Stop Translating in Your Head: How to Think in a Foreign Language

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when I started learning English and

French at school back in the days I was

frustrated because every time I tried to

say something my mind and my brain

constantly resorted to my native

language hi my name is Luca from Luca

imperio comm and today I'm going to talk

about how to think directly in your

target language let's get started so

truth be told I was quite frustrated but

with time and experience and the more

languages that I learned I just realized

that this is completely normal

reversing reverting converting and

resorting to your native language is

just a natural process if you think

about it that makes sense because the

brain always takes new pieces of

information from the outside from the

environment and associates these pieces

of information with old pieces of

information that it has stored so you

should not be scared of translating I've

heard so many people countless times say

that you have to stay away from your

native language you have to stay away

from translation but the truth is you

can actually use your own native

language and leverage the knowledge in

your own native language to learn new

languages new things new words an

example of that is Italian in Spanish I

am a native Italian speaker and for me I

would not go so far as to say that

learning Spanish was a piece of cake but

having the two languages that that's

similar and being able to compare and

translate was a huge help let me give an

example if you don't know Spanish or if

you don't know a time value and are a

Alomar a perk a tempo a bellow quiero

ear al Ahmar porque el tiempo esta

stupendo es estupendo well you can

compare these two and if you compare it

side-by-side you will realize that the

structure is almost the same and the

words are almost the same so the bottom

line here is that if you are a native

Italian speaker learning Spanish by

using translation will actually be a

huge advantage in this regard you can

see your native language like a

companion that takes you hand by hand or

with whom you walk hand by

and for the first stretch of the long

journey ahead he will be with you and he

will be a great help

then when you are more autonomous and

you know your way you will be able to

walk alone so if on one hand I think the

translation is great you have to be

cautious with it and you have to learn

how to translate let me give you another

example Japanese is quite different from

Spanish and of course from Italian so if

on one hand Italian and Spanish are very

similar are very close in linguistic

terms Italian and Japanese are very very

distant and not just in terms of words

but also in terms of syntax that is how

we arrange things and how we arrange a

sentence value and arielle matter per km

per bed I want to go to the sea because

the weather is great

so in Japanese you would say that tank

eegah ii kara q WA you meanie iki Titus

which means you know I have to think

about it

thank you God like the weather II good

Cara since kya today you mean e to the C

iki Titus I want to go and as you can

see the structure is quite different you

have to rearrange the the words in a

completely different way and that adds

an extra step and it's an extra some

extra effort for your brain because you

not only have to think about the words

the meaning you have to take them a

rearrange them like a puzzle so in this

case translation can be somewhat you

know laborious and one piece of advice

that I have given to myself with time

and I've just realized it is that so the

question was should I just like stop

translating Japanese and the answer was

no but simplify it when we try to sound

sophisticated and say things that are a

little bit too complicated what happens

is our our brain reverse to a defense

mechanism says woohoo stop there

it's this is too difficult we're trying

to say things very often that are too

difficult because we just don't have the

tools so what to do well just break

things down the most important thing is

not performance you of course you want

to sound smart right but the most

important thing is always communication

it's always getting your point across

it's always to make that person a smile

or connect with you or share thoughts

the point is I want to go to the sea and

the weather is beautiful and you put

these things together one after the

other you break down these sentences by

simply say for example today the weather

is beautiful I want to go to the sea

that is easier in Japanese because

you're shortening sentences and in that

case your brain will actually say okay

you're letting me breathe and it will be

much easier to stick to Japanese instead

of resorting to your own native language

that's a very important key point to

take away


sure there are many techniques that you

can use in order to get your point

across improve your communication skills

be more direct more concise talk to

people that's all fantastic but the

truth is that language learning happens

first and foremost through input and

massive input at that if you want to

sound almost like a native speaker or

simply acquire native like skills what

you have to do is get massive input get

exposed to a lot of things and I'm not

just referring to a lot of audio or a

lot of books a lot of these things all

of these things think about what a

native speaker did so reading books

watching documentaries watching movies

listening to podcasts all the things you

can think of that you like doing in your

own native language or what you did just

do them in your target language because

that is going to influence not so much

of course also your conscious mind run

first and foremost the subconscious part

of your mind and remember that the brain

is like a recorder it records everything

so the more you expose yourself to

situations to people to books to

documentaries to everything you can

think of the better it is I am pretty

sure that sometimes you found yourself

saying something or knowing something

that you think where did I learn this

how do I know this that's because your

mind learns also subconsciously you

never have to forget that so whatever

you do great get a you know get on skype

talk to people do this do that do

something deliberately but on top of

that make sure and never forget to get

massive input as much as you can because

that is also going to influence the way

you're going to speak here now and in

the long term

so to do a quick wrap-up the three

important things to keep in mind are

first of all don't be scared of using

your own native language it's inevitable

make it to your advantage

leverage it build short sentences and

then learn to link them together and

progressively expend them because the

main point is not performance it's

always first and foremost communication

and the third thing to keep in mind is

that language learning happens

unconsciously and consciously and to

make it very strong you have to combine

the two

so get massive input through every

single channel that you can fathom and

you can think of because that's going to

make the difference in the short run as

well as in the long run so here you have

it I truly hope you like the video and

if you want to know more I've written an

extensive article that you can also

listen to on top of reading on my

website Luka lamp a Telecom you can

click on the link below and again thanks

for watching and see you very soon here

on YouTube