Dueling Wikipedia

  • I like to use Wikipedia as a reading room, opening one window in English and the same article in a second browser window in Español, for example


    The good thing about this is that I am interested in the topic itself - I have chosen this particualr topic because I want to make bread - and this motivates the contact with language.

  • In this context I wasn't meant to discuss process of finding the truth in Wikipedia articles, I just wanted to mention that they could be different enough to make it difficult to learn by putting them side by side and assuming that both sides express the same thought. Even with simple topics like bread, there could be different approaches, like one article could be focused on gluten related issues, another describing yeast controversy and third talking about different ways to make a dough. So, yeah, it could be a good source of materials in a target language, but not always a reliable source of bilingual materials.

  • admins

    @dev_temp I agree... use with caution, but it's also an interesting exercise for learning how a native speaker would express keywords, or focus on certain ways of expressing too. I think the important thing is to read critically and make sure to separate the writer's bias about the topic from the writer's style in the language.

    I think this works best for general topics, like @danny 's with bread, since it's a broad subject with lots of general knowledge used.

  • It quite famous, but still not perfect way to get some practice. Wikipedia articles describing the same topic in different languages are not a direct translation from one language to another and could differ quite substantially, and happens even contradict each other. So, even though this is very attractive and accessible approach should used with some caution.

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