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Stop translating in your head and start thinking in English

I'm sure you know the feeling of frustration and discouragement when you want to say something in English and all you can think of are words that would perfectly express what you want to say…but in your mother tongue.

Does this sound familiar to you?

As a matter of fact, it is one of the most frequent problems hindering language development and occurs at virtually every level of English.

How do we combat this overpowering urge to translate everything, word for word from and into our mother tongue? f you are interested, please read on.

First of all, you must be aware that this will not happen overnight. This skill comes with time and requires not only regularity on your part, but also the implementation of several methods that I give you listed below.

  • Learn vocabulary always in context. You’ll stop translating in your head and improve your English skills once you grasp the context. Context is important in translation since one word may have a different meaning depending on the context in which it is used.

  • Listen to more English for immersion with native speakers. Turn on the internet radio, download podcasts, put Netflix or YouTube on in the background while you’re doing your chores or work! Your brain is so amazing that it will begin to recognize patterns and want to follow them as well. Create opportunities for yourself where the English language accompanies you throughout your day.

  • Communicate in English whenever possible. As you’re not confident enough, start to talk to yourself first. Ask yourself questions and answer them. If you’re not sure if what you said to yourself is correct or not, then make a note to yourself to find out! You can do some research online or ask your teacher. Finally, practice makes perfect. Therefore, practice, practice, and more practice are essential if you want to get better. If you wish to improve your spoken English, all you need to do is to SPEAK. The more you do this, the better you’ll become at it, and you’ll soon find that you’re not translating English any more.

I hope that implementing the methods from today's post will help you get over the automatic translation and you will finally start thinking in English.

Perhaps something else works for you better and you are willing to share it?

Happy studying!

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