Student or Learner
When I first entered university, my aunt, who is an English professor, gave me s new English dictionary. I was surprised to see that it was an English-English dictionary, also known as a monolingual dictionary. Although it was a dictionary intended for non—native learners, none of my classmates had one and, to be honest, I found it extremely difficult to use at first. I would look up words in the dictionary and still not fully understand the meaning, I was used to the earlier bilingual dictionaries, in which the words are explained both in English and Chinese ,I really wondered why my aunt decided to make things so difficult for me. Now ,after studying English at university for three years, I understand that monolingual dictionaries are better in learning a foreign language
As I found out, there is in fact often NO perfect equivalence between two words in two languages. My aunt even goes so far as to declare that a Chinese “equivalent” can never give you the exact meaning of a word in English!
Are the two underlined words "earlier" and "declare" used naturally in this context?
Thanks for your help!
What about the second one 'declared'? Does it make sense in this context?