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Dangers of Using Your Mother Tongue To Learn English

Everybody in the world knows that English is a very important language and without it, you cannot reach the top of your field. So everybody who knows the importance of English, wants to learn it too. For many students the idea of learning English using their own mother tongue is a great idea. They think that knowing the meaning of everything that is present in English will enable them to understand and speak English more easily than learning English in English.

Many students argue about learning English in English and they give this excuse that they do not understand a word of English, how are they supposed to understand it? But, if they translate words in their own mother tongue it becomes quite easy for them to learn English. Well, I do not deny the fact that this method may be useful if used properly but it has a lot of limitations and cannot  and must not be used to learn different topics.

The Method of Translation.... The worst way

The fact is, students who learn English using their own mother tongues actually follow the method of translation. Learning English in your mother tongue and learning English using your mother tongue is different. If a teacher teaches you English in your mother tongue without the method of translation, then all is well. But if you learn English with the method of translation using your mother tongue, then it is a disaster. The method of translation is the worst way to learn English. In the beginning, using this method, you will feel that you know a lot of English which may be true to some extent. But as your level increases this method is impossible to learn English.

I know students who have been trying to learn English for more than 10 years or even longer than that and still cannot speak English. The reason is learning English using their mother tongue. There are many things which can't be learnt this way, you may have a meaning of "DOOR" in your mother tongue, but do you have any meaning of "COMPUTER" in your mother tongue. I bet you do not. Likewise, there are countless other words which cannot be translated into your mother tongue.

The Biggest Mistake While Learning Tenses

The worst thing students do, is learning Tenses, Modal Verbs , Causative Verbs, Active Passive etc. using the method of translation, which is a complete failure. Ask your self how do you try to learn these things? Do you follow the method of translation to learn English? If you do, I bet you cannot speak English properly. Tenses cannot and must not be learnt this way. The only way to learn them, is to know their uses. Each Tense has different uses. There are some tenses which show the present , the past and the future time. Present Simple Tense, for example, can show all of the three times. So those people who follow the method of translation can never know it because they never learn uses, they always translate.

Is your Pronunciation Correct?

It is not just the translation, people even pronounce English like their mother tongue. I do not say that you must have American Accent or British Accent. There is a great difference between Accent and Pronunciation. I am talking about pronunciation. Every language has boundaries, so does yours. It is quite possible that all the sounds present in English may not be in your mother tongue. I had a student from Africa and his mother tongue was Arabic. You might know that Arabic does not have "Paa", "Chaa" sound. So, whenever my student wanted to say "party" he pronounced it like "barty" and whenever he wanted to say "chair" he said "jair". I know what you are thinking that it was his mistake. The sounds are so different from each other, yes you are right, they are really different and anybody, even a child can tell you the difference. But, ask those whose first language is Arabic, how difficult it is for them to change their pronunciation. The same goes with your mother tongue too, you may be thinking that you can pronounce all of the sounds of English, Think again. Have your pronunciation tested by a good English teacher (who knows pronunciation).

So, it is not just learning English grammar but also the pronunciation of words. You remember, I told you that you can learn English in your mother tongue and not using your mother tongue. Yes, you can learn any language English in your mother tongue, if you do not follow the method of translation and learn the uses of tenses, if you learn how to use can, if you learn what to use when  you want to suggest something. This way of learning English using you mother tongue is fine. But still, I strongly recommend learning English in English which is the best way. You never knew any language before speaking your own mother tongue. How did you learn your mother tongue?

I hope that you have now understood how dangerous it can be if you learn English using the method of translation. You might have noticed that we we have video tutorials in English and In Urdu, but we teach IN URDU not USING URDU.

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