I found the Easy Learning range very accessible and perfect for Standard Grade/Intermediate 1 level exams. The verb titles in this range were very useful as were the vocabulary titles which provided good phrases organised into various subject themes. As my interest in languages grew, I found the complete and unabridged dictionaries better tailored to my needs as they provide more detailed examples and various translations of headwords in different contexts.
I went on to study French and Spanish at university and continued to use the large print dictionaries I used at school, however, before long, I was also using online dictionaries and translators. This was mainly due to the fact that I no longer had as much time to look up words as I did at school, although it was also useful to see examples of the words in use in different contexts online.
During my university studies I spent a semester abroad in both France and Spain. During this time, I relied heavily on online resources as well as my trusty Collins Gem dictionaries which were the perfect size for carrying around with me during my first few weeks abroad. Sadly my budget airline luggage allowance didn’t quite allow for my beloved large print dictionaries!
In my final year of university, which involved quite a lot of complex translation and interpreting covering subject areas such as European policy, international relations and the economy, I reverted back to using the large print, unabridged dictionaries. I also used monolingual French and Spanish dictionaries, thesauruses and specific theme-based dictionaries, such as medical or legal dictionaries.
Now, as a freelance translator and interpreter, I have moved to using the DVD-Rom version of the Collins Robert Complete and Unabridged French Dictionary which is much more convenient for me when working to tight deadlines. Most of my work is office-based so I haven’t had the need to use any language apps as yet, however, when I have to travel for work I do tend to rely more heavily on online resources.