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Doing English

I have to stay away from online forums about learning English.


It really, really stresses me out.

Take this nugget of awful advice, given in reply to someone saying “my English doesn’t improve, what can I do?”:

“Do two-way translation. Read something (anything) in English, translate it carefully with the aid of dictionaries and forums into your own language, and then translate it back into English without the aid of the original version.”

That’s the worst advice ever.

(I’ll be you anything this person is an English teacher who has never learnt a language to fluency themselves.)


A couple of reasons…

  1. Translations rarely sound natural (if you’ve ever read a book in your native language translated from another, you’ll know what I mean).
  2. We get good at what we practise… and if you’re practising translating everything, that’s what you’ll get good at (NOT speaking English fluency, directly in English, which is what you should be doing).
  3. Because of this, you’ll create a “translation habit” (i.e. you’ll be thinking of everything you say in your native language as you speak).
  4. You’ll also keep using unnatural expressions (see point 1).

I’ve said this time and time again…

The internet is a wonderful thing, but be critical of the “advice” you listen to.

If you want to speak (1) naturally (2) without hesitation and (3) also see your English growing quickly… DON’T do “two-way translation” or whatever nonsense this idiot is talking about.

What should you do instead?

That’s what the MEF Accelerator course is all about.

Here’s the place to enrol.


P.S. Here’s the place to enrol on MEFA.

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