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70ways to improve your English
[Image: 421_Happy-English-Test-students.JPG]

70ways to improve your English


1. Start your own English language blog. Even for people who don’t have to write in English, writing can be a great way of properly learning the kind of vocabulary you need to describe your own life and interests, and of thinking about how to stop making grammar mistakes. The problem most people have is that they don’t know what to write about. One traditional way to make sure you write every day in English is to write an English diary (journal), and a more up to date way of doing this is to write a blog. Popular topics include your language learning experience, your experience studying abroad, your local area, your language, or translations of your local news into English.

2. Write a news diary. Another daily writing task that can work for people who would be bored by writing about their own routines in a diary is to write about the news that you read and listen to everyday. If you include your predictions for how you think the story will develop (e.g. “I think Hillary will become president”), this can give you a good reason to read old entries another time, at which time you can also correct and mistakes you have made and generally improve what you have written.

3. Sign up for a regular English tip. Some websites offer a weekly or even daily short English lesson sent to your email account. If your mobile phone has an e-mail address, it is also possible to have the tips sent to your phone to read on the way to work or school. Please note, however, that such services are not usually graded very well to the levels of different students, and they should be used as a little added extra or revision in your English studies rather than as a replacement for something you or your teacher have chosen more carefully as what you need to learn.

4. Listen to MP3s. Although buying music on the internet is becoming more popular in many countries, not so many people know that you can download speech radio such as audio books (an actor reading out a novel) and speech radio. Not only is this better practice for your English than listening to English music, from sources like Scientific American, BBC and Australia’s ABC Radio it is also free.

5. Listen to English music. Even listening to music while doing something else can help a little for things like getting used to the natural rhythm and tone of English speech, although the more time and attention you give to a song the more you will learn from listening to it again in the future.

6. Read the lyrics to a song. Although just listening to a song in English can be a good way of really learning the words of the chorus in an easily memorable way, if you want to really get something out of listening to English music you will need to take some time to read the lyrics of the song with a dictionary. If the lyrics are not given in the CD booklet, you may be able to find them on the internet, but please note that some lyrics sites deliberately put a few errors into their lyrics for copyright reasons. Once you have read and understood the lyrics, if you then listen and read at the same time, this can be a good way of understanding how sounds change in fast, natural, informal speech.

7. Sing karaoke in English. The next stage after understanding and memorising a song is obviously to sing it. Although some words have their pronunciation changed completely to fit in with a song, most of the words have the same sounds and stressed syllables as in normal speech. Remembering which words rhyme at the end of each line can also be a good way of starting to learn English pronunciation.

8. Write a film, music, hotel or book review. Another motivating and easy way to make yourself write in English is to write a review for a site such as Amazon or Internet Movie Database. Many non-native speakers write reviews on sites like this, and if you have some special understanding of the book, music or film due to your first language or knowing the artist personally, that would be very interesting for the English speakers who read and write reviews on the site.

9. Only search in English. Switching your search engine to the English language version of msn, yahoo, Google etc. can not only be a good way of practising fast reading for specific information in English, but could also give you a wider choice of sites to choose from and give you an idea of what foreigners are writing about your country and area.

10. Read a book you’ve already read or seen the movie of in your own language. Although most language learners under Advanced level would probably learn more from reading a graded reader or something from the internet than they would from reading an original book written for English speakers, for some people reading something like Harry Potter in the original can be a great motivator to improve their English. To make this easier for you and make sure that it motivates you rather than just making your tired, try reading a book that you already know the story of. This not only makes it easier to understand and guess vocabulary, but you are also more likely to remember the language in it. If you have not read the book before, reading a plot summary from the internet can also help in the same way.

11. Read a translation into English. Another way of making sure books are easier to understand is to choose a book that was originally translated into English, preferably from your own language. Even if you haven’t read the book in your own language, you will find the English is written in a slightly simplified way that is more similar to how your own language is written than a book originally written in English would be.

