How do you deal with unfamiliar words?

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Allie_L
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Re: How do you deal with unfamiliar words?

Post by Allie_L »

I usually try to glean the words meaning by looking at the sentence around it. However recently I have created a vocabulary journal for myself, where whenever I come across a word I don't know I write it down in this notebook and when I finish reading I spend sometime looking up all those words and writing down their definitions.

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Post by Cswrawr »

I don't often run into words I don't know while reading in English (which maybe means I should try for some more challenging books! lol) but I do often have to look up words while reading in French or Spanish. If I can't get a feel for the word in context then I usually pop it into google.

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Post by DennisK »

Cswrawr wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 19:24
I don't often run into words I don't know while reading in English (which maybe means I should try for some more challenging books! lol) but I do often have to look up words while reading in French or Spanish. If I can't get a feel for the word in context then I usually pop it into google.
I envy your robust vocabulary, Cswrawr. I frequently must reference the E'reader's dictionary for many of the books I read. I wonder if your knowledge of Spanish and French help you recognize unfamiliar English words …?

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Post by Cswrawr »

DennisK wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 20:34
Cswrawr wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 19:24
I don't often run into words I don't know while reading in English (which maybe means I should try for some more challenging books! lol) but I do often have to look up words while reading in French or Spanish. If I can't get a feel for the word in context then I usually pop it into google.
I envy your robust vocabulary, Cswrawr. I frequently must reference the E'reader's dictionary for many of the books I read. I wonder if your knowledge of Spanish and French help you recognize unfamiliar English words …?
Hmm... I suppose it's a possibility. English does borrow a lot from French.

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Post by KasieMiehlke »

madbooklover21 wrote:
05 Dec 2016, 16:44
I deal with unfamiliar words in a very similar way that you do! I tend to use context clues when I can. Most unfamiliar words I come across are from books that I am reading and the one thing I hate more than not knowing the definition is not knowing the correct pronunciation! So I have a dictionary app on my phone so I can quickly look up definitions and pronunciations anywhere I go!
I was taught to use context clues throughout my school and I still continue to do that.

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Post by Shrabastee »

I used to have and still have a lot of problems with unfamiliar words, especially considering that English is not my native language. At first, the whole deal of taking out a dictionary to look up the word seemed very frustrating, not to mention distracting. So I preferred to guess their meaning from the context. This method still works for me. If I come across the same word again and again, its general meaning gradually seeps in. Of course, I still have to use a dictionary to look for the proper meaning and usage of the word, which is often far more varied, as many of you have already mentioned. My vocabulary is pretty much limited, which is okay for carrying on conversations and reading books in general, but often I seem to be at loss for words while writing. Another problem I face is, since I learnt a lot of words from reading, I often do not know their proper pronunciations. I mean to work on it.

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Post by Nicholasoboi »

I deal with unfamiliar words in a very similar way that you do! I tend to use context clues when I can. Most unfamiliar words I come across are from books that I am reading and the one thing I hate more than not knowing the definition is not knowing the correct pronunciation! So I have a dictionary app on my phone so I can quickly look up definitions and pronunciations anywhere I go!

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Post by SomaKenya »

Learning new words is one of the main reasons I'm reading books and deal with them in as much as way as you deal with them (Dennisk), glad to learn about Ereader, will surely download one once I free up my phone😊

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Post by JR Mercier »

I did about the same - I would skip over it if I was really into the story and I can usually figure out the meaning. BUT... I usually don't say them out loud, even when I know what they mean, because I usually pronounce it wrong. In my head, the words flow but as soon as I open my mouth I sound like someone trying to sound smart by using 'big' words. :oops: :lol:
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Post by Amy+++ »

When I come across a word that I don't know, I write it down first, learning how to spell it. Then I look it up and write down the definition. After that I try to use the word in everyday life.

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Post by f-callisaya »

I don't often come across a word that I don't already know or can't figure out from it's context, but when I do I usually have my phone to hand. I typically just run it through duckduckgo or google, then glance through the search results since there are sometimes slang meanings or different sites give slightly different meanings/examples.

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Post by DennisK »

SomaKenya wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 07:55
Learning new words is one of the main reasons I'm reading books and deal with them in as much as way as you deal with them (Dennisk), glad to learn about Ereader, will surely download one once I free up my phone😊
SomaKenya, An Ereader is a device - hardware. Of course, there are probably apps that your phone can do basically the same thing ... not sure as I don't own a cell phone. Where I live there is no signal, so I refuse to buy something I can't use ... I'm probably the only person on Earth that doesn't have one. :?

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Post by DennisK »

JR Mercier wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 08:47
I did about the same - I would skip over it if I was really into the story and I can usually figure out the meaning. BUT... I usually don't say them out loud, even when I know what they mean, because I usually pronounce it wrong. In my head, the words flow but as soon as I open my mouth I sound like someone trying to sound smart by using 'big' words. :oops: :lol:
Yes, there are a lot of words I would prefer not to use, but it doesn't hurt to know their meaning. I just came across the word, canicular as the canicular days of summer. I would prefer to simply say, “The dog days of summer ...”. The use of the word canicular seems a little pretentious. But then, again, if I were speaking to astronomers about the month of July, it may not seem an uncommon word. It seems the Romans associated the months of July and August with the appearance of Sirius - the Dog Star – that is how that word came about. I had always thought of the phrase, “The dog days of summer” as meaning lazy, warm, slow moving weather – like a lazy dog under the shade of a tree, but it turns out, canicular doesn't have anything to do with lazy dogs! :lol2:

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Post by JR Mercier »

DennisK wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 22:39
JR Mercier wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 08:47
I did about the same - I would skip over it if I was really into the story and I can usually figure out the meaning. BUT... I usually don't say them out loud, even when I know what they mean, because I usually pronounce it wrong. In my head, the words flow but as soon as I open my mouth I sound like someone trying to sound smart by using 'big' words. :oops: :lol:
Yes, there are a lot of words I would prefer not to use, but it doesn't hurt to know their meaning. I just came across the word, canicular as the canicular days of summer. I would prefer to simply say, “The dog days of summer ...”. The use of the word canicular seems a little pretentious. But then, again, if I were speaking to astronomers about the month of July, it may not seem an uncommon word. It seems the Romans associated the months of July and August with the appearance of Sirius - the Dog Star – that is how that word came about. I had always thought of the phrase, “The dog days of summer” as meaning lazy, warm, slow moving weather – like a lazy dog under the shade of a tree, but it turns out, canicular doesn't have anything to do with lazy dogs! :lol2:
That's so interesting! See, we live and we learn. :lol:
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Post by thaservices1 »

I keep a notebook full of words for looking up. Besides finding those huh? words reading, I have a fun little word game app I play that gives six letter words in a jumble and you try to get all the words those six letters can make. I have pages and pages of crazy words : gnu, egis, phis.... Cos was my favorite, it's the original name for romaine lettuce, derived from the Agean island of Cos where it originated.
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