In this article, I am going to talk about the importance of the dictionary, not only for language learners but also for native speakers who want to understand the words deeply. In this article, I have also highlighted the difference between monolingual and the bilingual dictionary, explaining in which cases you should use one or the other tool.
If you think the following text is helpful to you, keep reading!
I want to start this article with some questions:
What is your level of Italian?
Do you use the dictionary?
What kind of dictionary do you use?
The dictionary, whether online or on paper, is an essential component in learning languages, not only the foreign ones but also those of origin. It is help without which it is difficult to learn new words and memorize their meanings. Practically, everyone who studies or intends to improve a language needs to resort to it.
I use it constantly, and not only to find the meanings of foreign words, but also to examine the Italian ones. It’s nice to understand the etymology of words, find their synonyms, understand their deep meaning. And it is possible to do all this thanks to a simple tool: the dictionary.
When to use the bilingual dictionary
But let’s go back to the initial questions. If the answer to the first question is: “I am a beginner and I just started studying Italian. I read this blog and other articles by using the translators” just like I recommended in one of my very first articles, I would tell you… You are doing a great job, and this is not easy at all. And I can’t recommend anything else than using the bilingual dictionary. In fact, using it is possible to identify the meaning of words. During the first phase of learning, in fact, you have to memorize as many words as possible to increase your vocabulary and to be able to build the first sentences.
Those who have just started learning a language tend to associate a specific meaning with each word. In fact, at the beginning of our learning path, knowing that a word has a specific meaning gives us more confidence, it helps us to schematize and save time. As our level get better, we will become increasingly aware of the particularities of the language and the variety of meanings that a single word can assume.
Why should you use the monolingual dictionary?
As I said in my previous article, all the languages, Italian included, are complex and have nuances. If your level is at least intermediate and you can read this text and understand its general meaning, follow my advice. Start browsing through the monolingual dictionary of the language you are learning, in this case, Italian.
Through this tool, you can find not only the meaning of a specific word but also all the ways in which to use it. You will understand how to use a term in context, thanks to the presence of many sentences and examples. And last but not least you will find information on the origin of the word, a detail that will greatly facilitate its memorization. In short, try doing it and you will soon realize how many advantages the use of the monolingual dictionary will bring in learning and improving Italian.
In this article, I wanted to share with you one of the techniques learned during one of the translation courses I attended. Of course, in that case the use of the monolingual dictionary was aimed at finding the best possible translation. You are not going to be a translator, but you can still take advantage of this tool. You can learn all the meanings of a word, the expressions with that term, and you can get a more complete explanation.
And what kind of dictionary do you use in studying foreign languages, the monolingual or bilingual dictionary? Write it in the comments!