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Should you carry a dictionary with you?


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When traveling abroad or meeting people whose language you don't speak [or are learning] it's at times suggested that you should arm yourself with a dictionary to look up words you don't understand. I don't see how this can work since no one will wait around for you to check the meaning of a word before continuing with the conversation and in any case you may not even know the spelling of the word.

So, should you or shouldn't you? And if you have, what were your experiences?

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It's not entirely necessary but I think I will, just in case when the need arise. Most probably I'll need a dictionary when I'm asking for directions only since I agree that no one will wait for you to look up words. These days, Google is easily accessible so I don't think carrying a dictionary is as crucial as it used to.

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I can't imagine doing this either. It sounds so inconvenient. Even if you did have a dictionary app, it would still take time for you to pull out your phone and look up the word. I'm still trying to learn Visayan but what has helped me so far is to write down words I don't understand. I always keep a piece of paper and pen with me and I can write down the words after a conversation. That way, I can look up the word at home at my own pace.

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I think carrying a dictionary is a good thing. You may use it for words you encounter and those words that retain or are frequently used by other people. This can help you learn common words which are a pretty big help.

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Since this is the age of iPhones and smartphones, we now all have an app for that. It's still very handy to carry it with you when you are in a new country. It has helped me a lot.

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Well most devices today have dictionary app. It is important to have it, either a small pocket dictionary or a mobile one. You may not be able to check out a word when you're in a conversation but take note of words you don't understand and check them out later.

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I don't carry an actual dictionary with me because there's one on my phone. I use it whenever I'm reading or something, and instead of asking someone what it means, I'll just use my dictionary.

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I think that having a dictionary with you is a good thing, especially if it is a pocket size one. I mean, you may not have a phone to research what you need to know or something could go wrong with the one you have. A dictionary would be much better than having to ask someone to translate all the time.

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I think that having a dictionary with you is a good thing, especially if it is a pocket size one. I mean, you may not have a phone to research what you need to know or something could go wrong with the one you have. A dictionary would be much better than having to ask someone to translate all the time.

Only if it not one of those huge and heavy ones. I wouldn't want to carry something so inconvenient everywhere I go.  :tongue: I think there are smaller versions that don't have as many words, I'll most probably use those if I really need to.

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I think it is still very useful to carry around a dictionary or translation books when in a different country. I agree that normal conversations wouldn't be the right place to use them, probably, but I'd guess that it would at least be useful for when shopping in stores and talking to clerks.

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It couldn't hurt. If you are really trying to develop fluency in the language you need to use any tool available to you, and a dictionary is one of those tools. Of course, if you are trying to challenge yourself in conversation you should always try to understand the word before reaching for the direct translation.

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I would have recommended everyone to carry around a dictionary with them but with the advent of technology and smartphones, the power of dictionary has become accessible without much effort. This is due to the number of applications which work on smartphones which have replaced traditional dictionaries. But its important to have a dictionary with you because its the best way to improve your vocabulary, as you can look up meanings of new words which you may come across while reading books, newspapers of magazines.

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It's not entirely necessary but I think I will, just in case when the need arise. Most probably I'll need a dictionary when I'm asking for directions only since I agree that no one will wait for you to look up words. These days, Google is easily accessible so I don't think carrying a dictionary is as crucial as it used to.

It is not entirely necessary but having one will not hurt. With today's technology, travel can offer adventure, escape, relaxation and translation. There are the smart phones, pocket translators and instant grammar checker to name a few. They are built to literally act like translators, playing a human voice and recording any phrase aloud in any language you specify.  There is also the electronic dictionary that comes with everything you will need to get started on your journey.

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To be honest with you guys, i no longer use any dictionary anymore because carrying my mobile phone with just one app does everything for me, so whenever i am reading a book at work i just unlock my cellphone and look up any word on my app dictionary, i can even get examples and translation in my native tongue, and i think that's better than any traditional dictionary book.

The benefits that those apps brought to us is that you don't have to carry heavy dictionaries with you whenever you go, because when i was in high school i used to bring them with me whenever i was studying a foreign language and that made me very exhausted because all of the pounds that i was carrying in my back.

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I don't think carrying a dictionary with you is such a bad idea actually. Perhaps it isnt the most effective way to follow a conversation but it can be good for other situations! When I was in Germany last year I brought a small pocket-sized dictionary with me and it was good when needing to look up certain words. I agree that having an app in your phone would be easier than an actual dictionary but at least when I'm travelling I cant really use my phone as I do in my own country, if I use the 3G abroad it will leave me with a HUGE bill to pay afterwards. If you're on wifi it's cool of course but it might be a good idea to check how much surfing the web and using apps will cost you abroad.

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  • 2 months later...

If you are new in a country I would say yes. But you don't need to bring the bulky ones these days when you have your cellphone. There is an app now where you can download it.

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Years ago I carried a book for each non English speaking country through Europe, it was more a travel guide but had common phrases and a small dictionary that I could refer to if I was in a real pinch. Most of the time I found that I could find someone with a knowledge of English or German to get by. Luckily the group I met up with or traveled with had a better grasp of the other languages, so we could get by in each country. If I hadn't had that support I probably would have considered a dictionary or a more in depth book. Nowadays I download at least one app on my phone and tablet of the country I'm traveling to, and will refer to it when needed

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I've never carried a dictionary on me at all times, but these days with smartphones it's simple to have an app that works as a dictionary in your pocket. I used to have one of those little translator mini computers but I found them to be far to slow and clunky.

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It's really practical and beneficial to have a dictionary with you especially if you are out in a country which language is not familiar to you or if you are studying any language. It is a lifesaver. Besides, dictionaries now come in many different forms. You don't even need to have a hard copy. It could come with your smartphones and tablets which are very handy and naturally we bring with us almost everywhere we go.

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