How to Stop Translating in Your Head

106,529 views

2022-05-17・ 8980

Learn English with Bob the Canadian channel


A common questions I hear from English learners is, "How do I stop translating in my head?" It's a great question. I understand the frustration. You're doing all this hard work to learn English and your brain still wants to translate everything you hear, or translate before you speak. It would be so nice if you could just think in English and not be slowed down by translating in your mind all the time. I think these tips will help a lot. In this English lesson I'll go over 7 techniques that you can use to help avoid translating in your head, and to train your brain to stop doing it. You'll learn how to adjust some of your current learning strategies so that you reduce the amount of time you spend translating and spend more time communicating efficiently! In this English lesson you'll learn about Overloading, Oversaturating, Forced Description, Shadowing, Visualization, Using An English Only Dictionary, and Repetition. I hope you enjoyed this English lesson about how to stop translating in you mind and I hope it will help you a lot on your English learning journey! I hope it will also help you to start to think in English! Have a great day! βŒ› Remember: Always watch the video three times. Twice today with English subtitles on, and once tomorrow with the English subtitles off. This will reinforce the English you have learned! -- βœ… This video was edited by Ember Productions: https://audreyember.com Thanks Audrey! -- βœ… Support Me and Get These Members Only Perks: πŸ˜€πŸ’² If you would like to become a member of my channel here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZJJTxA36ZPNTJ1WFIByaeA/join Becoming a member at every level has these benefits and perks: 1) For 10 minutes during each live stream you will be able to participate in the "Members Only" chat. 2) A cool crown beside your name during live streams and when making comments on videos. 3) Your name in green during live stream lesson chat. 4) You will have access to a members only video each Wednesday called, "Wednesdays with Bob". These are behind the scenes bonus videos with full English transcripts for your listening practice. 5) A full transcript for every Tuesday video. βœ… Join now to receive these perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZJJTxA36ZPNTJ1WFIByaeA/join I really appreciate those you that have chosen to thank me in this way! Please only support me if you can afford it! If you prefer to support me via Patreon, here is a link to that page: https://www.patreon.com/bobthecanadian Thank you for your generosity! -- βœ…SEND ME A POSTCARD: Bob the Canadian P.O. Box 419 Smithville, Ontario Canada L0R2A0 -- TAKE YOUR ENGLISH CONVERSATIONS TO THE NEXT LEVEL: βœ…Talk to a real English tutor / teacher at preply: http://tracking.preply.com/SH2X (This is an affiliate, signing up for this service helps support my channel). -- FOLLOW ME: βœ… I have a second Youtube channel right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmW5tmKIBrryNf5n-_A6Fmw βœ… P.S. If you are interested I have created a podcast of my shorter English lessons. It is right here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1310116 -- #englishlesson #learnenglish #bobthecanadian **Note: All images used under: CC0 License βœ“ Free for personal and commercial use βœ“ No attribution required From pexels.com or pixabay.com

Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

00:00
So for the last few days,
00:02
I've been thinking about one question
00:04
that a viewer asked last week.
00:05
And it's the question,
00:07
how do I stop translating in my head?
00:10
Sometimes when you're learning a language like English,
00:13
when you hear something or read something,
00:15
the first thing you do is
00:17
you try to translate it in your head, word for word,
00:20
so that you can understand what you've read
00:22
or what you've heard.
00:23
And this just isn't efficient,
00:25
it takes so much time to translate.
00:28
And if you're having a conversation,
00:30
it can be kind of awkward
00:32
because after someone says something to you in English,
00:35
you pause for a bit while you translate in your head.
00:38
So, in this English lesson,
00:39
I'm going to look at a few different ideas and techniques.
00:42
I'm going to look at a few things that you can do
00:45
to stop translating in your head,
00:47
when you hear English or when you read it.
00:49
(upbeat music)
00:55
One thing that I would recommend
00:57
is that you do something called overloading.
00:59
Overloading is when you do more than one thing
01:01
at the same time,
01:02
and when you're learning a language,
01:04
it can be good to read while you're listening.
01:08
So, if you can find a book to read
01:10
and if you can find the audio book,
01:12
you can read the book while you're listening to it.
01:15
What this does is it makes your brain very, very busy
01:19
and you don't have time to stop and translate.
01:22
You might not understand everything you're reading
01:25
but that's okay for this activity.
01:28
The other thing it does is that
01:30
you don't get to set the speed
01:33
at which you are reading and listening to the English.
01:36
As you play the audio,
01:37
you're forced to go at the speed of the audio,
01:41
so stopping feels like something that you're not able to do.
01:44
So, overloading is a technique where
01:47
you do two things at the same time,
01:48
usually reading and listening
01:50
and it just makes your brain really really busy
01:53
and unable to stop and translate.
01:56
Again, you might not understand everything
01:59
you're reading and hearing,
02:00
but if you choose a book that's at the right level
02:04
for where you're at in learning English,
02:07
I think this technique will help you a lot.
02:10
Another thing you can do to stop translating in your mind
02:13
is to oversaturate part of your day with English,
02:16
or do what I would call long listening.
02:19
When you listen to a song, it's short
02:21
and hopefully you're able to understand some of it,
02:24
but when you listen to a podcast
02:26
or when you listen to an audio book,
02:28
it's usually a lot longer,
02:30
it might be an hour or an hour and a half.
02:33
When you do long listening,
02:35
your brain gets a little bit tired
02:38
and you might forget at some point
02:40
to actively translate in your mind.
02:43
If what you're listening to is at
02:46
or close to your level of what you can understand,
02:49
eventually your brain will just quietly stop translating,
02:53
and you'll sort of understand what's happening.
02:56
I can remember the first time this happened to me,
02:58
I'm a French learner,
02:59
and one time I was watching a French TV show,
03:02
a number of years ago,
03:04
and all of a sudden I realized that 10 minutes had gone by
03:08
and I had understood most of what had happened
03:11
and I hadn't translated anything in my mind.
03:14
So, another thing you can try is to oversaturate part
03:17
of your day, or do some long listening,
03:20
do something like that where at some point,
03:22
you kind of forget that you're listening to English
03:26
and your brain might automatically start to just understand
03:29
what you're hearing.
03:31
Another technique to stop translating in your mind
03:33
is called forced description,
03:36
or as I like to call it, talking to yourself.
03:39
This is when you sit somewhere, like on a park bench,
03:42
or maybe just sit at a mall or at a restaurant,
03:45
and you describe what you're seeing
03:47
either in your mind quietly or out loud,
03:50
if you're comfortable doing that.
03:52
And you force yourself to only use words you know,
03:56
so you look around you and if you see a man with a dog,
03:59
you say, I see a man with a dog.
04:02
If you see a man with some other kind of animal
04:04
and you don't know the name of it,
04:06
you just don't describe that thing.
04:08
So, what you're doing is you're forcing yourself
04:11
to use the words you already know,
04:14
so memorizing a lot of vocabulary is obviously
04:17
a good idea as well, but don't try to describe things,
04:21
if you don't know the words.
04:23
This forces you to use the words you know,
04:25
to think in English,
04:27
and to not translate at all
04:29
while you're describing your surroundings.
04:31
Another really cool technique that you can use
04:33
is something called shadowing.
04:36
This is where you watch a video or listen to something,
04:39
