What is the best way of learning new words (vocab)



I’m a non-native English speaker and I want to know what is the best way of learning new words

Is it by translate the word into my native language. Or by view the word definition in English

Or by mixing this two way up

  • Sometimes the definitions are not easy to understand, is there a dictionary that made for a non-native speaker with simple definitions?

Khalid Alhothly

Posted 2019-05-15T05:27:32.033

Reputation: 23

Surely there must be bilingual dictionaries you can find that list English words but provide their definitions in your native language. – Jason Bassford – 2019-05-15T06:30:15.827



Telling you the best way to learn new vocab would be entirely opinion-based. However, I can suggest alternatives to and offer advice on the standard answer of looking in a dictionary.

A dictionary won't tell you how popular or unpopular a word is. If a non-native speaker finds a new word in a dictionary or thesaurus they might even find themselves using a word that no native speakers are familiar with! A dictionary isn't necessarily the best place to go to first to learn new words.

You would be better off giving yourself exposure to native English speakers - either through practical experience speaking with others or even watching videos of conversational English. Pick out words that are being used and look those up.

If you are having trouble understanding dictionary definitions then perhaps try a children's dictionary, as these use simplified English in their definitions. There are several online, such as Kids.Wordsmyth. Dictionaries also contain example sentences using the word or phrase, so make use of these to see how they are used in context.

You could use a bilingual dictionary to look up the word in your own language, but the problem with this approach is that the idiomatic use may be entirely different.

Remember that learning a second language involves acquiring not just a vocabulary of individual words but phrases and structure. In fact, once you begin using your second language you will find you learn new words in "chunks", just as you probably learned to say "good morning" before you learned what "good" and "morning" meant individually. Practical experience speaking and receiving any language is more useful than looking in a dictionary.


Posted 2019-05-15T05:27:32.033

Reputation: 41 381

“A dictionary won't tell you how popular or unpopular a word is.” Actually, dictionaries designed for learners often mark words based on frequency so people can decide if they’re worth learning, especially in more recent editions. – snailplane – 2020-04-16T22:27:06.580


To know the word meaning, you can check in your local language-English dictionary.

To know the exact definition of the word, you can check various online English dictionaries, for example:

If you want to find similar words:

There are dictionaries that specifically cover certain fields, for example:

To find the origin of the words and explanation of the words derived from Latin or Greek (etymology):

To find definitions of the words by just clicking on them, you can upload:


Posted 2019-05-15T05:27:32.033

Reputation: 3 419