12. Skip the first ten pages. If you have given up with a book in English or are reading it very slowly, try skimming through the first ten pages or skipping them completely. The start of most books tend to be mainly description and are therefore full of difficult vocabulary and don’t have a clear story line yet to help you understand what is happening and to motivate you to turn the next page. If the book is still too difficult even after the introductionary part is finished, it is probably time to give that book up for now and try it again after you have read some easier things.

13. Read a book with lots of dialogue. Opening up books before you buy one and flicking through them to find one with lots of direct dialogue in it has several advantages. If there is less text on the page due to all the speech marks etc, this can make it easier to read and easier to write translations on. Dialogue is also much easier to understand than descriptive parts of a book, and is much more like the language you will want to learn in order to be able to speak English.

14. Read English language comics. Even more than books with lots of dialogue, comics can be easy to understand and full of idiomatic language as it is actually spoken. There can be difficulties with slang, difficult to understand jokes and/ or dialogue written how people speak rather than with normal spellings, so try to choose which comic carefully. Usually, serious or adventure comics are easier to understand than funny ones.

15. Read English language entertainment guides. Nowadays most big cities in the world have an English language magazine and/ or online guide to the movies, plays, exhibitions that are on in the city that week. Reading this in English is not only good value, but it could also guide you to places that English speakers are interested in and where you might hear some English spoken around you.

16. Read English language magazines. Like books, if you can read two versions of the same magazine (Newsweek in your language and in English, for example), that could make understanding it much easier.

17. Take a one week intensive course. Although you cannot expect to come out of a very short course speaking much better English than when you started it, if you continue studying a little over the following weeks and months, the knowledge you gained then will gradually come out and mean that your level of speaking, listening etc. are better than they would have been if you hadn’t taken that course. This positive effect can still be true up to a year later.

18. Follow your intensive course up with an extensive course. The more time you can spend studying English the better, but studying periodic intensive courses with a few hours of study a week in between is probably better value for money than any other system as it gives your brain time to subconsciously learn and start using the new language you have learnt before you introduce the next new “chunk” of language.

19. Supplement your group class with a one to one class. Another good way to combine two different kinds of classes is to study both in a group class and one to one. Having a one to one teacher, even if just a couple of times a month, will mean that you can be taught exactly the language that you need, that you will have more time to speak, and that you can have as much error correction as you like.

20. Supplement your one to one class with a group class. The benefits of having a group class are often less clear to students, but they include the fact that you will learn to deal with several people speaking at once, have a chance to practice skills such as interrupting people, and will hear a range of different viewpoints and topics.

21. Teach your children or friends some English. Recent research has shown that elder children tend to be a couple of IQ points above their younger siblings, and the most likely reason is that explaining things to their little brothers and sisters gives them an intellectual boost. In the same way, teaching someone lower level than you the English you already know is a great way of permanently fixing that knowledge in your own brain.

22. Ask your company to start English lessons. Even if you don’t need to speak English at work, English lessons can be a fun and reasonably priced way for your company to spend their training budget in a popular way.

23. Have English radio on in the background while you are doing your housework. Even if you are not listening carefully, it will help you get a feel for natural English rhythm and intonation.

24. Play English language learning games on your Nintendo DS. Although such games can have quite random language and are unlikely to improve your ability to speak English on their own, the next time you hear or read the same language elsewhere it will be really fixed in your brain by the fact you have played a game with it in already. It is also a nice way of taking a break from your other English studies while also doing some English. To make sure it really is a break and to avoid wasting time learning language from the game that is not much used in daily life, don’t bother writing down any new language you see in the game, but just try to learn it from playing the game again.

25. Say or think what you are doing in English as you do your daily tasks. As you are doing your chores, try creating sentences describing what you are doing, e.g. ‘I am unscrewing the ketchup bottle cap’. This gets you used to thinking in English without translating, and can be a good way of seeing what simple vocabulary that is around you everyday you don’t know. yet

26. Watch English language films with English subtitles. For people who can’t understand a film without subtitles but find themselves not listening at all when reading subtitles in their own language, this should be the way of watching a film that you should aim for. If it is too difficult to watch the whole film this way, try watching the (usually important) first 10 or 15 minutes of the film with subtitles in your own language, switch to English subtitles after that, and only switch back to subtitles in your own language if you get totally lost following the story of the film.

