You Were Brainwashed Into Thinking Your Spanish Was Bad

when in reality, he is your greatest ally

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I think the first thing many English learners hear is, "DO NOT THINK IN SPANISH!"

How ridiculous.

You are an adult. You are able to recognize patterns better than any child.

You already learned a language. Why not use the language you have already mastered to master another?

From what I've seen or heard, there are two types of people who recommend this harmful advice.

-Johan the know-it-all guru who studied 3 languages in his primary school in Germany

I never translated in my head when I was studying at my trilingual school with my native-speaking teachers. You shoudn't either.

1. People who learned 2 languages as children in bilingual schools or in another country. They may be Latinos or someone from Northern Europe where they require children to learn 3 languages upon graduation.


Sure, they will tell you that you shouldn't think in Spanish. They didn’t have to because they were forced to be surrounded by language. It’s very difficult for you to do the same with your work and / or your studies.

-Esmeralda the English teacher that never learned another language

It's not my methodology that doesn't work, nor the fact that I never learned the language. It's because you translate in your mind!!

2. The second person is the native English speaking teachers (or in other contexts, Spanish speakers who have not mastered English but end up teaching English for some reason).

These people know that you are trying to do something they have never done. You start asking them questions about learning, and they feel like you're putting them on the spot. They start to sweat a little bit, and to avoid the embarrassment of saying they have no idea, they say, "You shouldn't translate!"

When you have problems or doubts about the methodology, instead of taking responsibility, they tell you that you have problems because you translate.

False. The first type of person learned during a different stage of his life and the second never learned. You shouldn't take advice from either one of them.

You're an adult. You should learn like an adult.

Who is an adult and knows how to learn languages?

A polyglot.

I guess I'm a polyglot, but not a good one.

So it's better if you listen to other polyglots.

Here’s Luca Lampariello, an Italian who speaks 10 languages fluently, and one of the most respected figures in the polyglot community.

He gave a 1-hour presentation at a polyglot congress on how to use translation to learn languages faster.

Another polyglot, Alexander Argüelles, speaks more than 30 languages. He has videos on YouTube where he shows how he uses bilingual books to learn languages fast.

And don't think that these people have a special gene. They are regular people just like you and me. The only difference is that they do know how to learn languages.

And if you don’t know, they are adults with real jobs that find time to learn languages. They know they can use translation to learn languages faster.

So who do you want to take advice from?

The person who learned English as a child in a bilingual school, the person who has never learned another language fluently, or someone who learned languages as an adult?

Good choice.

In my own experience, I used Google Translate a lot to help me move faster.

Without the translator, I’m sure I would still be a beginner in Spanish.

What do I do with my students?

I have written dozens of stories for pre-intermediate and intermediate students. Stories that connect the Latin American culture with the Gringo culture.

I have students translate these stories from English to Spanish with the guidance of a bilingual teacher.

You can do something like this alone, but it’s more difficult to recognize the gaps in your English.

Your bilingual teacher's job is to reveal the gaps for you so that you can progress

So, how would you translate this into Spanish?

He walked into the store since he had to get a few groceries.

Caminó en la tienda desde él tenía que conseguir unos...

I imagine that you translated it like this, but NO!

walked into=entró



You have gaps in your English and by learning what you don't know, instead of reviewing what you already know, you will achieve fluency faster and save a lot of money.

How to do this at home?

Take a text in English and try to translate it into Spanish. You can just do this in your mind, or you can make it more powerful by writing the translation down on paper.

Luca does this and then translates his translation a few days later into English or Italian again. Then he compares it to the original English to see how much he remembered.

Not using your Spanish to learn English faster would be a bad idea.

Translating word-for-word from English to Spanish would be a bad idea.

Translating the meaning from English to Spanish is a powerful idea and any language learning expert will tell you the same.

Can you see that your Spanish is not your enemy and can you use it to learn English much faster than without it?

Tomorrow in the next key, you will learn why so many Spanish speakers end up with a strong accent like Sofía Vergara. It is not a bad thing for her, but as you know, it is for you.

You'll receive the link for the training in your email inbox.

I'll see you tomorrow,

Profe Kyle

Copyright - Profe Kyle's English Institute