How can Translation Help Someone to Learn a Language?
Last updated: January 20th, 2015 by admin
Using translation to teach a language or learn a language is somewhat controversial. There are those educationists who are dead against it and prefer language to be learned in context and there are others who think that it is a useful activity. The world’s classrooms reflect this dichotomy of views, with a bias one way or another. The fact that most language learners go on to master a language, whichever technique they use, probably reflects the fact that the most important factor behind language learning is motivation, not technique.
Translation is a vital part of the modern, interconnected world and most people become amateur translators at some stage of their lives, even if it is just to find one’s way around a new country, interpret what a street sign says, read the instructions on a label or help an overseas visitor. The need for simple translation is a very important motivator and many people end up learning a language through using translation in the early stages.
For those who go on to take up professional translation or interpretation as a job, translation is a very important avenue to learning a language. A Document Translation Service from One Language to Another needs a very precise knowledge of terms and meanings and the good translator must spend considerable time expanding their vocabulary and knowledge of culture specific language.
Certified translation services are often essential for migration into another country so that visas can be issued. Many governments require such things as birth certificates, employment records and qualifications to be accurately translated by a professional translation service for them to be acceptable. Most translators acquire these skills over a period of time as the vocabulary and terms used on official documents are not always used in everyday speech, so may have to be learned.
Whatever the claims of language experts, it is hard to stop the language learner from using translation as a way of helping them to learn a new language. It has its main value in making sense of text rather than conversational language. A good example of this is the use of the humble phrase book. Many travellers buy a phrase book when they go to another country were the language is different. The phrases seem to cover every conceivable situation from ordering a meal in a restaurant to buying a train ticket and getting a puncture repaired in a rental car. However, the translated phrases are often not much use when engaged in a conversation. You can use the translation to ask a question, but the phrase book doesn’t provide a translation of what the person says in response!