Originally Posted by Bilbo1967
Well, proper nouns like the names of birds and fishes won't be in a dictionary anyway (by the way, I'm interested in the fact that you only have problems with the names of birds and fishes and not, say, reptiles or mammals?).
Not sure why you'd find adjectives any more difficult than any other aspect of language.
Lots of proper nouns aren't in dictionaries, true. Came across a few unfamiliar ones while reading some pretty cool scholarly works not too long ago, and was extremely excited to have Wikipedia available to me on my kindle...
As for the dictionary itself, I have always been one to infer the meaning of words from the context. Usually have done it pretty well in the past, too. However, since getting my kindle, I've found that I am learning much more from actually looking up the word in the on-board dictionary than I did from just inferring the meaning. Sometimes, I'm able to get a better idea of where the world comes from. Other times, it's a secondary meaning (not the one used in the sentence that I'm looking at) that catches my interest. And at times, it's just a better understanding of what situations it's likely to be used in.