and after the person says something,
04:41
you hit pause and you say it yourself out loud.
04:44
This is mostly meant
04:46
to help you practice your pronunciation.
04:48
But it has an interesting side effect as well,
04:51
because you're listening to English
04:52
and then saying it out loud immediately,
04:55
and then hitting play and listening
04:57
and then pause and saying it out loud,
04:59
you actually stop translating in your mind
05:02
while you're doing it.
05:03
Because you're focusing on listening and pronunciation,
05:06
you forget to translate.
05:09
So again, you might not 100% understand everything
05:13
the person is saying,
05:14
you might only understand 70 or 80% of it,
05:18
but because you're busy listening and speaking,
05:21
you forget to translate while you're doing it,
05:23
which is a good thing.
05:24
So I just mentioned that knowing
05:26
a lot of vocabulary is a good idea,
05:28
there's a technique though that you can use
05:31
while learning vocabulary
05:32
which will help you to stop translating in your mind,
05:35
and it's called visualization.
05:38
When you learn a new word in English,
05:40
if you are able to try to picture
05:43
the meaning of that word in your mind,
05:45
instead of learning the equivalent word
05:48
in your own language.
05:49
This is a very powerful technique,
05:52
it helps you to distance yourself from your own language,
05:56
and it helps you to start thinking in English.
05:59
So, if you learn a new word like dump truck,
06:02
try to picture a dump truck in your mind,
06:04
or look up a picture of a dump truck on the internet,
06:08
or even draw a little picture of a dump truck.
06:11
When you memorize the word in English
06:14
and then the word in your own language,
06:16
you're almost forcing yourself to translate in your mind
06:20
whenever you hear that word.
06:21
But if you can learn words
06:23
and if you are able to visualize the meaning,
06:26
it will help you to stop translating in your mind.
06:29
As soon as you possibly can
06:31
on your English learning journey,
06:33
you should get an English only dictionary.
06:36
A dictionary where you can find the word in English
06:38
and the definition,
06:40
and if you don't have an actual dictionary,
06:42
use an online dictionary that is English only.
06:45
When you first start learning a language,
06:47
it's nice to have a French English dictionary,
06:49
or a Japanese English dictionary,
06:51
they're very helpful because you can look up
06:54
what a word means in your own language,
06:56
but they are actually not a good idea
06:58
once you've reached a certain level,
07:01
because when you do that,
07:02
you're actually training your brain
07:04
to translate all the time.
07:06
So, as soon as you possibly can,
07:08
get an English only dictionary,
07:10
or if you don't wanna buy an actual dictionary,
07:12
there are plenty of English only dictionaries online,
07:16
start using that as soon as you possibly can
07:19
in your English learning journey.
07:21
So, you might be thinking to yourself
07:22
if you've been watching my video lessons for a while that,
07:26
I've said all these things before and you would be correct.
07:29
I've said most of what I've said in this video,
07:31
in other videos,
07:33
but I'm saying it again because repetition,
07:36
doing things over and over again
07:38
or hearing things over and over again,
07:40
is part of the learning process.
07:42
It's just kind of how humans work.
07:44
It would be awesome,
07:45
if you could just know something after reading it once
07:48
or hearing it once,
07:49
but it doesn't always work that way.
07:51
So, repetition is one of the last recommendations
07:55
I'm going to give you.
07:56
In order to stop translating in your mind,
07:58
if you reread things,
08:00
or if you listen to something over and over again,
08:03
eventually your brain stops actively translating it.
08:08
Eventually you'll understand what you're hearing
08:11
without your brain needing to convert it
08:13
into your own language, so do that.
08:15
If you can reread something,
08:17
if you can listen to something over and over again,
08:19
do it, add repetition into your learning.
08:22
Hey, thanks so much for watching this little English lesson
08:25
about how to stop translating in your mind
08:27
when you're reading English or listening to English,
08:30
I hope it helped you a little bit.
08:32
Once again, if this is your first time here,
08:34
don't forget to click that subscribe button
08:36
and give me a thumbs up
08:37
if this video helped you learn a little bit of English.
08:39
And if you have the time
08:41
and you don't know what to do next,
08:43
why don't you stick around and watch another English lesson.
08:46
(upbeat music)
About this site

This site will introduce you to YouTube videos that are useful for learning English.

Double click on the English captions displayed on each video page to play the video from there.

The captions scroll in sync with the video playback.

If you have any comments or requests, please contact us using this contact form.