Translation and Retroversion - Do You Know the Difference?

This will be a short and sweet article which aim is to pinpoint the importance of both translation and retroversion when learning a new language.

I think everyone knows what translations are - when you try to reproduce in the wanted language something you say in yours.

But do you know what retroversion is? It’s the process in which you express in your language something that has been in another language before.

When one tries to learn any language, he confronts very much with translations. Which are indeed very important because:

  • They help you understand how the structure you use works in the wanted language
  • They are a great means of learning new words
  • They help you to understand the context of certain words
  • They make it easier for you to learn the wanted language because you can use your native language


A less used method, however, is the retroversion one. I don’t understand why, as the method, although might be frustrating for the learner, in the beginning, is very useful. It has the following advantages:

  • It helps you to better adapt the sayings and the words to your language
  • It helps you to get used to the wanted language structure
  • It helps you to learn words by deducing them out of context
  • It makes you get used to the language


Both are important when you try to learn a new language, so I’d recommend combining them for the best results.

Which method do you prefer?

Have inspiration,

Rebecca Radd

Published by Rebecca Radd


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