What Vocabulary is Important for me?

The type of vocabulary important for you is the vocabulary that is important for you. No one can tell you, because only you know what vocabulary you need for your everyday life. At the same time, you probably don’t know it yourself, because you tend not to pre-plan vocabulary for the day. In contrast, vocabulary is created and so different needs for vocabulary and phrases themselves accompany us every day.

There tends to be not “the” vocabulary to master a foreign language, but the vocabulary in which you master your own language in a foreign language. At the same time, you need vocabulary you don’t know you need. Here, “the” vocabulary is a reference to language situations that cannot be planned and that often cause insecurities or the well-known language anxiety in everyday language situations.

In order to learn vocabulary specifically, it is important that the vocabulary has personal meaning. Unfortunately, in secondary language learning, this meaning is often taken away. This is done by students learning phrases and vocabulary that often fit ideal situations or situations where conversations can be kept short or are not really meant to take place. Such an example is a PowerPoint presentation, where you can learn the language by heart, similar to a poem.

Analytical English Class.

The problem with finding and learning “the” vocabulary is often that it is idealistic and secondly that it offers little room for deviation. This arises from becoming fixated on the vocabulary that has been learned. If I have learned to say “Please have a seat and Would you like a cup of tea?” I have not learned not to say it but to say what fits for the moment “I am tired today. I went to karaoke last night!” as an example.

Pre-learned phrases can snag us a bit of authenticity and therefore the possibilities that could arise from our vocabulary. “Oh you went to karaoke? I love this! I did karaoke months ago and had such a great time. How about having our business chat over karaoke instead of coffee downstairs?” “Oh, really? Sounds great to me. What song are you into?” or depending on your personality ” I’d like a karaoke session with you too, but I prefer having the meeting at the office, because I can focus better. Would you be up for both?” “Yes sure.”

What vocabulary is important for you? Find out with me. My English lessons are integrated into everyday life as much as possible, so that we can find out vocabulary and phrases that suit you and, above all, are important. Because I do not actively provide curricular and vocabulary lists, we work out both passively. The advantage of this is learning with conversational insecurities and confidently approaching individual vocabulary and phrases – with my help. The result is an authentic appearance in the foreign language, which often makes it easier to maintain relationships and individual (business) needs in the other language.

What does lost in translation mean?

Lost in Translation means that the meaning given to a word or phrase is lost in translation. This can lead to misunderstandings. Let’s take the question “Do you like the Big Apple?”. If you translate the question word to word, in another language, the most basic assumption would be, whether you like to eat the fruit apple and conclusively apples in larger size. You want to answer of course and may think “Hmm. Yes, I like big apples and I’ll settle for small ones too.” The answer is being translated and you say “Yes, most often.” , or “Not much” because you don’t like apples, for example.

What is meant with the question “Do you like the big apple?”. In the example, “The Big Apple” is used as a reference point or in other words as a nickname for the metropolis “New York” in the United States. It is known as “The Big Apple”. Now you could wonder, why would someone not directly ask you whether you like New York instead of asking you if you like “The Big Apple”. This can have different reasons, for example having a different cultural backgrounds, where the term is commonly used or in other examples having different interests, or different meanings attached to what is being said. Does it matter that much? you may wonder.

It does matter, because by giving words different meanings, the expected result runs risk of being different then what was expected or hoped for. So imagine you set up a meeting with a counterpartner and that partner wants to set up a business in the United States. When they approach you and ask how you like the Big Apple (their primary choice of business location) and hear back that this is something you really don’t like, maybe never liked, that person might go on to look for another business partner. Worse, both of you might even be outraged, since it was clear to both of you why you met; “Lost in Translation”.

Sure, that’s quite the example. However, it can happen quite quickly. In my language teaching, I pay attention to what you mean and therefore, the message you want to convey. I listen and offer word alternatives to reduce”lost in translation”. Most of the time I succeed by using simple expressions. Why simple? Too often we get tangled up in long sentences and the longer the sentences, the more risk for “Lost in Translation”, or in other words “miscommunication”. Second, many words do not exist in the other languages.

Want to get to know your way of communicating better or have me help you become better in English? I offer language classes to German native speakers and non German native speakers. The benefit? If you can explain it to me, you can explain it to someone else too. Real-life learning.