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Nov 8, 2019 19:30
Having spare time, I often watch YouTubers teaching English. Usually, they give reasonable advice on how to learn foreign languages more efficiently. However, there is one common advice I cannot approve of. They suggest to learn new words without resorting to English-Russian dictionaries but using instead English-English ones. The logic underlying this idea is intuitively simple. There are almost no words being the exact match to their analogies in foreign languages. Even basic words like «Moon» or «Sun» developed many auxiliary meanings during the course of language history. Unfortunately, this does not work well with me. Reading scientific papers, I constantly came across unknown words that are understandable from the context. So I am able to translate the whole sentence without losing any information. I am even able to explain what this particular word means, but I cannot start using this word in my writing or speech without checking Russian translations in one or a few contexts. I just would not recall the word when needed it. Checking Russian translations is also engaging. Some times, I stumble upon peculiar cognates rotted in the Proto-Indo-European language such as «bode» «будить», «знать» «know», etc. This is another great way to keep new words in the active vocabulary. Let’s simplify the logic behind this approach: more associations you have in your mind for a particular word - higher the chances of recalling this word at the right moment.