23 Nov “When I grow up…”
“…I want to be a translator.” Although not as common as “superhero” or “fireman” or “doctor,” some children decide early that they love languages and want to work in a linguistics-related field when they grow up. Children who are raised in a bilingual environment or have early contact with another language are especially likely to realize the excitement that comes from knowing two or more languages, and some might decide they want to use those language skills for the rest of their lives.
If a child expresses an interest in learning or developing skills in another language, here are a few tips from translators to help encourage and assist them:
- Read. Reading is an essential skill in any language, and it will help young students gain more exposure to the language and foreign culture. Start with easy, fun books in the foreign language, and then work toward more advanced texts as the student’s language skills improve. When buying a dictionary or reference book, choose one with more than just black and white on the pages—pictures make the book more interesting and educational.
- Watch foreign-language movies. Start out with familiar films with subtitles or foreign-language dubbing. For older students, encourage them to pay attention to the way the original film was translated and think about how they would translate it if they were the translator. Then move toward actual films from the foreign country. Movies are a great way to practice listening skills and can also help students get a grasp on the culture and heritage of the country and language.
- Computer games. Finding a good foreign-language computer game might require some research. However, video and computer game localization is often more creative and shows the way that a language is actually used in the country better than a book or a movie soundtrack. Finding an appropriate and entertaining game will provide a fun, low-stress for a student to gain exposure to the language.
Click here for more ideas to help aspiring translators master a foreign language.