27. Watch films in your language with English subtitles. If you are finding English films with English subtitles too difficult or you can’t find English films with English subtitles in your local video shop, this is a good second best option. Looking for local films with English subtitles can also sometimes be a good sign of quality, as it means the producers of the film are expecting it to be popular internationally as well.

28. Watch English films with subtitles in your language. Again, this is not as good practice as English language films with English subtitles, but is more relaxing, can be easier to find suitable DVDs for, and is also possible with VHS.

29. Watch the same film or TV episode over and over again. This can not only save you money on DVDs, but will mean that you can really learn the language without having to study it. Some comedies can also get funnier the more you watch them, especially if you watch them with no subtitles and so understand a little more each time you watch it.

30. Be realistic about your level. One thing that holds many language learners back is actually trying too hard and tackling something that their brain is not ready for yet. Checking your level with a level check test on the internet, by taking an English language test (FCE, CAE, IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL etc.), or by taking a free trial level check and/ or lesson in a language school will help you find out what your level is and so choose suitable self-study materials.

31. Be realistic about your reading level. Most researchers agree that people learn most when reading something they understand almost all of. If there are one or two words per page that you have never seen before, that is about the right level. If there are three or more on every page, you should switch to something easier and come back later.

32. Read graded readers (= easy readers). These are books that are especially written for language learners like you, e.g. Penguin Readers. Although it can be difficult to find something as interesting as things written in newspapers or on the internet, in terms of learning the language only people who need to read for their work or an exam usually gain more from reading things written for graded readers. Graded readers of classic books like Charles Dickens also have the benefit of giving you a lot of knowledge about the literature, and culture more generally, of English speaking countries in a short time.

33. Read the whole thing with no help. Although using a dictionary has been shown to help with both short term and long term learning of vocabulary, the fact that using it slows reading down can stop some people reading in English at all. Reading a whole book quickly through just for pleasure from time to time will help you remember how fun reading in another language can be.

34. Read and learn everything. At the opposite extreme, it can be hard work but very satisfying to get to the end of a book knowing that you have learnt every word in it. See other tips on this page to make sure it is a book that is easy enough to do this with and to ensure that the vocabulary you learn is useful.

35. Watching English children’s films or TV programmes. Although some of the vocabulary you can learn from things made for children can be a bit strange (lots of animal names and maybe animal noises, including baby names for things), the fact that not only the language but the structure of the story is simplified can make it an easy and motivating thing to watch. Like good language learning materials, the same language is also often repeated to make it memorable, and the use of catchy songs etc. can increase this positive effect on your memory.

36. Read English children’s books. This is very similar to watching English children’s movies, but with the added advantage of there being more illustrations than adult books, which both helps you to understand the story and makes the page brighter and more motivating to read.

37. Keep a list of language to learn, e.g. a vocab list. Even if you don’t often find time to go though your vocab list and it keeps on building up, just the act of choosing which words you need to learn and writing them down on a special list can help you learn them.

38. Go through your vocab list several times every day. If ticking off words on a vocabulary list on the train to work is inconvenient or embarrassing for you, you can keep your list of words to learn as an entry in your electronic dictionary, as a mobile phone to do list or as a text file in your MP3 player (e.g. iPod). Although the time spent transferring the information between different formats like these may seem wasted, in fact any time you spend using the vocabulary like this will help you learn it.

39. Convert your vocab list to English only. One way to stop yourself translating and therefore increase your speed of comprehension and production is to learn all your vocabulary without the use of your own first language. Ways you can write a vocab list in only English include with synonyms (words with the same meaning, e.g. “tall” and “high”); with opposites (“high” and “low”); with pronunciation factors such as number of syllables (the number of beats, e.g. three for “de- ci- sion”) and the word stress (the syllable that is pronounced louder and longer, e.g. the second syllable in “baNAna”); and gapped sentences (e.g. “I am not _________________ in science fiction” for the word “interested”).

40. Cross out and delete. Crossing out or deleting words, sentences or whole pages that you have learnt can be a great motivator, and save your list of things to learn becoming too big to handle.

