Google translate appears to be a handy tool when you learn German. A word or phrase entered in English often produces the desired result in a foreign target language.
When teaching German, I find that students often assume that online translation softwares or online dictionaries are an acceptable instrument.
An online dictionary is very practical when abroad and needing to look up of a word or phrase. What about online translation tools when learning a language? In my experience, a conventional dictionary is indispensable for a number of reasons. Learners retain content from conventional printed material better than online material. A dictionary also shows the flection of verbs, the gender and plural form of nouns, cases required and if a verb is transitive. Online dictionaries lack that function. In addition, dictionaries often have helpful example sentences and if studying at an intermediate or advanced level, then using a thesaurus would be even more beneficial.
Before hitting the online order button, why not visit a bookshop and look at a few dictionaries to see what works best for you. You can also get in touch and one of our German tutors will be more than happy to help.
Remember, steroids are helpful in a race but never in the long run. Learning German or any other foreign language is all about perceverance.