Most of the people I work with have been learning this language over the past decade or two and now, they want one thing: MORE FLUENCY. So, here is a concept that is essential if you want to speak English fluently.

Go beyond translation and give yourself time to think directly in English!
What? How can I do this?
Ok. Give me a minute.

Recently, I was researching the meaning and etymology of the word «TRANSLATION» (on this site: and this is what I found:

This cool word has been around for 800 years and comes from Old French and earlier, from Latin. It´s first meaning was: to move something sacred from one place to another (like the body of a saint, or some religious relics). Later, it began to mean transforming religious texts into other languages. And now, in English, it just means this: to communicate the same ideas in another language.

I wanted to tell you this so that you can really understand this next part.

The synonyms for the verb TO TRANSLATE are:

To go beyond                   –  ir más allá
carry (something) across – llevar algo al otro lado
To pass through               – atravesar

All of the phrases imply going from one side to the other, but not about staying in between.
Being stuck (atascado)  in translation is being stuck in between.

Let’s go back to the question.  How can you go beyond translation and find more speaking fluency in English?

Eva had this insight early one morning:

What does it mean to have enough English? How many words and phrases do you need? How much grammar and pronunciation?

It seems to be subjective. Very subjective! Most of the people I work with don´t feel they have enough. They all come wanting more; more words, more structures and better accents.

Then, during the sessions, they tell me stories about people they know who have much less English than them, but who have much more fluency.

Miguel said this: “I can hear others making mistakes AND I can hear how fluently they are speaking EVEN with these mistakes. I hate this!”

So, What is their secret? How can they do this? Each person has a unique way and, over years of exploring this this, I have two observations:

  • Accept the limitations of your English and recognize that it is enough for now. Later you will have more.

  • Change your pace (ritmo). Try speaking more slowly. Use filler words (OK, So, and SILENCE). Some silence is OK. Give yourself enough time to find and use the English you have.

Because, when you use what you already have, you can go beyond translation. Translation is a limitation and when you go beyond translation, you begin to think IN English. And when you do this, you will find your way to speak English more fluently.

Here is a poem I wrote, inspired by this idea:


Let us go beyond our classroom walls
of word-for-word translation.

Let us walk outside,
cross over bridges,
pass through tunnels and
carry our ideas across to each other
into this open space
where we have room
to go beyond our classroom walls.

(April 2, 2018)


That´s enough for now.
I hope you find more speaking fluency in English.
And when you do, I´d love to hear from you.