Should I?

Should I buy an English to French Dictionary? My parents said I shouldn't. So... Should I? We are ordering it tomorrow if I still want to. I want to, it's with my money so should I?

This is the book that I'm looking at. I think that it is pretty good. Also merci for all of the all wonderful comments and input! Bonne Journee!

Ok it is ordered, merci beaucoup for all of your input! Stay safe!

April 3, 2020


When you use an online dictionary you usually get the answer you were looking for. When you go through the pages of a printed dictionary, you discover things that you were not looking for and that you did not even know you actually wanted to know.

I am a huge fan of reference material generally, but dictionaries are almost obsolete unless you spend a lot of time out of the reach of the internet.

Not as good, but very fast and easy:

For verb conjugations:

You Should If you really want to, And if you want to learn french faster, but you can do what you want.

If you will use it, you can buy one dictionary.
  • 1566

For French, you're not going to do better than the combination of good online dictionaries (like the Larousse links given by Jeff_Grundman) for straightforward translations + definitions in French, plus websites like reverso and linguee where you can type in a phrase or expression in English and French and instantly be shown examples of the phrase in actual translated works. As you get better in French, something like French Wikipedia can be a resource as well (want to know the name of a car part in French? Look up "voiture" and you'll probably find the parts there or in an article it links to).

I actually have a very large "Larousse Dictionnaire Encyclop├ędique" I bought a long time ago in Paris. It's really nice-looking, but I never use it. It just doesn't compare to what's available online.

If you're traveling as a beginner in French, maybe you'd want a tiny French/English dictionary to stick in your pocket, but otherwise you're better off just saving your money.

A decent dictionary is very useful. Especially one that gives examples of words being used. (I have 5 Hungarian ones :-) )
  • 1566

I can see that being useful for Hungarian, but for French you have much better online resources.

Would you use it? Or would you usually just type the word you are looking for into an online dictionary?

I think that's not a problem

I find very useful. It gives definitions, phrases that include the word, as well as links to related threads on the forums in case you have questions that others have already asked.

That being said, if you are a person that learns better from actual paper books, then perhaps an actual dictionary is for you. Also, if you do a lot of studying offline (say, with a paper textbook & notebook), it might be nice/less distracting to be able to "unplug" during your study time. Maybe you could even study at a park. :)

P.S. Second hand dictionaries should readily available online if your parents are concerned that you are spending too much money.

I have the same problem too. I'm a beginner and want to learn French fast. So can you advise me some ways to learn French? I'm very interested in French and wanna learn it.

You mean, a paper one? I don't think so. It'll take you forever to flip the pages. It's so slow in comparison with electronic versions. I would get bored of flipping pages in no time.

[deactivated user]

    But in doing so, your eye and your mind will wander and you will notice other words on the page without you putting in the effort to seek them out. Your brain is an amazing organ, and can process information without you being conscious it is doing so - it will then make you look at the word it has subconsciously selected, and while you are consciously looking at the second word, it will subconsciously check for another interesting one. You will learn maybe half a dozen interesting words from looking up one. No online dictionary will work like that for you.
    • 1566

    You're better off wandering around French-language Wikipedia. Actual sentences, with words in context. Look at a subject you already know well. Then, if there are particular words that interest you, use a good online dictionary to check their meaning.

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