We all experience it sometimes:
You know you should be able to say a specific thing in your target language, but…it’s not exactly at the tip of your tongue.
Sometimes this is a case of Emergency Speech, but often you’ve just plain forgotten about the word or grammatical construction.
But in spite of the potential embarrassment, this is actually a great opportunity to further master your new language.
If you could just find out how you say what you wanted to say….
Unfortunately, this can be complicated sometimes.
Enter Google Translate
Google Translate is great for advanced language learners.
With the tool you can quickly find out how you say a certain thing again.
It’s a quick fix that helps you to re-remember.
Forgetting is cool, it’s part of the learning process. But re-remembering is even better.
It helps strengthen the connections in your memory.
Every time you re-remember something, you’re less likely to forget it in the future.
Google Translate can help you with this.
Now, I hear you say: “Google Translate isn’t perfect, there are still many mediocre translations!”
And this is why I said the tool is a great help to advanced learners of a language.
If that’s you, then you’ll be able to easily spot the mistakes the translator spits out!
Mind you, this translator is getting better all the time. But when it commits an error, it’s easy for an advanced learner to see where and how it was made.
That’s not to say lower level language learners can’t use it. But they have to verify that the translation is indeed correct. If not, they’d be memorizing something incorrect.
Let Me Give You A Concrete Example
To show you how simple this process is, here’s an example:
I’m having a conversation in Spanish.
I’m talking alright…
About the weather…
About the football game transmitted last night on national television…
About my Smart Language Learner blog…
And even about how E equals MC squared!
Just when I want to bring the conversation to something simple—like the 5-mile traffic jam I was in yesterday—I start to stutter.
Traffic Jam? Miles? I should know how to say these things, but for some memory malfunction, I haven’t got a clue!
Now, instead of feeling bad about it, I recognize it as an opportunity: I immediately make a note of it. I quickly add the words to my Smart Phone’s note taking app.
Later, I add the following sentence to Google Translate:
“Yesterday I was stuck in a 5 mile traffic jam.”
“Ayer estuve atrapado en un atasco de 5 millas.”
Oh yes, now I remember.
And not just that, I’ll remember it better than before.
The simple act of looking it up and re-remembering how you say this, will strengthen your memory of it.
I can now leave it at that. Or…I can plan to review it periodically so it sticks even better to my coconut.
Slinging for Gold
There are many things even advanced learners forget how to say.
All part of the game.
Just make sure you play the hand you’ve been dealt. Don’t let the opportunity to re-remember slip.
You could look it all up manually… But that could take a lot of time.
Or you could ask someone… But there won’t always be a helpful person available.
Much easier to throw it into Google Translate.