Online Dictionaries To Learn English

In this video I’m going to talk about of one of the most important and helpful resources when your are learning English on your own. These are the online dictionaries. These resources have a fundamental importance because they are going to give you the exact pronunciation of practically any word that you will come across. Knowing the correct pronunciation of the words is so important when you are studying, even more with the English language, because the pronunciation has so many variations and too many times they don’t follow a specific pattern to be able to guess how a word is going to be pronounced. The truth is that at the beginning the pronunciation seems a complete chaos. And with English, it is like if we always have to learn the specific pronunciation of every individual word. This is one of the main causes that makes it so intimidating to learn when we don’t have any experience with this language. However some time ago I heard something said by a polyglot in a video where he was talking precisely about this topic. He said something similar to this. “You don’t study a language, you get used to it”. And it’s true. I realized that with the majority of the words in English, only the constant practice is going to make you to remember the correct pronunciation.

So, let’s go to what is interesting us in this moment. There are several types of dictionaries, for example. English-Spanish, Spanish-English and also English-English dictionaries. These can be found printed, as websites, also as software or apps that can be installed on the computer or an smartphone. Knowing this we could ask ourselves. Which ones are the most useful? And the answer is. All of them! Simply because it depends on the place and the situation where you are practicing. As always, there are free and paid dictionaries. Although at the beginning it’s enough with the free ones, there is a paid one that stands out and I think is really worth it the price. It is the Cambridge Dictionary. Although it’s pretty pricey because it’s about $50, but if you can afford it, it’s a great investment. However to start out it’s more than enough with the online versión of the same dictionary that you can find for free on the Internet.

Well, this is the online versión of the Cambridge dictionary which you can access from any web browser on the PC or smartphone. The web address is dictionary.cambridge.org. The dictionary works as any other search engine on the Internet. You only have to write the word in this field and then press return. When the dictionary shows the results you will get the meaning of the word and its explanation in English. If the word has several meanings, you will see them one after the other depending if the word is used as a verb, pronoun, substantive or something different. However the most useful feature of these dictionaries is this one right here. When you click on this little speakers you are going to hear the american pronunciation on the one that has the label US, and you can hear the British pronunciation on the one that has the little speaker with the label UK. Although at the side of this speaker icons you can find the pronunciation with a definite standard for this purpose, but the truth is that it is not very useful because for most of us it would mean to learn how to interpret this way of writing the pronunciations. And it’s a nonsense to waste our time learning that, unless it is part of what you want to learn. Now let’s see how it works. For example this word “internet”, we listen to the american pronunciation … and now the british pronunciation ….

Or this word “humble”. When going down on the page it’s possible to see all the situations where this word is used.

An additional example with a word that is more difficult to pronounce. The word describing a person who knows a lot, you can write it as this “knowledgeable” American pronunciation … British pronunciation ….

Basically this is the most useful feature of the online dictionaries and it can seem ridiculously simple, but take into account something really important by asking yourself this question. Without Internet, How could you know the correct pronunciation of the words?. Think about it for a while and you will realize the amazing advantages we have today to learn languages. This dictionaries also have a whole variety of additional features that you can use to practice specific things when learning English or different languages too. For instance the Cambridge dictionary can be used as a bilingual dictionary with languages like Spanish, French, German and some others as well. It has several additional options that can be useful when learning English, but the best thing you can do is take your time to surf the website and maybe you will discover something interesting that you can find helpful.

There are others similar dictionaries, for example the Oxford dictionary. The web address is this one, which is a little complicated, but to make it easier, it’s enough to make a search on Google, for example. “Oxford dictionary” and you will find the link to the dictionary in the search results. Google is an amazing tool to take into consideration when looking for a good online dictionary. The only thing you have to do is make a search like this “English dictionaries” and you will see in the search results the dictionaries that you can utilize. The truth is that there are so many free dictionaries available on the Internet, although the best ones are the Cambridge, Oxford and WordReference.com too.

Something that can be very useful is that these dictionaries also have their apps for smartphones that in its majority you can use them for free. Although most of the time they have some limitations like the necessity to be connected to the Internet or sometimes with annoying advertising, but they have their advantages in several situations. In the next videos I am going to make one about the best available Apps to learn English for smartphones. In this case it’s necessary to take into account that you can use the web versión of these dictionaries on the mobile browser in the current phones, without needing to download the apps and install them on your phone.

Finally I am going to mention a dictionary for spanish speakers learning english that in my personal case was extremely helpful. It is an English-Spanish dictionary that only works in a computer with Windows OS, but this dictionary is so good that I am going to dedicate it a complete video. I am not going to do it in the next video, because the next one is going to be about how to manage and invest the time when learning English. The video about the Spanglish dictionary is going to be the one after that.

I hope this information is going to be helpful and I hope you have a great day. Bye for now.

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