How To STOP Mental Translation? – Stop Translating in Your Head

July 11, 2019 - Priscila Pereira

No Comments


Hey student!

Do you have problems with Mental Translation? 

What is that?

Mental translation is when you constantly translate things in your head from Portuguese (or your native langague) to English before you speak. However, you need time to do that and consequently you get stuck, because you spend too much time thinking of translations.


It is important that you understand why you translate all the time. Here are few popular reasons:

  1. We feel the need (necessity) to have EXACT explanations. Probably, since the beginning of your English journey, your study methods made you addicted to translating. No one showed you it is possible to understand without translating things.
  2. We want to associate our language with English because we don’t completely  understand the English references. Learning a language is about understand the culture as a whole, and sometimes we don’t understand certain references, so it is more convenient to create references in our language.
  3. We don’t undertand the cultural and historical aspect of the English language and the impact it has on our speaking.
  4. NO ONE showed you HOW to study differently. After all, it is so easy and convenient to just translate words.


  1. You have been translating for a long time. Stopping will be a challenge, because when you do one thing for a long time, it becomes a habit and our brain LOVES habits because habits make our brain go on auto-pilot mode.
  2. You have never studied in a different way that will help you understand without translating.
  3. Your environment stimulates translation
  4. You don’t follow the right study routine to help you change that.



Answering this question will depend on HOW:

  1. dedicated you are to a new routine. Are you willing to try something different that will take time but will help you?
  2. Open-minded you are. Not many people feel comfortable only knowing explanations, some people feel upset when they don’t have the exact translations. Why? Because they were accostumed with the wrong mindset.



  1. You need to study specific vocabulary exercises and combine them with Speaking (even if you practice alone)
  2. practice explaining words and actions rather than just googling the translations. In the beginning, you will translate mentally, it is ok. But write down explanations, read the explanations aloud and study the explanations. Don’t spend time focusing on the translation and you will gradually notice the difference.


I have a short and sweet exercise to help you do that. I will write down a list of 7 words. Write the explanations for each word (in English and post them in the comments) These are easy words that many times we only know how to translate but if we are asked to explain in English, we get stuck. Small exercises like this one will help you stop translating and gradulally start thinking in English.

Seguidores Brasileiros

Se você está estudando inglês faz um tempão mas na hora de falar não sai, está na hora de você conhecer os 7 passos para falar o inglês real. Se você quer descobrir o que é o inglês real e como você pode sair da teoria de uma vez por todas e finalmente alcançar fluência no inglês, baixe meu ebook gratuito (do lado desta página, é só cadastrar seu e-mail). Ele prático e objetivo e além do manual, toda semana você irá receber conteúdos exclusivos para ajudar você a falar igual os gringos


If you want, you can also watch a video I made about this subejct. Check it out.




Teacher Prix.

Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *