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How do you stop direct translation when analyzing language you're learning when written or heard? When learning spanish I often think in my primary language then translate it to spanish always. I'm multilingual in 3 languages already and have noticed that thinking and processing thoughts in English has increased my proficiency with the language which I speak as well as a native speaker. This might sound crazy but I'd like to eliminate that 'barrier' because I feel like it limits the brain from further familiarizing itself with the new language.
Jun 24, 2015 7:39 AM
Answers · 3
I agree that after a certain point translating limits acquisition of a new language. The way I handle it: from the very start I talk to myself in the new language as much as possible while I am walking around at home. I print out flashcards for many items around my home, and stick them on those items. Then, whenever I interact with an item, I form sentences using it. Very simple at first: "this is the refrigerator", "my refrigerator is white", making more complex sentences as I learn more vocabulary and grammar. "I open the refrigerator door and take out the cheese", "the strawberry yogurt inside the refrigerator is mine". The more I learn the easier it becomes to keep up a running commentary on my day. Talk out loud! Inner voice does not fulfill all the same functions, though it is better than nothing. As time goes on I do the same wherever I am, for example outside on walks, where at first I carry vocab flashcards so I can look things up, and later without those. When I don't know a word, I try to describe what it is by using vocab I do know. As soon as it is feasible, I start using a monolingual dictionary and grammar as well, and only use the bilingual one when I want to make sure that I have it right. Talking with natives is great if you're not introverted, but unless you live in the country whose language you're learning, that covers maybe an hour a day over Skype. While you can talk to yourself in your own home all day long (ok, so if you live with other people they might roll their eyes -- laugh it off! You're gonna be conversant in your new language so much faster, it's worth a little ridicule).
June 30, 2015
Watching movies (or short youtube videos), listen to music in the target language helps me a lot. You don't have time to translate them. Also Italki teachers, or just chatting with natives (Hello Talk is a great app too)
June 24, 2015
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language