How can I stop translating from my first language while learning a second?

Whenever I read, write, or speak in Spanish I have to think about what the right translation for the Spanish word in English is or vice-versa. It usually takes me a while to remember them all. Is there a way for me to skip the translation step and directly attach a word to an object/meaning like I already do in English or am I supposed to learn how recall translations faster?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    many people will tell you 'just keep practicing' and they are right. you should also try to think only in spanish sometimes. even if it means you only think very simple things. sometime you will find a spanish word will pop into your head for some reason, regarding what you see, what you think, what your reaction is to something. Go with it. just let the inside of your head come alive to the language, say things in Spanish even when you know you could be much more precise in English. It will become fun, then it will become natural, and then one day you'll find yourself thinking of the perfect word in Spanish and you'll have to stop and think to remember what the English word is.

    the only way to skip the translation step is to just forget English as much as possible and live your whole life in Spanish for a time, without trying to speak any English and without using it at all for anything. This is not something everybody has the luxury of doing, but the more you are able to put yourself into the frame of mind for speaking and learning Spanish, the faster you will learn, and the less time you will spend making the veins in your forehead bulge as you try to jump back and forth between languages.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to stat thinking in spanish

    For that you can go in a country where everybody speak only spanish and stay there for some time, and read newspapers, and listen to radio, and talk as much as possible in spanish...

    This is how I have done until now, and it truly works !

    If after quite a while it is not working and you are still asking you what would be the best translation for this word, that mean that, as a friend of mine, you think as a translator... ! And my friend ends up doing it as his main work ;)

    So let see about you !

  • 1 decade ago

    You have to work really hard to force yourself to think in Spanish. Don't let yourself stop and think in English. It isn't easy, but you will learn Spanish much more quickly and speak better since a lot of things don't translate well. Lots of practice and just forcing yourself. Good luck.

    Source(s): I learned Spanish as a second language and had to learn how to do this
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think you can stop doing that. I speak 4 languages and am still translating all over the place. I am Dutch but think in english because i was educated there, when i speak french or german i translate from english into that. LOL confusing isn't it?

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  • mike i
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Pratice, pratice, pratice!

    It is a natural thing for us to translate from a second language to our mother tounge. As you speak and read it more, it becomes faster and faster, until you are able to think in the second language. When that happens, you no longer need to translate (unless you don't know how to say a word! - still happens to me) from one to the other. Just keep at it, and remember that it takes time.

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