Using Kindle to Learn a Language.

Language learning means a lot of reading. First a disclosure: I got Kindle much after learning Spanish and French. So what is it that made me believe that Kindle is such a wonderful device? Let me explain.

After eight hours on my laptop, I really don’t like staring at the screen as it hurts my eyes. But then, reading is imperative to improve grip on the language, and a day without reading isn’t very productive.
Kindle isn’t just about books. You can buy hardcover or paperback book for most books that aren’t even on kindle. The key is – a feature called, “Send to kindle” which lets me send web pages to Kindle. I can easily catch up with it later on, especially while commuting. If I come across a difficult word, I just have to tap it, and an inbuilt dictionary works well for me. I will explain how you can set it up later in this post.

Theory: Vocabulary and Repetition
It has one more feature called vocabulary builder. It automatically collects the words that you look up, I encourage you to look them up every two to three days — continue that for 2 weeks, thereby revising the word for 5-7 times. That will help you master the word. Here’s a word of caution, don’t be quick to look up the word, first try to guess the meaning. It is one of the finest quotes of great polyglot Michel Thomas. It has helped me over the years to improve the vocabulary, and should help you too.


So how does “Send to Kindle” works? 
It is simple, you can use it as a browser extension. Depending on what browser you have, you can get it from here. It is a service provided by Amazon to its users. Once you install the extension, click on it. It would ask you to log in with your Amazon Account. Make sure you only select Wi-Fi (Since the other option, ‘Whispernet’ is chargeable). Now you are set to use the service.  I have included recommended settings, as well as the icon in the below picture for your reference.

Recommended Settings for Send to Kindle


So the next time you read any news article hit the “K” icon, and it will send it to your kindle, whenever it is connected to Wi-Fi. You can send any document, as long as the document is less than 50 MB. Most of the news articles and web pages are way less than the limit.

Setting up the Dictionary on Kindle
Whenever you register kindle, it comes with default dictionary in your language. So, if you are an English speaker wanting to learn Spanish, you would need to download a Spanish-English dictionary. Some users don’t know that kindle already has around 30 dictionaries on the cloud for free and end up buying a new one from the store. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Tap Home button on the kindle.
Step 2: Tap Cloud (It appears just below home button — only if you are on the home screen)
Step 3: Scroll at the very bottom, you would see an option that reads “Dictionaries”
Step 4: Select a dictionary to download (Again, it is free). You can download multiple dictionaries if you know or are learning few languages. (I have Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian in my collection)

As with every article that I write, if you have any difficulties, or want any assistance, feel free to contact me. I do my best to respond to them as soon as I can.

All the best with your language learning.

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