“Your homework is to learn the vocabulary at the end of the chapter.”
That’s what language teachers all over the world tell their students.
And how do the students learn the vocabulary?
Well, they memorize the translations, of course.
Next, they translate the words on the test…
And if you do that for years and years….
Now you have The Translation Habit!
Today’s Crime: Learning Translations
I once dated a professional interpreter.
Her job was to listen to a member of parliament speak Czech… translate what he said into English in her head… then say it to the reporter.
Next, she would listen to the reporter speak English…. translate that into Czech in her head… and so on.
She said it was so exhausting that interpreters always worked in teams because no one could interpret for more than fifteen or twenty minutes without becoming exhausted.
(translation: it makes you very tired)
Do you find speaking English exhausting?
Do you translate words in your head?
That’s a problem.
So what’s the solution?
Do This Instead
Want to learn a new word?
Do NOT learn the definition.
Do NOT learn the translation.
What should you learn?