East Asia Student

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Use Tatoeba whenever you read your target language

The Tatoeba project logo

As it’s Tatoeba Day #2 today, here’s a quick tip about benefiting from the project in your studies.

If you’re not already aware, Tatoeba is a collaborative project to collate translations of sentences in as many languages as possible. It’s a very clever idea and is growing at lightning pace.

One cool thing you can do is search for sentences in your target language that don’t have a translation into your native language. This often provides very accessible translation practice, and as a bonus you’re contributing to the online community.

Another good use of Tatoeba is to add any translation work you’re doing. There are two reasons for this:

  • You might as well contribute the translated sentence and its original if you’re doing the translation anyway.
  • It forces you to a high standard of translation.

The second point is the most important. If you’re reading through a text in your target language, it’s very easy to sort of skim and just make sure there’s nothing that you couldn’t say out loud in your native language (or whatever language you’re translating into). However, if you’ve got to actually write out a sentence that anyone online can look at and check, it’s great motivation to do a thorough job of it.

This pays off as you go into the material in greater depth and pay attention to detail in your translation.

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