If English is your second language, come here

Sunflower   Sat May 05, 2007 10:49 pm GMT
Am I the only person who finds it difficult to translate certain words back into my original language, knowing what they mean in English? Why is that so? Is it bad?
Guest   Sat May 05, 2007 11:01 pm GMT
English is my second language. Yes. I do encounter the same problem. All those speakers who use the language daily also encounter the same problem because we all are immersed in the new language and perform several tasks in the language most of the time. So our brain is immersed in the language and thinks in the language. So it is sometimes difficult to translate words from English to our native language. It also happens that you know the word in English but dont know its equivalent in your native language right away when you are speaking in your native language. Why does this happen? because you are being immersed more and more in your new language! This problem will fade away once you stop using your new language more.
furrykef   Sun May 06, 2007 12:19 am GMT
English is my native language, but I have the same problem with Spanish, even though I'm far from immersed in it. Sometimes I'll read something in Spanish and immediately understand what it means, but it takes a bit longer for a full English translation to arrive in my head. Sometimes this just happens, but often it's because the sentence uses at least one feature that don't exist in English.

In a way, that this happens is actually a good thing. It means that, at least to some extent, you're capable of thinking in the language you're studying, without relying on your native language. That's a very good (and necessary) instinct to develop. This problem does make it difficult to translate the language "on-the-fly", but if you just want to use the language, not translate it, I don't think it's a problem.

By the way, sometimes I think this website (as a whole, not the forum) is too focused on English. Much of what is said about learning English applies to learning other languages, too, which is why I'm here. I wouldn't be surprised if some potential visitors turn away because they don't realize that the site is really about language learning in general and not learning English in particular. The same goes for this thread, which, despite its title, I don't think has much to do with English in particular.

- Kef
Juan Corromoto   Sun May 06, 2007 6:27 am GMT
I say hi to you! I I I um... Shit