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3 Surprising Ways Wikipedia Can Help Improve Your Vocabulary

3 Surprising Ways Wikipedia Can Help Improve Your Vocabulary 36


by Saikat Basu

If Wikipedia were printed on paper, you’d need an aircraft hangar to contain it. The English Wikipedia alone is currently equivalent to 2,570 volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use its 3.5 billion words to improve your vocabulary?

3 Ways Wikipedia Can Improve Your Vocabulary

Instead of going to Wikipedia every day and rummaging through millions of pages, let’s look at three quick ways to get new words every day.

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  1. Use IFTTT to get new words. Set up IFTTT with this applet and you will receive a weekly digest of all the new “Word of the day” posts from the previous week. The applet bridges Wikipedia and your email to deliver new words to your inbox.
    Wikipedia and IFTTT
  2. Use Wikitionary with IFTTT. Set up your Pocket account with this IFTTT applet that sends a Wiktionary article to your Pocket account to help expand your vocabulary. The word can be in a foreign language too.
  3. Use Wikipedia with Kindle. It can be the Paperwhite or the Kindle app on your phone. When you come across a new word, Kindle allows you to use Google, Wikipedia, or Translate. Referring Wikipedia will help you understand more than the meaning of the word. It can be some interesting trivia which will help you remember the word better.
    Kindle Wikipedia

For instance, for “mundane” I learned that “Mundane science fiction” is a genre of science fiction that does not use any of the common sci-fi tropes.

When learning new words it’s always better to look them up immediately. It creates instant connections with what you are reading. Wikipedia isn’t a dictionary but the world’s largest reference encyclopedia is a handy vocabulary tool if you allow it to be.

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