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How Do I Improve My Engineering Vocabulary?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Improving engineering vocabulary is a relatively straightforward process of integrating needed words into a person's language through whatever process proves most successful. Many students have trouble figuring out which words they need to know, and vocabulary lists and classes can be helpful in this regard. One of the best ways to improve engineering vocabulary is to read and discuss engineering frequently, as this will naturally improve vocabulary. For engineers who are learning another language, learning engineering vocabulary in a new language can be more difficult, but there are courses specially designed to teach this type of skill.

For people who are starting out in engineering in their own language, improving engineering vocabulary usually happens naturally during the learning process. Words that are necessary to a person's studies can often be found in an index in the back of any textbooks used, and these words will be used frequently during classes and conversations. Knowing the definition of these words and making an effort to use them on a regular basis can help expedite the learning process.

Engineers who wish to improve their highly specialized vocabulary in a specific area may benefit from vocabulary lists. It is also possible to construct these lists at home by reading and highlighting any words a person does not know. Sometimes, engineering vocabulary lists can be purchased from bookstores and universities. Online sources may also be able to suggest useful vocabulary words.

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Actual improvements to vocabulary are the result of practice. Knowing the definition of a word is not the same as being able to naturally integrate that word into writing or speech. Practice can take the form of conversation, writing, or reading exercises or may take place more formally in a classroom setting. Some people believe that integrating the vocabulary into the context in which it will be used results in stronger knowledge of the terminology.

For experienced engineers learning a new language, acquiring new vocabulary can be troublesome. Concepts, parts, and other important objects may go by vastly different names in different languages, making communication very difficult on the job. Taking note of communication problems when trying to express familiar concepts is one way to learn vocabulary quickly, but it is also possible to take language classes specifically designed for engineers. These courses have often been designed for people who already know which concepts they need but need to practice using them in their new language before taking on employment. Taking courses like this can be a valuable professional investment and will likely teach all needed engineering vocabulary.

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