The Advantages of Using a Spanish Only Dictionary
While most Spanish courses and Spanish learning resources usually come with a Spanish-English dictionary (one where the definition of the Spanish words is printed in the English language), you can also buy a Spanish only dictionary -- one that uses Spanish (instead of English) to define the Spanish words in the dictionary.
There are a lot of advantages to using a Spanish-only dictionary and if you give it a
The Learn New Words Advantage
As you look up a word in the Spanish only dictionary, you'll read the definition, and you'll understand most or all of the words in the definition. Suppose the definition of the word you look up has ten Spanish words in it and you happen to understand 9 of those words. Often, you can infer the meaning of a new word in the definition and instantly add it to your vocabulary.
Or, it could be you just need to look up the one word you don't know in order to fully understand the definition of the first word. Either way you've added an additional word to your Spanish vocabulary. And at the same time you'll boost your Spanish speaking confidence simply by using the Spanish only dictionary.
The Psychological Advantage
When you successfully look up a word in the Spanish only dictionary it gives you a big boost in confidence. If you think about it, you can be proud to be able to use a Spanish dictionary because that means you are well along in your goal of learning Spanish.
Using a Spanish only dictionary to look up your words says you are bilingual, and it says you are well along on your journey to become a Spanish speaker.
The Spanish Immersion Advantage
Everyone learning Spanish is interested at some point in Spanish immersion. The Web is full of offers of Spanish immersion trips to Spanish speaking countries all over the world. And a lot of Spanish classes take vacations and trips to Spanish speaking countries as a part of the learning process.
Spanish immersion is desirable because it is the ultimate in learning Spanish. It's all Spanish. So you can also think of using your Spanish only dictionary as a form of Spanish immersion. You have removed an English component from your Spanish learning and speaking.
The More Words Advantage
On average, Spanish only dictionaries tend to contain more words than their Spanish-English counterparts. For the same size book, a Spanish only dictionary would contain twice as many words. That's simply because the Spanish-English dictionary has to list every word twice.
The Spanish only dictionary I use is by Larousse and it contains maps, photos, diagrams, and all sorts of related information that'll help you learn the language in a better, faster, and more well rounded way. It even has a grammar section in the back that explains Spanish grammar in Spanish. These are all items you won't find in the typical Spanish-English dictionary.
It's well worth the effort of finding a Spanish only dictionary and learning to use it. I bought my Spanish only dictionary at a Spanish CD store where they also sold books. If you don't have a store like that nearby you can try a bookstore or go online.
One word of caution: Don't get frustrated trying this tip too soon. The tip in this article is probably best suited for intermediate and advanced students of Spanish as a second language. You should have 6 or 12 months (your mileage may vary) of time learning Spanish before taking advantage of this. If this is difficult, try it again in six months.
I hope the ideas and advantages listed on this page have convinced you of the usefulness of a Spanish only dictionary. If you give it a try I'm positive you'll be pleased with the results.