Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Translating Words and Culture into English | Why the Dictionary Can Be Dangerous

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Fri, Feb 03, 2012 @ 10:06 AM

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Today we have a guest blog post and video from Gabby Wallace, the founder of Go Natural English. Go Natural English helps ESL learners improve their communication skills for living, studying and working in the US or in an international company abroad.

You can type a word or phrase into an online translator and it will magically appear in English. It is very easy. Wonderful, right? The problem is that culture changes the meaning of words. In the video lesson, you can see some examples from my experience.

So what can we do? The best plan of action is to learn the culture associated with the language you are learning, for example North American Culture and English. When you learn the culture and language, you can learn how to behave in actual situations - the behaviors and phrases that work. In the video lesson, you can listen to my suggestions.

Online dictionaries are free, but don't sell yourself and your communication skills short. Learn the English language and culture together to build a really useful vocabulary that works!






Blogger Bio:
Gabby Wallace is the founder of Go Natural English, which can be found at Go Natural English instructs practical language and cultural skills to intermediate and advanced ESL learners, professionals and academics from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, through online video tutorials and face-to-face in small groups in Boston.


Photo credit: aAeroZar

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