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Thinking in Spanish, thinking in English

I have received suggested corrections from people pointing out literal translations like specific parts of speech as they were expressed in the original Spanish articles. What I am learning through this process, is that thinking in that manner leaves you with the most awkward translations. Perhaps an adjective in Spanish will not convert well to adjective+noun in English. I have read some excellent translations from others where I see they moved away from the initial vocabulary and were able to express the intent much more clearly. I'll have to save some examples to post. But those were the translations that didn't sound like they came from another language. They just sounded like a native English speaker.

November 10, 2012



So what I started out to say was, to compose sentences in Spanish, I am learning you have to think in Spanish, not following English word order and rules, change some vocabulary from what we would initially choose. To translate to English from Spanish, you have to think in English.


I agree DonnaMarie. I don't like the translations that put direct Spanish to English translation over smooth English meaning. I wouldn't want to read an article that was worded so clumsily. I assume the intent of the author in Spanish was to engage the reader with the use of good language, so I would think he/she would not appreciate a translation that fell short of that in English.

This has been a process for me. I started out with translating very directly/literally but as time has gone on, I have changed to translating to my understanding /what I think the author intends, over the absolutely literal.


DonnaMarie , you are on the right track . Not everyone who is doing the rating has a good command of the language yet , so do not take their edit suggestions to heart . A flowing sentence that gets across the message is to be preferred over a stilted word-for-word translation .


I agree. Perhaps we could use the Comment section at the bottom of the Translation article to highlight excellent translations. This might counteract Duolingo's tendency to be more literal than idiomatic in most of the lessons.

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