Think in English. Stop translating in your head and speak fluent, natural English without hesitation. In conversations and other situations where you need to be able to process information quickly and respond immediately, translating in your head is a big problem. It slows you down. It makes you hesitate. At times you’ll completely miss out on the conversation because your chance to jump in has come and gone and you’re still trying to translate.
On top of all that, a lot of slang, idioms and phrasal verbs can be difficult to translate quickly — if at all! It’s really best for your fluency if you stop translating in your head and learn to start thinking in English.
Thinking in English is very important to developing your fluency in English… so let’s go! Here are my nine tips for thinking in English.
DO DAILY ACTIVITIES IN ENGLISH
Can you change your phone settings to English? How about talking to your pet in English when you’re going for a walk? If you commute to work by train or bus could you buy your fare in English?
LISTEN TO MORE ENGLISH FOR IMMERSION WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS
Turn on the internet radio, download podcasts, put Netflix or YouTube on in the background while you’re doing your chores or work!
Your brain is so amazing that it will begin to recognize patterns and want to follow them too!
TRY GUESSING OR PLANNING WHAT ENGLISH SPEAKERS ARE GOING TO SAY
When you predict the conversation based on experience, you’ll be more confident and ready to respond.
Imagine the conversations that you want to have in the future and create them before they happen so you feel more prepared. It may not go word-for-word how you plan it, so be ready for change. You could write the conversation down and practice it a few times.
STOP LEARNING EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH TRANSLATION
Observe, watch, hear, smell and relate vocabulary directly to its meaning — not the word in your first language.
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