41. Throw everything away and start again. One of the things that can put most people off learning is a stack of half finished books or a huge list vocabulary waiting to be learnt. Simply getting rid of all that and starting again with something new from zero can be a great motivator and get your studies underway again.

42. Label things in your house or office with post-its. The easiest vocabulary to learn is the vocabulary of things you see and use everyday. If you can write the names of things around you on slips of paper and stick them on the real thing, this is a great way of learning useful vocabulary. If you can leave them there over the following days and weeks, this is a very easy way of revising the vocabulary until it is properly learnt.

43. Label a drawing. For people who can’t put labels on real things, the next best option is to take a photo of a real place in your life like your office, print it out, and then draw lines to all of the things you can see in the picture and label them in English with the help of a dictionary. You can do the same thing with places you pass through everyday like the station. Because you will see the same thing again and again, it should be easy to really learn the words for those things.

44. Keep a diary in English. This is a popular method of making sure you use English everyday for people who don’t often speak English and can’t think of things to write about. The fact that you are writing about real things that have happened to you means that any words you look up in the dictionary will be vocabulary that is useful for you and easy to learn.

45. Online chat. The closest thing to speaking for people who don’t have the chance to speak English is online chat, as you have to think and respond quickly, and the language is short and informal just like speech.

46. Listen to the radio news in English. You can make this easier by reading the news in English first, or even just by reading or listening to the news in your own language.

47. Read an English language newspaper. Freebie newspapers like “Metro” in London are usually the easiest to understand, followed by mid-brow titles like “The Daily Express” or “The Daily Mail” in English. Popular newspapers like “The Sun” are more difficult because of the idiomatic, slangy use of language and the number of jokes in the headlines and articles.

48. Write fiction in English, e.g. short stories. For people who find writing a diary about things that happen to them everyday boring, the best thing is to let your imagination go and write about whatever comes into your head. The advantage of this is that if you can’t think of how to say something in English, you can just change the story to something that is easier to explain. Perhaps the easiest way to start writing fiction in English is with a diary, changing any details you like to make it more interesting and adding more and more fantasy as the weeks go on.

49. English language exercise videos. This is quite similar to how babies learn, by listening, watching and copying. It is also good for your health!

50. Learn a famous speech or poem in English by heart. Although you may never hear or get the chance to say exactly that line, having one memorable example of an English grammatical form in your head can make it much easier to learn other examples of the same grammar as you hear them. It is also something you can practice over and over without being as boring as grammatical drills.

51. Get tipsy (= a little drunk) before speaking English. This can not only improve your fluency while you are drinking, but can also improve your confidence in future days and weeks by showing you that you can communicate what you want to say.

52. Use a dictionary while you are watching a movie. Films often have the same words many times, so if you look up important words the first or second time you hear them, you should have learnt them by the end of the film. It is easier to use a dictionary if you watch with English subtitles.

53. Learn and use the phonemic script. Although there are many sounds in English, there are even more spellings. By learning the phonemic script and writing vocabulary down with it, you can both add another stage to your vocabulary learning that should help you learn it more thoroughly, and improve your pronunciation. It can also make things easier for you by stopping you trying to pronounce different spellings of the same pronunciation different ways.

54. Learn some spelling rules. Many people think that English spelling is random, but in fact most words follow some kind of rule, e.g. the “magic E” that changes the pronunciation of “mad” and “made”.

55. Record your own voice. For people who don’t have much or any correction of pronunciation from a teacher, recording yourself and listening back makes it easier to hear whether you are really making the English sounds that you are trying to or not.

56. Use computer pronunciation analysis. Although most programmes that claim to tell you when you are pronouncing correctly or not don’t actually do that, listening many times and seeing how your voice changes as you try to match the sounds and waveform given by a pronunciation CD ROM can be good practice and more motivating than just recording your own voice.

57. Learn as many words as you can of one category, e.g. animal words. Learning similar words together can both expand your overall vocabulary and make them easier to learn by forming links between the words in your brain.

58. Take holidays abroad. This is not only a good opportunity to speak English in situations where you really have to make yourself understood in order to live, but it is also a good motivator to study English seriously in the weeks and months before your trip. If possible, also try to use English even when you could use your own language, e.g. when you pick a guided tour of a museum or historic place or when you book a flight on the internet, and try to avoid package tours.

59. Draw pictures of the words you want to learn. Especially if you are artistic, this can be a better way of learning vocabulary than writing translations or example sentences.

60. Find a foreign boyfriend or girlfriend. No tips on how to do this here, but everyone agrees that getting or even just looking for a date in English can be a great motivator to improve your language skills.

61. Arrange a conversation exchange. Swapping lessons and conversation with someone who wants to learn your language can be a good alternative for those who aren’t looking for romance, or can sometimes lead onto dating for those who are!

62. Sign up for an English language exam. Even if you don’t need to take an exam and don’t want to or can’t take a special course to study for it, paying to take an exam like TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS or FCE can really motivate you take your English studies seriously.

63. Model your accent on one particular actor. e.g. try to speak like Robert De Niro. Students who say they want to sound more like a native speaker have the problem that native speakers don’t sound all that much like each other. Choosing one model can make the task of improving your pronunciation more clear, and is quite fun. Doing an impression of that person also makes a good party trick.

64. Use an English-English dictionary. Trying to use a bilingual dictionary less and switching to a monolingual one can help you to stop translating in you head when you are speaking or listening, and other useful English vocabulary can come up while you are using the dictionary.

65. Occasionally talk to or e-mail your friends in English. Many people find this a bit false or embarrassing, but if you think of it as a study club and set a particular time and/ or place, it is no different from studying maths together.

66. Go to an English or Irish pub. As well as having a menu in English and being a good way of finding out something about the culture of English speaking countries, you might also find there are free English language listings magazines, English language sports on the TV and/ or foreign people you can speak to.

67. Buy a speaking electronic dictionary. Although most electronic dictionaries are not as good as paper ones for the amount of information they give you about each word, some of them have the very useful function of saying the word with the correct pronunciation.

68. Learn your electronic dictionary vocabulary list. Most electronic dictionaries also have a button which you can push to see the last 30 or more words you looked up. By deleting words you decide are useless or you have already learnt from this list, you can use it as a “to do list” of words to learn that you can look at several times a day in the train etc.

69. Switch operating system to English. Changing the operating language of your mobile phone, video recorder etc. to English can be an easy way of making sure you use the language everyday.

70. Set goals. Deciding how many hours you want to study, how many words you want to learn or what score you want to get in a test are all good ways of making sure you do extra study.


Source: http://www.usingenglish.com/

How to Boost Your English Skills

by Sally Jennings

Note: this is written for North American English as a Second Language students.

British, Australian and South African learners will have to adjust the country and book title information.

If you are studying English as a foreign language, you can still use many of these suggestions. Many resources are available free on the Internet, including books online, dictionaries and thesauri. Even if you cannot buy books or borrow library books in English, you can still find written and audio material to learn English online.

____________________________
Are you stuck at the intermediate level of English?

Can't seem to learn as fast as you did when you were first learning English?

You need to build more complex grammar patterns in your brain.

You need to have a larger vocabulary of single words, and of combined expressions (idioms).

The more correct English you see and hear, the easier it will be to speak and write English correctly.

If you want to write essays well, you have to read essays and study their structure.

If you want to write essays well, you must study patterns of all kinds, from the overall structure of compositions, to the smallest structures within sentences. The competent use of pattern combined with appropriate word choice results in powerful writing.

Finally, if you want to write essays well, you must practice writing. There is no escape from this step!

As a tutor of ESL, I offer this advice to boost your English skills:

1. Buy a good grammar book with examples of usage such as the Little Brown Handbook, and a good dictionary (The Funk and Wagnalls Canadian College Dictionary, or The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language), and use them to look up grammar or words you don't know.

2. Buy a paperback Roget's Thesaurus and look up synonyms for words you already know to increase your vocabulary. My links page at http://www.speak-read-write.com/links.html has a link to an online thesaurus.

