2006年11月26日

Rach Goes 1126

The Bout 'Translation VS No Translation' Round 2

I translate on my blog everyday. But, believe it or not, I don't stick to translation-oriented approach so much. Or rather, I am totally FOR 'no-translation' method.
Actually, I frequently use the English-English dictionary, although I can't stop using the English-Japanese dictionary from time to time.
When I was a student, teachers taught us how to translate an English sentence into Japanese.
I think this translation-oriented approach made students have an illusion that they can 'understand' English.
But in fact, students did not understand English itself. They just felt relieved to see 'close but not the same' sentence written in Japanese.

Needless to say, native English speakers learn English by reading & hearing a lot of English. I'm so sure exposing ourselves to as much English as humanly possible is the most standard, orthodox & effective way of learning English.
I insist we have to 'learn' how to understand English in English. But what should we do at first?
If you have several books written in English at hand and you feel like reading them as soon as possible, just do it!
Moreover, if you can say, "All I need is the E-E (English-English) dictionary. I've never used the E-J (English-Japanese) dictionary these days", you must be so lucky. You don't have to stick to the J-E dictionary anymore. Just go on your own way!
I think those who can appreciate English as it is must be so happy. They can enjoy the beauty of English, which makes them love English more.

I know, however, some people who have no confidence in their own English ability don't feel like using the E-E dictionary. They might see the contents of the E-E dictionary as just a combination of alphabets. They might feel dizzy at the sight of a flood of English words.
If you are one of them, you don't have to hesitate to use the J-E dictionary. You don't feel guilty about relying on the Japanese language.
The point is how to use this Japanese information.

If you translate an English sentence into Japanese at first and then you try to understand the meaning of the sentence, that's not good.
If you try to understand the meaning of the sentence in English and then you think, "If they were talking in Japanese, what kind of Japanese language would be suitable for this situation?", that's not so bad.

As I wrote above, I still use the E-J dictionary. That's because I just want to look for some hints or clues in order to understand the meaning of the sentence.

While watching dramas in English, I sometimes bump into a lot of expressions or phrases I've never heard before.
Then I try to guess the meaning or nuances of them by making the most use of information I have at the time, such as actor's facial expressions, the tone of their voices as well as situations and contexts. Moreover, I could use even Japanese subtitles or dubbed-in voices on DVD.
My motto: "You should use everything available to you."
Then I reach out for my grammar books and dictionaries. I sometimes find valuable information even in the E-J dictionary. I don't care if the books I get the useful information from is written in English or Japanese. I'm just searching for someone's opinions which can explain clearly and logically the images I received in watching dramas.

I believe Japanese English-learners gradually & naturally get to use mainly the E-E dictionary in accordance with the improvement of their English ability.
So I suggest that you may use the E-J dictionary if you want to use it.
The E-J dictionary is not harmful to your study of English, as long as you don't forget the fact that Japanese words cannot explain the meaning of English words or sentences perfectly.

After all, the best way of learning English depends on individuals. My method was effective to me at least when I restarted studying English.
5 years have passed since then. It is high time to say good-bye to my dear E-J dictionary?
But I have an excuse for using the E-J dictionary.
"I've had a dream for a long time: I want to be a translater. So I need to know how other Japanese people translate an English sentence into Japanese, for future reference."
I'm not ready to give up my dream yet.



Did you enjoy reading this article?
If so, vote for this site by clicking the links below, please.
人気blogランキング
にほんブログ村 英会話ブログ

posted by Rach at 08:31| Comment(4) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
この記事へのコメント
In spite of my teacher’s advice, I used to use only an E-J dictionary at school. That was the quick and easy way for me. I liked English much better than, say, physics but it was just one of the subjects I had to deal with. Now I enjoy reading, writing, hearing and speaking stuff in English using both E-J and E-E dictionaries, which have their respective roles.

You’re taking a step closer to your dream every day. Keep it up, Rach!

Posted by Mayumi.K at 2006年11月26日 18:30
Dear Mayumi.K
Thank you for your English comment.
When I was a student, I didn't even have an E-E dictionary. I thought only professionals use the E-E dictionary.

Now, the more I want to understand English, the more I need the E-E dictionary. I know the importance and the effectiveness of using the E-E dictionary. But I can't stop using the E-J dictionary... why?
I've thought I have to explain the reason why I still use the E-J dictionary some time on my blog. So I wrote this article. It's not that I recommend someone to use the E-J dictionary. But I think the E-J dictionary has it own role and function, like you said.

Translator... If I could become a translator, I would be so happy. I'm so glad that you cheered me up. I don't know when, how... but just the thought of it gets me excited!
Posted by Rach at 2006年11月27日 11:11
Dear Rach,

hi I'm Emily and am new face here.
I was looking for something about "Friends",the TV dorama in the states,and accidentally hit on your site.I thank God that He guids
me to your site.in these days I'm enjoying your blog,because I am a big fan of friends also and love to study English!

Now this essay's thema was "dictionary",right...?
I often use Yahoo dictionary when I write mails to my friends who speak English,but I have been felt that translation from Japanese to English cannot be happened in the way "one to one";I mean direct transration doesn't work.
I have been watched this dorama by myself before I found your site and through it I got a lot of sentences and nuance from it.
Before I started to watch it, whenever I tried to write in English,I had to open my J-E dictianaly to make some English sentences.But it didn't work;my English-speak friends couldn't get me.Recently I am enjoying to open my E-E dictionaly.There is very wonderful and interesting world in this book.
Of course i still need my another dictionaly when I meet some strange English words that I have never seen.

Oh,sorry,it might not suit your essay...Please forgive me if I bother you.
Thank you for your reading.
I am looking forward to see your new blog.

Take care!

Best regards.

Emily.

Posted by Emily at 2006年12月02日 02:31
Dear Emily

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a wonderful comment!
Glad to hear you are enjoying my blog.

This essay's theme was supposed to be "translation", but all I was talking about is "dictionary", right?
In this sense, I'm afraid this essay might be illogical and incoherent. I realized it before posting this piece, but I didn't know how to revise this article... Maybe I have to learn how to write an essay logically.

Especially when writing English, the E-J dictionary doesn't work. The E-J dictionary cannot provide me with 'natural' expressions. The E-J dictionary just gives me information about words. However, I cannot deny that I sometimes need that kind of information when interpreting the lines in 'Friends'.

Whereas the E-E dictionary has a lot of 'natural' sentences and phrases. I feel that just reading it improves my English ablity. I always have the E-E dictionary at hand when I write pieces in Japanese, not to mention in English. I think the definition of the E-E dictionary is very convincing and persuasive in explaining the images of words, phrases & sentences.

I really appreciate your candid opinion. I'm also looking forward to reading your new comment.

Sincerely,
Rach
Posted by Rach at 2006年12月02日 09:20
コメントを書く
お名前: [必須入力]

メールアドレス:

ホームページアドレス:

コメント: [必須入力]

認証コード: [必須入力]


※画像の中の文字を半角で入力してください。