Listening Skills

Avoid Translating

Avoid translating when you are speaking to a native English speaker. When you translate English into your native language you're creating barriers for yourself. You are also focusing on a single word and missing all the other words that are being spoken. You are also taking your focus away from what the person is saying, how they're saying it and their body language.

By focusing on a single word, and trying to translate it in your mind, you miss out on much of what is being communicated. Avoiding the trap of translating is a very difficult one. If you learn to focus on what the native English speaker is saying and focus less on translating what they're saying, you will end up understanding more of the conversation.


Can you recall the last time you were in a class? How many times to the teacher keep repeating himself or herself? How about the last conversation you had with somebody. How many times did they repeat themselves?

In most conversations, especially when somebody's explaining something to you, they will repeat themselves several times. Each time they repeat themselves, you build a better picture of what it is they're saying. However, this only works if you get away from trying to translate everything they say.

Focus your attention on listening. The better you become at actively listening, the further you will advance in your conversation skills with a native English speaker.


In your next conversation pay careful attention to what is being said. How many times does the other person repeat the same details, the same names and the same subject?