3. Try using a fill-in-the-blank book for grammar exercises. Choose one with answers in the back, or with a CD. Using a book like this establishes patterns you need when you are writing and speaking.

4. To improve your spoken English, search the Internet for an audio ESL site. Some search terms to use would be "learn English audio".

5. To improve your vocabulary in the discipline you are studying, read essays and magazine articles in that discipline. If you are studying business, read business magazines. If you are studying science, read science magazines. You need to learn the patterns and expressions (technical jargon) used by the professionals in your field of study.

6. Keep a book to write words and phrases you learn, and review it from time to time. Write down phrases you want to learn to understand, and search for them online.

7. Read articles in the newspaper or online to improve your grammar. The Associated Press and other news agencies provide news written in standard English. Look for the words "Associated Press" or "AP", or "Reuters" between the headline and body of the article.

8. Read news online and newspaper columns for idioms. The columnists are expressing personal opinions, so they are free to use non-standard, less-formal English. If you are looking for idiomatic casual speech expressions, read what the columnists write. Columnists may show a byline with their own names above their articles, or have their names at the end of their articles. Another newspaper source for idioms is the editorial page, which usually includes the "Letters to the Editor" section, and a column written by the newspaper's editor.

9. If you are a university or college student, you may be able to take an ESL course at your school. Do they have free ESL tutors at your school? If not, you may want to hire a private English tutor.

10. If you are a student, write essays when you don't have to, just for practice. Read three or four articles or essays on the same subject, then put them away and sit down and write a short essay on the same subject. It helps to write when you are not under pressure to earn grades. If you know you will have to write an essay exam of a certain number of words in a certain time, practice writing essays that size in that length of time. If you are using an English tutor, have them proofread the essays.

11. Read a paragraph from an essay out loud to hear the way it sounds. Have someone read the passage to you, while you write it down, phrase by phrase (this is called dictation and transcription). This may help you to remember the idioms, grammar, and patterns in the paragraph. Read it out loud again from your written copy when you have finished.

12. Keep a children’s TV program on in the background at home so you can hear English when you are doing housework. If you have time, stop and listen closely to it from time to time. Children's TV uses basic grammar, simple vocabulary, idiomatic English, clearer, slower pronunciation than everyday street speech, and visual material to explain the action. English TV is especially important for children who do not speak English at home, or who have parents with intermediate or beginner's level English.

13. Listen to TV interview shows (like CNN or Headline News), the late-night news, and talk radio call-in shows. You might also try listening to a radio news channel where you can hear the same news every hour. That way if you miss anything you can hear it again. Practice repeating phrases of the material when you listen to it the second time.

14. Read teenage novels if you are at that level of English. In general, avoid British and Australian novels, and instead read North American books, preferably published after 1950. Ask a librarian for suggestions.

15. Read blogs and forums online to learn informal English, and idioms.

16. Finally, don't give ever up. Even when you aren't studying English, your brain is working on learning what you have studied. You really are learning English all the time, you just don't realize it. It is necessary to continue to work at it to keep your confidence level up, since you will learn more when you feel successful doing it.

To start you on your journey to higher level reading with fluency, I suggest you visit my recommended reading list, at my page Recommended Books.

If you have a good library nearby, you can use the book reviews at an online bookseller to decide whether you want to borrow the book at the library. You still might decide to buy the book after you have read it. Buying books online does not have to be expensive; many online booksellers have used books as well as new books.



?What does Language Level A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 mean
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The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:

Basic Speaker
A1 Breakthrough or beginner
A2 Waystage or elementary
Independent Speaker
B1 Threshold or intermediate
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
Proficient Speaker
C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
C2 Mastery or proficiency


The Common European Framework describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level:


Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.


Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.


Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.


Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

ترجمه،مرگ علم یا به کارگیری علم؟؟

نگاهى به انجام ترجمه به عنوان پایان‌نامه در دوره کارشناسى ارشد مترجمى زبان

شکى نیست که ترجمه سه بعد دارد: علم، فن و هنر. آنچه در دوره کارشناسى مترجمى زبان انگلیسى تدریس مى‌شود بیشتر فن ترجمه است. زیرا از میان ۱۱۸ واحد دروس اختصاصى این رشته فقط ۴ واحد به اصول و نظریه‌هاى ترجمه اختصاص داده شده است: اصول و روش ترجمه ۲ واحد (ترم چهارم) و اصول و مبانى نظرى ترجمه ۲ (ترم پنجم). دروس عملى ترجمه این دوره را دروس ترجمه متون ساده، ترجمه پیشرفته ۱و ۲، ترجمه شفاهى ۱و ۲ و ۳، ترجمه فیلم و نوار، ترجمه متون مطبوعاتى ۱و ۲، ترجمه مکاتبات و اسناد ۱و ۲، ترجمه انفرادى ۱و ۲، ترجمه متون ادبى، ترجمه متون سیاسى و ترجمه متون اقتصادى تشکیل مى‌دهند. هر کدام از این دروس به ارزش ۲ واحد مى‌باشد و در مجموع ۳۲ واحد را تشکیل مى‌دهند. اگر ۴ واحد درس بررسى آثار ترجمه شده اسلامى ۱و ۲ که در واقع به گونه‌اى نقد ترجمه در سطح ابتدایى است را نیز به دروس ذکر شده اضافه کنیم، بنابراین از مجموع ۴۰ واحد دروس این دوره که به گونه‌اى در رابطه با ترجمه است ۴ واحد را اصول و نظریه‌هاى ترجمه، ۳۲ واحد ترجمه عملى و ۴ واحد را نیز نقد ترجمه تشکیل مى‌دهد. بنابراین مى‌توان این دوره را دوره کارشناسى مترجمى (تربیت مترجم) زبان انگلیسى نامید و هدف آن را تربیت مترجمان جهت بازار کار تعریف کرد.

دوره کارشناسى ارشد این رشته با همان نام مترجمى زبان انگلیسى ارائه مى‌شود. دروس این دوره شامل ۲۲ واحد دروس تخصصى اجبارى، ۶ واحد دروس تخصصى انتخابى (اختیارى) و ۴ واحد پایانن امه مى‌باشد. دروس تخصصى اجبارى این رشته شامل ۱۱ درس: زبان‌شناسى کاربردى و ترجمه، روش‌هاى پیشرفته تحقیق و ترجمه، نظریه‌هاى ترجمه، ادب فارسى در ادبیات جهان، واژه‌شناسى و معادل‌گزینى در ترجمه، سمینار مسائل ترجمه، مدل‌هاى ترجمه، نقد و بررسى آثار ترجمه شده اسلامى، ارزشیابى پیشرفته و ترجمه، کارگاه ترجمه و نقد کاربردى در ترجمه است. از میان ۲۲ واحد فقط ۲ واحد کارگاه ترجمه در رابطه با ترجمه عملى است و دیگر واحدها به نظریه‌ها و مطالعات ترجمه مى‌پردازد. آنچه از نام دروس این دوره مشخص است این رشته در دوره کارشناسى ارشد در واقع مطالعات ترجمه است نه مترجمى و تربیت مترجم.

در این راستا آقاى دکتر حسین ملانظر که خود از بنیان‌گذاران دوره کارشناسى ارشد مترجمى زبان انگلیسى و مدیر گروه زبان انگلیسى دانشگاه علامه طباطبایى هستند در مصاحبه‌اى با نشریه درباره ترجمه شماره ۶، درباره هدف و سیاست‌گذارى این رشته اظهار داشته‌اند که در سال‌هاى اخیر تلاش داشته‌اند تا رشته مترجمى زبان را از ترجمه زبان و ادبیات خارجى جدا کنند و با بخشیدن هویتى مستقل به آن و با تاکید بر فرهنگ، رشته ترجمه را به دانش (مطالعات ترجمه) نزدیک‌تر کنند. همچنین آقاى دکتر على خزاعى‌فر که بنیان‌گذار فصلنامه مترجم است و سالیان سال سعى در خدمت به مترجمان داشته‌اند نیز در مصاحبه‌اى با نشریه درباره ترجمه شماره ۴، اظهار داشته‌اند که اولین کارى که براى کارشناسى ارشد این رشته باید انجام دهند این است که نام این رشته را از مترجمى به مطالعات ترجمه تغییر دهند. آنچه در این رشته ارائه مى‌شود هیچ ربطى به تربیت مترجم ندارد. در این صورت چه دلیل دارد که نام رشته، مترجمى باشد که گاهى نیز منجر به سوء تفاهم مى‌گردد.

