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https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

The next step, using a monolingual learner's dictionary

BastouXII
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When you start to understand your target language in writing, it might be a good idea to drop the bilingual dictionary and use a monolingual dictionary in your target language, so you don't always translate everything and can move on to the next step : thinking directly in your target language. But dictionaries written for native speakers assume you master the grammar of the language and don't bother to write definitions in simple terms. What you need is a Monolingual learner's dictionary. These dictionaries, written entirely in the language one is learning, include grammar tips and use simpler words in its definitions.

They may be a bit rare though, and most available freely on the internet are meant for learners of English, but if you do find some for your target language, it's definitely going to help you. You could also add them to the unofficial Duolingo wiki so others can also find them.

2 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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I do this routinely. I read Italian on my way to work, mostly on the Kindle app, which has built-in dictionaries. When I don't know a word, I look it up first in the monolingual Italian dictionary (lo Zingarelli - the gold standard!), and only if I am stumped then in the Italian-English dictionary.

The Kindle and Kindle app have a lot of built-in dictionaries and it's super easy to click on a word, look it up and then go back to the text.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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This is a good idea. Larousse and Robert publish examples in French (Larousse dictionnaire du français au collège , Le Robert Junior Illustré [dictionnaire scholaire]; etc:), and Spanish (Larousse Diccionario Educativo Juvenil, etc.) and there are some in Russian too that I've seen (Толковый словарь для школьников, etc.). Probably most languages have them. They are usually intended for schoolchildren, and you are right, they're very useful when just starting to use a monolingual dictionary. An adult friend of mine, a native speaker of Chinese, used such a "learner's'" dictionary to improve his English, and then his children used it in school. I've used this kind of dictionary, and it isn't long before a full-fledged adult dictionary can be used.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I got one for German in Germany years ago. (Right after the spelling changed.) It was amazing to me how much more detailed the explanations were for the words I wanted to know compared to a bilingual volume of the same size

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Yes. I wish there were monolingual learner's dictionaries for some of the languages I learn, such as Slovak - they simply take it for granted that you will know what the perfective form of an imperfective verb is, for example, or what the genitive of a noun or the third-person singular form of a verb is when they are irregular.

It would help if they at least listed the principal parts for all content words.

Fortunately, I've found an online monolingual dictionary which does that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/polkacats2013

I find it most helpful when a monolingual learner's dictionary uses a small controlled defining vocabulary for writing all the definitions.

I recently started a list of Learner's Dictionaries with Small Defining Vocabulary:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15601774

So far, the list has several English dictionaries and one Spanish dictionary.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Great! When I have some time, I'll add them to the wiki as well!

2 years ago