in a dictionary, but I wasn't sure about possible mistakes in real sentences.

    Could You please advice some hints,readers,other material?
    Thanks for replies,
    Jiri

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,844
    #2

    Re: What is the most efficient...

    Quote Originally Posted by JiriLindovsky View Post
    ...way to develop my English vocabulary? I tried simplified readers by Penguin, but I was upset when I didn't understand every idiom(It was hard to find in a dictionary, I was convinced I understand but, in fact teh meaning was different). Then I tried to read bilingual English-Czech readers, but the original was old (Jack London) or the translation to my native language(Czech) was erroneous and confusing(Orwell 1984 - cool book,but problems). I tried to read English newspapapers but I wasn't sure about whether the language is not too official and I foud out that some idioms are hard to get or misunderstood. I tried to watch DVDs , but there was vulgarisms or specific language.
    I tried to find useful phrases in a dictionary, but I wasn't sure about possible mistakes in real sentences.

    Could You please advice some hints,readers,other material?
    Thanks for replies,
    Jiri
    Persevere!! Keep trying! Even with the simplified readers, you won't understand everything. It's possible that some of the things you read weren't actually idioms and therefore couldn't be found in a dictionary of idioms or on an idiom website. It's the same with DVDs. You won't find a film which uses simple, easy-to-understand language but you will still pick up a few phrases or individual words that you didn't know before.

    I think newspapers are a good idea - it doesn't matter if the language is "official", you will still be picking up vocabulary.

    Watch English TV and listen to English radio as often as possible. Even if you only have them on in the background, you will be surprised how much you learn without even trying.

    Read the news online in English - BBC NEWS | News Front Page is very good. It has short reports and a lot of it is international news so it's possible that you will already know what the stories are about, having heard/seen them in your own language.

    Don't give up!

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