Why no options for monolingual dictionary in language hints?

First of all, I want to say that I find the LingQ technique and really admire what Steve Kaufman has done for language learners by creating this community. I Honestly didn’t think much of the system until I started using it and found how addictive and hence effective it was and have just recently upgraded to the Basic subscription.

The only thing that bothers me are the language hints which are translations and often don’t seem to be entirely accurate. When I was learning Russian, I switched to a Russian-Russian monolingual dictionary and found it much more useful than a translation dictionary, plus it helped me to think in the target language rather than translating. I teach English in Moscow, and I always encourage my students to look up words in monolingual dictionaries to get the full sense of the word.

Now I’m studying French and I would love to do the same as I did with Russian… I changed the language dictionary to French hoping it would offer monolingual definitions but alas there were no hints, which was a big disappointment.

It seems to me that skipping back in forth from two languages just encourages translating rather than thinking in the studied language. I always try to think in the language that I study and I find the translations, while helpful, at times distracting.

Maybe I don’t understand something in the LingQ techinque, and if so I would love to be enlightened as I’m always open to new methods of learning.

“First of all, I want to say that I find the LingQ technique really useful and really admire what Steve Kaufmann has done for language learners by creating this community.”

edit and correction for above (I’m sometimes really careless when I type!) – Is there no way to edit posts - I don’t see an edit button :frowning:

Hi flupwatson,

Glad you like the site! No, there is no edit button on the forum although we will have one someday we hope.

If there are no previous French-French hints for words, that means that no previous member has looked up that word and added the hint. However, there are lots of French-French dictionaries available on LingQ. You can see them if you change your “Dictionary Settings”. If you click the “New Hint” button, you can create your own hint which will, of course, be much appreciated by the next guy that comes along and wants French-French hints.

Regarding the use of translations, we believe translations are very valuable in language learning. They give an instant hint as to the meaning of a new word. Certainly, you often can’t know the true meaning until you have encountered the word many times in different situations but the translation is the fastest way to begin to understand the meaning. However, some prefer to stay in their language of study for definitions and that is fine too. You will find fewer previous user hints in this case, because most people prefer translating and so do we.

Thanks for the helpful reply.

I get it now, the words that pop up when you mouse over are “hints” left by other users and not coming from on-line dictionaries. I was able to get French dictionaries by changing the dictionary settings as you suggested.
However, when I tried this in the Russian section I found that there were no Russian-Russian dictionaries to choose from; is there a way to import custom dictionaries like Ozhegov http://ozhegov.info/ ? As it is, I have to open it up in a new tab.

Secondly, I noticed that there is no way to cut and paste by right-clicking in the library texts. Sometimes I like to ‘google’ phrases and sentences to see their contexts on the web and I can’t do that now, which is kind of a disappointment.

Despite these minor inconveniences I’m very happy with the site – it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been learning a lot!

@flupwatson - I have just added that Ru-Ru dictionary you suggested and added Ru-Ru for Lingvo as well. If you want to cut and paste, you can do some from the LingQ popups, widget or from the print page. Searching on Google is a good idea when looking for other examples of usage besides the examples on LingQ itself. Therefore, I have added Google Search as a dictionary option now on LingQ. Thanks for the suggestion! You can now see it in the Other Dictionaries list.

Super, thanks for adding the dics and google search!!! I really appreciate your help and it’s great to see you are open to new suggestions. I’m already actively recommending your site to all my English students here in Moscow!