Many students say to us “my problem is that I think in Italian, then I translate the phrase” and this is a problem. Mainly because the construction of the phrases are completely different.
So what’s the solution to this?
Think directly in English!
That’s obviously easier said than done, so here are a few ways to make it easier for you:
1. Immerse yourself in English
The more you read and listen to English, the easier it will be to think in the language. In fact, you won’t even need to ‘try’ to think in English, it will happen automatically. Everyone can do this, as there is so much free material on the internet that you can read and listen to. It can be difficult to force yourself to do this sometimes, especially if you are tired, but if you do it for one month, you will then notice it becomes a lot easier.
2. Use an English to English Dictionary
When 99% of students read or listen in English and they find a word they don’t understand, the first thing they do it look up the translation. If you use a dictionary where the explanation is in English, you will start to train your brain to not revert immediately back to your native language.
3. Say the names of things to yourself
So when you’re walking around and you see things, you can say to yourself “that’s a table”, “that’s a bottle”, “that’s a hammer” and so on. This may sound crazy, but it will help you to find words that you don’t know in English. When you find one of these words, you can easily look it up (using an English to English dictionary of course!). Also, it is a fun game to play with yourself and again, it will train your brain to start thinking directly in English.
4. Imagine conversations in English
When you are going to meet a friend, think of some of the things that you will say to each other, and say them to yourself in English. Play this game with yourself when you are driving or taking the bus to meet your friend and you will soon see that it can become very enjoyable. And like number 3, if there are any words that you don’t know, you can then look them up.
5. Keep a journal and write about your day
Buy yourself a notebook, then at the end of the day, use it to write a summary of your day. You can talk about what you did, things you thought, emotions you felt, and you can also write about how to have a better day tomorrow. Writing will give you more time to think and more than anything… to think in English!
Important – Please Read!
None of these things are easy to do, it will take time to make them a habit and to see the results. However, if you do it for long enough, it will start to work. So if you want to make a change and start thinking in English, you know what to do. If you want to continue thinking in your native language and translating, then don’t follow any of this advice and nothing will change!
P.S. You obviously don’t need to do ALL of these, try them all and find which one you like best and continue with that!