sjintje wrote:I have literally never figured out a word from context. I know it's probably asking a bit much, but can you think of any actual examples of words that you did figure out from context, and how you did it? Or anyone else? Thanks.
Temps de prise! Gaz à effet de serre (and with that, serre, as it's a translation between English, German and French)!
Those are two words I am sure I figured out because I understood the rest of the sentence and knew what these expressions must mean, even though they contained the words "prise" and "serre" which I hadn't learnt before.
Most of the time it's not as direct though. Take the book I am currently reading. One chapter is about the history of one of the characters, who was beaten by her father when she was a child; the same happened to her brother. Both of them meet again after moving to Paris.
"Leur seul lien est un faisceau
de souvenirs atroces - les tannées
du père, ses injures, ses humiliations."
I read that sentence, think "wait, injure, that doesn't mean injury, it means insult, I looked that up." I don't know faisceau, nor tannée. I can deduce that tannée probably refers to the beatings they experienced as children, and that faisceau might be a word to refer to some kind of arrangement of concepts as a group with some kind of common factor or structure.
I can't remember reading these words before, and I probably didn't. Now, if I don't encounter them again in the next month or so, I'll probably just forget them. But the next time I encounter them in context, I will probably get more clues to what exactly they mean.
There are words that I encounter dozens of times without figuring out what they mean, and sooner or later I get annoyed and actually do look them up. Usually it turns out that they have several meanings that to me just don't make sense to be lumped together.
I stopped studying English vocabulary when I was at some kind of A2 or to weak B1 level, because I couldn't be bothered anymore. (That expression I also learnt from context. Lumped together
and to figure out
probably as well.)