Vocabularywide choice- lots of different ones to choose from bilingual- two languages
to be against- disagree with
to look up- to search for something in a book
Today's English learner has a wide choice of dictionaries in which to choose from. There are dictionaries with American English, with British English, with idioms or slang, and even with pictures. One of the most popular dictionaries I have seen among many students are talking electronic dictionaries. All you have to do is type in a word in your language and you can see it and hear it in English. That's great, right? Well, I think it's great, too... but only sometimes.
Bilingual electronic dictionaries are fast and easy. They can be great when you are traveling and need information quickly. But I am against electronic dictionaries and even bilingual paper dictionaries in many cases. Let me explain...
When you reach an intermediate level of English (about the level of 5 Minute English) you know enough of the language to ask the meaning of certain things while using English. Translating between languages in your head takes time. You should be translating as little as possible and you should be thinking in English as much as possible. I strongly recommend that intermediate and advanced students use an English-English dictionary made especially for your understanding. For example, Longman has a good dictionary for students. Other companies do, too.
I also feel that paper (book) dictionaries are better for studying than electronic dictionaries. True, they take longer to use. But, for some reason, the information you look up seems to stay in your head longer. It may be because you were forced to spell the word in your head and therefore "see it" more clearly in your mind.
So what do you do if you have checked an English-English dictionary and still don't understand something? Go to your bilingual dictionary. It is useful sometimes. Just remember to try to stay in English as much as possible.
Questions and Answers
Questions and AnswersChoose True or False. Check your answers by clicking the arrow below.
According to the author...
1. A very popular dictionary is a talking electronic dictionary.
2. Electronic dictionaries are great for learning English.
3. Electronic dictionaries are great for traveling.
4. Intermediate students of English should use electronic
dictionaries as much as possible.
5. Using a bilingual dictionary forces you to think in English.
6. You should never use a bilingual dictionary.