The non-English translation

My native language isn’t English. Even though my English is at quite a high level, I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to use my native language for learning a new language.

By this I mean; let’s say I’m learning German, translating German → Dutch. Instead of using German → English.

Is this a good idea? Also, does this work in Lingq? It doesn’t seem to translate that accurately.

Would love to hear your opinion!

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Hi Timk,

I think the best option is to choose what you’re more comfortable with. In any case, once you pass the beginner stage you’ll be able to get by without any translations and use German → German dictionaries. LingQ allows such options.

It works - however I prefer a somewhat mixed approach:

As a German native speaker I am using English and German. Sometimes both, sometimes mostly one of these languages. It depends very much on the target language which I am learning.

For example when I am learning Dutch via LingQ, I use almost entirely Dutch - German translations, simply because these two languages have a tremendous overlap in terms of vocabulary.

When learning French or Spanish, I mostly use English translations. There is plenty of overlap in terms of vocabulary and it is simply less work for me, since many French/Spanish words already have English translations in LingQ, while German translations are not available (yet) to the same extent. This also helps me to further improve my English. However sometimes I also use the German ones (mostly going by what feels right / more useful to me).

This is just my personal preference. I don’t know if there are advantages in terms of efficiency in our brains, if we use our mother tongue (could be). However even if those should exist there are also advantages in LingQ of using English (already more translations available).

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