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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.
USE A MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARY
A bilingual dictionary is good for one thing — to put your coffee cup on so it doesn’t leave rings on your table.
LABEL OBJECTS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE IN ENGLISH
You can do this in your mind or actually on pieces of paper taped to the objects (or use sticky notes). Start with everyday objects that you use every day! For example, if I have a book at home and I am learning Portuguese I would label it “livro,” or if I am learning Arabic then I would label it “kitab.” Every time I look at it I am reminded to think that word!
TALK TO YOURSELF IN ENGLISH
Ask yourself questions and answer them.
Make up a short story about a person you see on your way to work.
You may want to do this in private when no one else is within earshot. It’s ok if you are not sure if your grammar is perfect, or if you make a mistake. No one will know! If you’re not sure if what you said to yourself is correct or not, then make a note to yourself to find out! You can do some research online, or ask your teacher or a native speaker friend later.
JUST START THINKING IN ENGLISH WITH A MANTRA
Even the smallest effort is better than nothing. Start with a mantra, or motto, that will help you get started each day in English. For example, “My English is getting better each day.”
THINK A LITTLE MORE IN ENGLISH EACH DAY
Start small. Make it a habit to think in English a little each day. Set an alarm if it’s hard to remember to switch into English. Then use the timer on your phone or computer to 1 minute to start and think only in English for that amount of time. It doesn’t matter what you think about, or even if you just say a few of the same phrases over and over. See if you can extend the time each day by 30 seconds!
My email: info@GoNaturalEnglish.com
you aree awesome gabby your accent is perfect and your smile give power to me and you are so elegant thank you ı hope 3 month later i will come this comment and i write ''İ CAN SPEAK ENGLİSH'' thank you all
i'm vietnamese. I'm so lazy but i'm still speaking english everyday. you know, my english is so basic. I can't remember too many words in english. I usually watch a lot of english videos and talking and writing english, I think I have lost my time for relaxtion. And I need a native to teach me. and i've to think a lot to say these things. I'm from VietNam
ciao i understand your speaking but me im not good to speak english even if i practice a lot most of the time when i talk to someone i feeling shy can you help me in that.?im from philippines grazie mille
PS: but... Your Portuguese is from Brazil, cute accent by the way. 😉 (Us, Portuguese people, we like parody this accent because our favorite soap operas are Brazilian !!! 😅. It's like when French people like to caricaturate Canadian/Quebec accent, or Belgium/Switzerland). 😂
I started learning english since i'm 5, now i'm 20 and i watched the whole video and could understand every word you said, it's wonderful.
Here's a tip for everyone, try online games, those will help you a LOT because you're constantly speaking in english and that will make you grown confident on it, Good Luck everyone!
Thank you so much!!! It's actually useful advices, I'm from Russia, but I understood your speech almost without looking at the subtitles! Your accent is super! I'm motivated to think in English! Thank you!
My first problem is Actual native english speakers ...talk soo fast and i can't follow, second confusing with the accent....yes i can understand some accent of English but not all accents...especially American accent.....NOW tell me what should i gotta be doing?
im learning english by myself and i think that i not badly on that i mean obiusly have a lot of mistakes now, but i can see a video on english (just like this) and understand only by the words that i know so i just want to write it on there xd anyone will read it comment
Liked your video, especially when you pronounce spanish perfectly, please need videos in spanish to be heard by you .congrats
Dale, se que podes! por favor haz algun video en el cual solo hablas en español. no olvides etiquetarme para verlo al instante
I could understand nearly 95% what you've spoken but I still have difficulty to speak by myself :( it's kind of a padlock blocking my will to speak even though I already stopped translating all the stuff in my mind. I think being surrounded by natives is what lacks for me.
I'm at BKK,Thailand. I've watched your vdos but isn't continue. I come to watch this clip again I know by myself I can listen what's your speaking more than 80%. I will always to watch your clip try to do as lest twice a week. Welcome to BKK.
This video is very useful.
I can understand everything you say, because you speak clearly and slowly.
My son is 5 years old, and he doesn't know Portuguese Grammar, even so, he's fluent in Portuguese.
I just wanna have a conversation with English Native speakers face to face. I don't worry if I'll make mistakes.
Thank you so much for tips.
I thought that I would never understand English until today, I listened all the video and understood as if it was my native language, Spanish.
You have a clear and understandable pronunciation. Thank You very much for your video !! 😂💔
Good tip: Monolingual English Dictionary
Hi! thanks for all those tips, they are quite handy for language learning :)...I also have an advice for you and those learning 2 languages at once, not sure if someone else already mentioned it in the comments below, but when learning 2 languages at the same time they should not be similar (in your case spanish and portuguese) because you will definitely get confused. Polyglots recommend to choose very different languages, an easy one for you depending on your native tongue (e.g dutch as you're english speaker) and a difficult one (e.g chinese or spanish)...by doing this you won´t get confused :)
А я напротив,с легкостью понимаю,что мне молвят по-английски,могу декламировать книжки на англ.и осознавать даже не думая,притом в школе учил германский,а не британский,а на данный момент решил вот выучить англ.и в итоге беседа на англ.лично мне,составление предложений даётся весьма и весьма тяжело....(
I try to think in English language, l like the language,it's better than French which is difficult,l try to think in English language, l would like to play cross words or arrow words or l read a book in English language for example Charlotte Bronte or Emily Bronte, for the news l watch BBC world international or Sky news
You just need some practice, just practice and that will work, i'm french and its hard for french people to learn new language, i don't know why but i try to do the best I can and i'm sure i can succeed