By: Jonathan Mora Sánchez, Director
Summary: One of the biggest and most common mistakes (or commonest) when learning another language is the tendency to forget that interpreting/translating should be learnt and practiced both ways and not just from one language to another in a single way…
Books, subtitles, manuals or conversations… it’s highly recommendable to master translation, that’s the base for an improved interpreting development.
Do you ever practice going from your native tongue to a foreign one? It is so constant the fact of people struggling and dealing with texts, stories an meetings which for some reason there’s no big complication going from foreign language to the one the speaker’s familiar to, but it is as much important to encourage such ability the other way around, sounds basic, even funny to think that I make this suggestion but it happens to be not as easy as one may think.
Once you try to translate an article, paragraph or short segment of conversation you realize that it doesn’t work the same way from one language to another, not like originally we might have thought this is not only very interesting but also funny and really consists into a great exercise, it complements the correct use of structures, improves vocabulary and certainly tests our fluency.
The reason for these “advises” lies in this fact: Sight overcomes the other senses, if you watch a movie regardless on how much you concentrate on the audio if the subtitles are on unconsciously you will read more than what your hear, this can be easily fixed by switching features so you read in the language you’re trying to learn and listen in the one you already know… this works for movies.
Now, you cannot always depend on what you see, actually, because of telecommunications there’s a very high chance you won’t even be face to face, so your “over the phone” skills (as well as reading/writing) and the way you command tone/pitch/vocabulary will define how good you really are when it comes to terms of being “bilingual” and that demands high proficiency that can’t be limited to one way translation.
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