‘See’ new words via image searches

vector-portatil-con-el-mapa-de-teclado_73185I was reading an interesting thread on the Fluent in 3 Months forum, where people were discussing their favourite language learning hacks (or tips). I came across one that I had already been doing without realising its full meaning. One of the members suggested using image searches to ‘see’ new vocabulary in different situations. Obviously for abstract concepts this may have varied results, but it’s a great way to make sure that you  have the right idea from a translation.

Recently I had to check a translation that included a list of car types. Not having much more than bus, taxi, car, bike, etc, in my lexicon, I wasn’t sure how to translate things like SUV or bulldozer. The best idea I could come up with was to look up the original word in Google Images, and see which type of vehicle showed up the most often. This came in really handy when I was trying to decide between, say, minivan and station wagon as the correct translation.

So next time you find a word that you’re not 100% sure of the meaning of, perhaps looking at some pictures will help more than an ambiguous translation.