What’s the problem with translating everything into your native language before you come up with a response in English?
Well, if you’re in a conversation or some situations where you need to process information quickly and be able to respond rapidly in an appropriately timely manner, you will really don’t have time to translate. Even though you are super smart and really good at English, it still takes time to process all the information you’re getting in English into your native language and then think in your native language, and translate that back into English. It’s a lot of work for your brain to do and no matter how awesomely intelligent you are, it’s gonna take too long in a native speed kind of fast back-and-forth conversation. So if you are in a social situation, or a meeting at work, or at a presentation where you want to ask questions. You really need to be able to think in English!
To stop translating everything from English into your native language in your head, in your mind, in your brain, in your noggin and to start thinking only in English, it is totally possible. No matter what level you’re at right now, it’s possible to think in English!
In this article, Learn English Fun Way will show you 9 tips that will help you on your journey to thinking just like a native English speaker. So if this is interesting to you, let’s start!
Table of Contents
9 Tips To Stop Translating In Your Head And Start Thinking In English
1, Let’s start small.
Understanding everything in English and being able to respond in English is like a big meal. That’s a lot of vocabulary or a lot of food to digest right. Therefore; let’s start by taking small bites and digest thoroughly. This means you should start your practice by doing small daily activities in English.
For example, every day, you take your dog for a. It is the time for you to practice your thinking in English by talking to him in English.
If you have a pet, you should do this. But, if you don’t have a pet, there are other ways too.
You can set your smart phone in English so that every time you open up your phone there’s English vocabulary. This activity may probably happen multiple times a day. So whenever you’re looking at your phone, you are practicing thinking in English.
And maybe there are other things that you can think of too. So what are some other suggestions of small daily activities that you could do in English? Comment let us know what you think!
2, Listen to more English.
This doesn’t even have to take up more of your time. You can give yourself an immersive experience in English no matter where you are. Open up your laptop or your smartphone and download some podcasts in English. Listen to internet radio. Put on a video on YouTube or on Netflix in English and play it in the background while you’re doing other work that doesn’t require intense focus. Listen to English famous songs.
You can do all the above things whenever you are free, even when you are just doing housework or organizing stuff around your room or your office. Gradually, both your English listening comprehension and your thinking in English ability will gradually improve.
3, Guess or plan what they will say.
Try guessing or planning what native English speakers are going to say in that next conversation or in that presentation or whatever situation that you’re going to talk in English. So when you predict based on your life experience what you think people are going to say, you will be more prepared and more confident. You’re preparing your brain to receive that information, and you’d be surprised probably like eight out of ten times you’re going to be correct.
However, don’t get too attached to your prediction as other people don’t know that script that’s going on in your head. Be prepared for something different to come out of people’s mouths. However, just by exploring the different options or your prediction or guess of what you think will happen, you’re going to feel more confident, and be able to process that information faster and to think in English yourself because you’re already thinking when you predict what’s going to happen in a conversation.
4, Stop learning only through translation.
Once you’re out of your beginner English class, you have to learn through association, through your life experience, through observing, watching, listening. Hence, the key here is that you have to associate the word with its meaning, not the English word with your native language word.
The real true meaning is what you understand and then you can attach that to the word. Therefore, you have to stop learning exclusively through translation, but further your ways of studying English skills.
5, Stop using a bilingual dictionary.
This method is very closely related to the above-mentioned tip. It is highly recommended that you should stop using a bilingual dictionary because if you continue to use this type of dictionary to learn vocabulary in English, you’re always going to be practicing translation. So just use that thing as a coaster that you put under a glass to protect the top of a table. Instead, use a monolingual dictionary. “Monolingual” means “0ne language”, so in English, it is an English- to- English dictionary. This way will not only help you practice thinking in English but also exponentially expand your English language vocabulary.
6, Label objects in your environment in English.
You can just do this in your head or you could actually write the words on paper and tape those labels right to the objects or use sticky notes or something. It’s super simple super fast and easy doesn’t cost anything. For example if you see a book and you are starting learning English, then you should write on you sticky note “Book” and label it on the book.
Putting a label on everyday objects is really especially helpful for beginners intermediate Level English learners, but it can be fun to do just to remind yourself to think in English at any level.
7, Talk to yourself in English.
When you talk to yourself out loud, it does so many good things for you. Not only are you going to practice your pronunciation, your speaking, your vocabulary, your fluency, but you are also developing that thinking English skill. So what kind of things should you say when you’re talking to yourself out loud in English and when should you do this ?
First, it is suggested that you should do this in the privacy of your own home. Maybe, you should not try this tip around your co-workers or people as they might think something wrong about you.
So what do you tell yourself? Well, you could ask yourself any questions. For example, right now, you thinking about your lunch today. So if you are trying to improve your English, you might think to yourself and say out loud “What am I going to eat for lunch today?”
It’s okay if you make a mistake talking out loud to yourself, if your grammars not perfect, if your pronunciation is not perfect. The point of this method is not for you to be perfect in English, the point is for you to develop that habit of thinking and speaking the language. Hence, any mistake is totally okay. Just make a mental note of what you’re not sure about, then you could ask someone good at English such as your native speaker friend, your teacher or you can do some research online.
8, Start thinking in English with a mantra or a motto.
Before studying and practicing English, you should talk your self some phrases that give you motivation and get you started like on autopilot. My phrase might be “ I am improving my English every day” and I would say that in English out loud to myself or just think about it when there are a lot of people around. Find yourself a mantra or a motto that you like the most. It will lift your spirits, and give you energy to improve your language skills.
9, Do a little bit English thinking time each day.
Our last tip to help you think in English is “Do a little bit each day”. Don’t force yourself to think in English all day, every day. From the get-go or from the beginning, just start with 30 seconds. You could set an alarm for yourself to start your English- thinking process.
Maybe every day at 9 a.m, you’re going to think in English for 30 seconds. So you open your smart phone put an alarm for 9 a.m. And you can title it think in English then set your timer for 30 seconds and just think in English no matter how simple or how silly it is. You can just say hello to yourself over and over and over for 30 seconds if that’s the best you can do.
It doesn’t matter how complicated your English is when you train to think in English. What does matter is that you start and that you are consistent. So do a little bit every day and and you’re going to be thinking in English all day long in no time.
If you loved these suggestions, let us know in the comments section. In order to get further explanation and practice your listening skills also, watch the video below. We hope you are engaged in the lesson today. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!
Credit: Youtube Channel “Go Natural English”