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Thursday, November 21, 2019

When to use a Monolingual or Bilingual Dictionary?

Most of our kids in Malaysia have to learn at least two languages in school ie Bahasa Malaysia and English and at times a vernacular language too. Would this make the children confused? What about dictionary usage to help them expand on and learn new vocabulary? Which should we buy? A monolingual dictionary or a bilingual dictionary?

Difference between a monolingual and bilingual dictionary

A monolingual dictionary is one that uses only one language eg fully in Bahasa Malaysia or English whereas a bilingual dictionary translates words from one language to another. The translation can be one way or two way. For example English to Malay and another section for Malay to English.

When to use a monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

So which type of dictionary should you buy and when is the right time to use a monolingual or bilingual dictionary?

Use a bilingual dictionary when starting to learn a language 
When a child or student is new to a language, a monolingual dictionary is not very helpful by itself. Bilingual dictionaries are generally better during the initial stages of learning a language. It may help the learner to understand and solve their terminology problems unless the unfamiliar word has numerous entries.

Use a monolingual dictionary as you become more comfortable with a language
As the learner becomes more confident with the language, a monolingual dictionary will help the student to think in that language. This is very important in language learning. Using a monolingual dictionary at this stage will promote a more rapid expansion of passive vocabulary and language mastery.


These tips were brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia

Giveaway for readers

Win Oxford Fajar’s best selling Kamus Dwibahasa with more than 7 million in Malaysia. (5 winners). Join Giveaway here.

Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford  Fajar is a two-way bilingual dictionary for students. The English-Malay section of this dictionary is derived from Oxford English Minidictionary, Eighth Edition published in the UK. This dictionary also contains many value-added bilingual supplements: List of Idioms, Istilah Sains; Istilah Matematik, Lima Organ Deria. Radas Makmal. Besides that, it is also accompanied by a Companion Website which provides additional material comprising of Language Tips (for both English and Bahasa Malaysia) and bilingual English-Malay ICT terminology for quick reference.

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