Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | June 12, 2012

Why you shouldn’t translate when learning a language

Somebody learning English might be tempted to translate from their native language into English. For example, a French learner might want to translate the word “lacune”.

I’m sure that the word “lacune” has a translation in English but, purely in terms of learning the language well, they shouldn’t do this (translate it) until they are ready. 

The fact is that in French “lacune” was not the first word they said, or spoke. It was only after they had developed the basics in French did they use this word.

So, it’s better to first focus on developing your English to a point where more advanced words fit naturally into the jigsaw puzzle. If you take the easy way out (say – look on google translate), you might fall into the habit and not take the time to develop your language skills with words like “look up, look after, look into” and other phrasal verbs which are actually quite basic in English – I mean, they form part of the core for a native English speaker.

If you take the easy way out, you run the risk of missing out on the real language learning process.



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