Reverse translation – A quick guide

reverse translation

A quick guide to reverse translation

Reverse translation is so adaptable. You can make it easy or hard, use magazines, books, blogs, articles, menus, the back of a cereal packet. Whatever you like! In the video below you’ll see that I use a book on Buddhism, but you can use anything. Like cycling? Use a cycling magazine? Into gadgets? Use a latest tech blog post. Really ANYTHING you like is good, so long as it’s just above your level.

Reverse translation is perfect for you if you are one of those weird grammar obsessed types. You can actually USE your grammar knowledge rather than just read about it. But, what if you hate grammar? Well, then it’s perfect for you too! You simply use the language you know and then see where you need to improve. No drilling, memorising, or dull grammar books, just brush up a little on your knowledge and then USE it! Make notes in the text on the areas you make mistakes and just keep translating!

I’m not into studying. There’s nothing wrong with brushing up on a bit of grammar, but studying by rote has been proven time and time again not to be beneficial. In fact my French improved dramatically when I stopped studying grammar and started listening, repeating, speaking and writing! I’ve met so many students who know their grammar rules better than me, but they still can’t use them! The best way to improve is to make your study time into productive time. You learn by doing. Reverse translation is a great way to USE your knowledge, and then test it. As Olly over at says, reverse translation is the “grammar equivalent of a full-body workout in the gym”. You can check out Olly’s post here!

How to do reverse translation

Here’s the guide!

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