I struggle with translating Spanish to English with immersion. How do you guys translate those sentences? Sometimes there are sentences with many words I have never seen before. Do you use Google translate for translating these words? Or are there other things that can help?
Thanks for your advice and time.
You may have noticed that if you run your cursor over a word in the original text, Duolingo usually gives you several common translations for it.
Other than that, I usually use an on-line Spanish dictionary for words I don't understand or that seem to be used in a way I haven't encountered before. (The one I use is at (http://www.spanishdict.com/, but you might want to poke around and check out several.)
Yes I noticed that but very often the translation doesn't make sense in the sentence. Thanks for the website, I will try it very soon!
Linguee is great for short phrases and expressions where the words don't make sense in a literal translation.
Rather than giving you a "robot translation" it shows you how other people have translated similar phrases, and then you can see if any of them would make sense in your sentence. Very helpful for idioms and figures of speech. :)
I never use Google Translate. At best it is clunky, and at worst incoherent.
I generally just translate as I can. If I don't know a word, I mouse over it and then also check Wordrefernce.com. Often the mouseover translations are way too literal to be useful, and WR gives alternate meanings that can be very helpful. Once I have done that I pick the best (most naturalistic) meaning and then try to craft the sentence so it sounds like a native English speaker said it. Usually the word order of the original sentence, when followed literally, sounds really bad in English.
Lastly, If it's a totally obscure term that isn't in WR, or if it seems to be an idiom that makes NO sense literally (like "a bag of snakes" or "chew the fat" - something like that) I check Linguee. Linguee is of limited use, because all it does is pull that word or term from published internet articles, but it's useful to show you how accomplished native writers use that term or phrase most often.
Does that take a while? Sure. But it's a great exercise in learning how the language works.
Google Translate has one good use. A sledgehammer approach to editing. When I write something in Spanish to post on the forums, if it's more than a sentence or two, first I put it in Word to spell check. Then I put it on Google Translate and check the English translation. Obviously it will be clunky English. But typically it will identify at least one word it won't recognize because I misspelled it (and spell check missed it), or it will translate it as a totally different word because my misspelling totally changed the meaning of the word. I've found a whole lot of vocabulary errors in my Spanish, with this approach.
Whatever you do, don't copy and paste into google translate. Too many people do that and it's so obvious.
As for what I actually do, I translate everything literally as I read it, then go back and make it sound better. That makes it less overwhelming for large blocks of text. If you're just learning though, make sure you're learning on appropriate material. You should understand 80% of anything you're trying to translate or you'll get frustrated.
Also, stick to one genre of article/selection so you find words/phrases repeated and get used to that type of vocab. I did that with movie stars/award winners and ended up learning a lot of new material because I stuck to a set topic.
Whatever you do, do it well. You can use translator to cross check and make sure you're right, but always assume auto translators are wrong, because they usually are.
Beyond that, you can post in the article discussion about a phrase or sentence you're struggling with.
Thanks a lot! I am not a person that copy paste everything in translation machines. I always use my own brain.