There are loads of Spanish English dictionaries available on the market today. Spanish language books in general take up much larger sections in American bookstores than they used to. Spanish has become such a popular language in America that these types of language books are probably the easiest to find out of any other language (besides English of course)! With all of these options available, you may be wondering how you should go about choosing a good Spanish English dictionary. Read on for some advice!
First of all, you need to determine your language needs. Are you a beginning Spanish student? Are you a translator? Do you use Spanish in some other way for your career? Are you a casual or a serious student? Are you a high school student? Or a college student? There are plenty of factors to take into account. Everyone’s language and dictionary needs will vary.
If you are a beginning Spanish student or a high school student, you should have an easier time finding a dictionary. This is because you are just a beginner, so you can benefit from most dictionaries. If you are studying Spanish at the high school level, you probably will not be able to study it for more than five years or so, so you do not really need a large Spanish English dictionary. If you are a casual student, it is likely you will not need a large dictionary either. The most important thing is to find a dictionary that you like and can learn to use easily.
If you are a Spanish translator, a college level student, or just a regular serious student of Spanish, you probably want to be more selective of your dictionary. This is especially true if you translate only certain types of Spanish or need Spanish for your job in some other way.
If you are a more serious student of Spanish or need a Spanish English dictionary for your job, you should probably search for dictionaries that include Spanish words with English equivalents, English words with Spanish equivalents, and the definitions of the words. If you are a more casual student, look for a dictionary that just offers the Spanish and English equivalents of words. All dictionaries should include parts of speech and other vital information. Some will also include pronunciation guides, but these are not necessary since Spanish is written with the same script that English is.
If you are a translator, you should consider a monolingual dictionary to use along with your Spanish English dictionary. This is great for cross-referencing and making sure your translations are as accurate as possible. If you translate specific types of materials or utilize only certain types of documents in your job, then you probably want to consider getting some specialized dictionaries. You can usually find these types of dictionaries for fields such as legal, medical, scientific, and business.
After you determine your personal needs, you should focus on what medium you want your dictionary to be in. There are several different mediums including: paper, computer program, online, and encyclopedia.
Traditional paper dictionaries are always a great source, but they can sometimes be inconvenient. Depending on what you want to use the Spanish English dictionary for, a paper one may be more effective than an online one and vice versa. The upside to paper dictionaries, besides being traditional, is that they can go places with you that computers cannot go.
Language lessons and dictionaries have been available in different languages for a while now. If you prefer to use a computer, you may want to consider getting one of these programs. These programs can be convenient because they are usually easy to use since you can simply type in the word you want to look up. They may also come equipped with other functions to help you out in your translations.
Another medium for dictionaries is found online. Since the Internet has continually risen in popularity, many foreign language dictionary websites have opened. Some of these are completely free to use while others will charge a membership fee for premium services. Many of these websites also offer other resources such as lessons and audio files (and if you are lucky, these are offered for free too). Online dictionaries can be very convenient and helpful, especially if you just need to look up a translation quickly while working on your computer. If you choose to use online dictionaries, just be wary that many dictionaries exist online, and some are much more accurate than others. You will want to stick with an online dictionary that was created or edited by a native speaker—this way, you know you will be getting accurate translations. You can also cross-check the online dictionaries with your paper dictionary if you have one. This is a great way to determine the accuracy of an online dictionary.
It is also a good decision to have several different types of dictionaries handy just in case you want to double check a translation. My advice is to have a couple of different paper dictionaries that you like, but also find some good online based dictionaries. Bookmark the online dictionaries you find most useful and correct, and keep using these so you become more familiar with them. It is better to use a few dictionaries over and over than to use a random one each time.
The Spanish language continues to grow in the United States. Several years from now, Spanish speaking people, along with their language, may not even be a minority anymore. With that being said, it is always a good idea to learn a foreign language, but it is an even better idea to learn a foreign language that is useful for where you live. If you decide to take up Spanish—be it for pleasure, business, or whatever—make sure you do yourself a favor and pick up the appropriate Spanish English dictionary early on in your learning career. Chances are, you will thank yourself later for getting a head start! Just remember to be picky when looking for a dictionary!