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Tips for tricking your brain into not translating

 

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  #1  
Old December 14, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Tips for tricking your brain into not translating

I find that it is much easier to understand both speech and writing when I force myself not to translate in my mind. For some reason my mind always wants to try to translate the Spanish I hear or read. I can actually understand faster and easier when I just absorb the words for what they are instead of trying to come up with the English equivalent.

So to those of you who have learned Spanish (or really any other language) as a second language, do you have any tips? Is this something that just comes naturally after you have been exposed to the language enough?

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  #2  
Old December 14, 2008, 09:34 PM
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You will eventually hear and speak Spanish without having the underlying translation into English. When you start to dream in Spanish, you've arrived.

I'm not sure how it happens, or when it'll happen for you, but it does. The really funny thing is, when it does occur, you'll have problems trying to translate the dream into English for someone who doesn't speak Spanish.

Somehow, your brain just switches gears. When you hear Spanish, your brain automatically adjusts to the proper set of rules for word formation, order and sound. When you hear English again, your brain flips back to the proper English rules. It's pretty amazing.

The only tip I can offer to stop the 'subtitles' is to memorize phrases differently. Instead of commiting phrases to memory with their English translation, think of an IMAGE you can tie to the phrase. Commit the image and the Spanish words that evoke that image to memory. Your brain will connect with the imagery and provide you with the Spanish words. You won't have the English words at your immediate disposal without switching gears, though, so be prepared.

Last edited by Rusty; December 14, 2008 at 09:36 PM.
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Old December 14, 2008, 11:10 PM
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I think Rusty hit on something important, and that is: associate Spanish words with an image of what the word represents instead of associating it with the corresponding word in English. For instance, if you're learning the word caminar, don't associate it with the English word and say to yourself "caminar means to walk". Instead, associate the word caminar with a picture in your mind's eye of a person walking.

Another exercise I used to do is as you go about all your daily activities, narrate what is going on in Spanish. You don't have to speak aloud. Just in your head, start narrating everything that you do, everything that those around you do, in Spanish. Whatever you are thinking in English, try to narrate that in Spanish, so you can train your mind that it's ok to think in Spanish. If you see someone opening a door, you just had a mental thought process that said "he's opening the door". To re-train your mind to think in Spanish, just start talking to yourself and say "él está abriendo la puerta".

Also, keep practicing Spanish at every opportunity you have. The more fluent you become, the more you will start thinking in Spanish. Try to imitate phrases just as native speakers say them. Don't ignore any verb tenses, verb moods, words, or grammatical stuctures just because they are hard and you can get by with something else. If you really want to become fluent, you'll need all of it.
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Old December 15, 2008, 08:03 AM
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I want to tell you, When I stared to study English never it was enough for me, because I tried to learning me the words and the sentences very fast in my mind, but it sometimes is impossible, it might happen because, you have in your mind more problems of you normal live in that moment, then you don't put attention to the 100 % percent in your learning, and in that moment, I have made me a questions, How I could to learn me the words and the sentences in my mind, well, I worked hard and I continue doing my major endeavor everyday, but I can outmaneuvered in my learning, I was to found a friend, website, or I have found the better way to learn the language easier, well until I did that, I could to learnt me the words and the way to translate, look, I always read threads in English, I write daily in English, I always I try to do everything in English, and such of that way, today I'm able to speak with someone in English, but I was to work very hard before.
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Old December 15, 2008, 08:56 AM
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The best way to avoid trying to translate everything is to have a conversation with someone in Spanish. Before doing this, its a good idea to brush up vocabulary, to familiarize yourself with grammar, to improve accent. That way you will less likely frustrate yourself and the person you're speaking with. With this knowledge, speaking naturally (without translating) comes naturally.
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Old December 15, 2008, 11:07 AM
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thanks guys, I guess I just need to find someone who speaks Spanish that I can practice with now.
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Old December 15, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Yes, Poli is right, you must familiarize with your knowledge before, if you need speak with someone first you need learning the words in Spanish, man the words in Spanish are very easy, you have good luck with your learning in Spanish.
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Old December 15, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrOtALiTo View Post
Yes, Poli is right, you must familiarize with your knowledge before, if you need speak with someone first you need learning the words in Spanish, man the words in Spanish are very easy, you have good luck with your learning in Spanish.
Correction:

Yes, Poli is right. You must get familiar with your knowledge before. If you need to speak with someoine first you need to learn the words in Spanish. The words in Spanish are very easy. Good luck with your learning in Spanish.
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Old December 15, 2008, 09:01 PM
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I made it up only two mistakes.
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