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Refer monolingual(french to french) or bilingual (french to english)

Hi All,

In the beginning what is the better way?

Looking french words' meaning in french only


Looking french words' meaning in English.

My aim is to be very good at french language in writing, reading, speaking ...from all aspects, keeping that in mind I thought which dictionary I should refer since beginning.


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My advice is to look up the meaning of a French word in a French-English (bilingual)  dictionary initially.

This should normally be good enough but  sometimes  a French-French (monolingual)  dictionary  can be necessary-and better (this can be more difficult as you no longer have the  support of your first language but it should become easier with practice). 

On the  internet it is also  possible to  find  different instances  and contexts for the particular word-as well as ongoing or archived discussions regarding it. 

When I was learning French a French-French dictionary  was not as common as a French -English dictionary and so I rarely used one.But today it is easy to use the internet even if  a French-French dictionary is not to hand (I think they are called "" dictionaries  and it should be easy to buy one or an equivalent)


I understand there are also apps that work on smartphones butI am not familiar with them.I imagine they may include these facilities as part of the package. 


(I think they are called "Larousse" dictionaries and it should be easy to buy one or an equivalent)


That is what I meant to write in my earlier reply.

Thanks George!!!

In the beginning a French-English dictionary was an enormous help.  After all, one wants to know what one is saying.  After a while, I also bought a French-French dictionary and turned the experience into a fun adventure.  I would just open the book and read a definition of any word in French.  If I got stuck on a French word I didn't know, I would proceed to look that one up, then another and another.  I called it  "word hunt".  Then, perhaps, I would double check in the French-English dictionary to make certain I understood these new words. 

I know we live in a cyberworld, but turning pages in a book, reading definitions in a long form, etc. is still a valuable lesson when working on vocabulary.

If one is learning a language seriously then I think it would be a mistake to over rely on a computer screen.I think it is documented that the printed page is easier to understand than what you can find online.Also printed dictionaries are pleasurable possessions.

Je suis d'accord.  Absolument.  Vive la page!


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