Expanding Vocabulary

I’ve realized I mostly expand my vocabulary in different languages by reading different kinds of short texts – song lyrics, fb comments, short articles, as well as adapted texts in study-books. So, having a Kindle from some time, I thought I may combine this way of passive learning with something I’ve started doing in the past few years – i.e. reading in the public transport and/ or wherever and whenever I have to wait for something. At first I enjoyed several books in English, but then I wanted to read in other languages, hoping that the dictionaries I’d put in the reader will help me. But they didn’t. I knew or assumed they were quite little, but actually this problem never occurred, because they simply never launched properly.

So, I am in the stupid position of realizing my unableness of reading outside home. Plus the gigantic in-desire to look in dictionaries for the unknown vocabulary (of which I am excessively tired and sick).

Anyway, I haven’t still found an appropriate solution. How can we/I combine the joy of reading (especially in a foreign language) and the problem with the unknown words? How do you proceed?



  1. Psi-Lord

    For me, it’s always depended on the language and the level of the material being read. If I can read well enough to go on and try to understand unknown words from context, I’d just move on reading (but making sure to mark the words, so that I could actually look them up later and confirm the meanings); if, on the other hand, I can’t really read the language that well, and more and more unknown words keep popping up in a way that actually makes following the thread of thought impossible, I’d either keep turning to dictionaries or, more likely, realise the material is still too advanced for my level, and put it aside for the time being.

    I like dictionaries, though, and looking up words in them, even if I actually prefer doing it with paper volumes instead of e-dictionaries.


  2. Psi-Lord

    I feel more comfortable with paper than with screen, it seems. Even though I read a lot on the PC, I much prefer reading paper books, especially if I’m also taking notes – spreading books around me feels somewhat more efficient than having a dozen windows open on the computer screen. With dictionaries, particularly, some online ones also happen to have dreadful interfaces, and I’m actually quicker at jumping from a word to another by flipping pages than by typing and waiting for the pages to load.


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