حال با توجه به دروس این دوره که باید فى‌الواقع نام «مطالعات ترجمه» را بر آن نهاد این سوال پیش مى‌آید که چرا در پایان این دوره به جاى انجام تحقیق در زمینه مطالعات ترجمه، ترجمه کتاب نیز قابل قبول است؟ مطالعات ترجمه هدفى جز کمک به آموزش، پیش‌برد و افزایش کیفیت ترجمه ندارد. اما آیا ترجمه‌ها هدفمند انجام مى‌شود؟ آیا در انجام ترجمه‌ها با بکارگیرى نظرات درباب مطالعات ترجمه توجه مى‌شود؟ آیا ترجمه کتاب ماحصل سه ترم مطالعه مطالعات ترجمه است؟ یا اینکه ترجمه صرفاٌ تلاشى براى گریز از مطالعات ترجمه و علم ترجمه است. آیا دانشجویانى که دست به کار ترجمه کتاب مى‌زنند سعى بر آن دارند که به جامعه کمکى کنند؟ آیا هدفى را دنبال مى‌کنند؟ آیا روش و ترفند خاصى را در ترجمه خود به کار مى‌برند؟ آیا با ترجمه خود به جامعه علمى کمک مى‌کنند؟ به نظر مى‌رسد که در اکثر موارد این گونه نیست و برخى از دانشجویان فقط جهت فرار از مطالعه و انجام تحقیق و رعایت نکات دقیق تحقیق و نگارش دست به کار ترجمه کتاب مى‌شوند. به نظر مى‌‌رسد با ادامه این رویه حاصلى جز فراموشى علم ترجمه به جا نمى‌ماند. زیرا معمولاٌ دانشجویان ما پس از فراغت از تحصیل به قول غلامعلى حداد عادل به معناى واقعى کلمه فارغ‌التحصیل مى‌شوند و دیگر پی‌گیر مطالعات رشته خود نیستند. اما با تحقیق و نگارش پایان‌نامه حداقل دانشجویان ملزم به مطالعه نظریات و تازه‌هاى مطالعات ترجمه مى‌شوند و همچنین با روش انجام تحقیق علمى و نگارش پایان‌نامه و نگارش مقاله آشنا مى‌شوند و آنگاه شاید راهى براى ادامه مطالعه و افزایش دانش عمومى و تحقیق براى دانشجویان باز شود.

به هر حال ترجمه را نمى‌توان از سه مقوله علم، فن و هنر جدا دانست اما ترجمه توان علمى فرد را نشان نمى‌دهد، آن هم در جایى که نگارش پایان‌نامه به معناى عصاره و چکیده و توان علمى فرد است. در این صورت به نظر مى‌رسد که دیگر علم ترجمه، نظرات و یافته‌هاى مطالعات ترجمه به بوته فراموشى سپرده مى‌شود. دیگر از کتاب‌هاى مشهور و معروف در باب ترجمه شاید فقط نام نویسنده آن در ذهن دانشجویان باقى بماند نه محتواى کتاب. دیگر انواع ترجمه، مدل‌هاى ترجمه، نام‌هاى مشهور نایدا، نیومارک، کت فورد و… تعاریف آنها از ترجمه و تقسیم‌بندى‌هاى آنها از انواع ترجمه کاملاٌ فراموش مى‌گردد.

متاسفانه دانشجویان ما گاهى اوقات به رشته تخصصى خود هم علاقه ندارند و در باب ترجمه کتاب با این پیشنهاد روبرو مى‌شوند که کتابى را ترجمه کنند که در رشته‌هاى دیگر کاربرد داشته باشد. اما دانشجویان ما که به رشته خود (مطالعات ترجمه) علاقه ندارند آن وقت به چه رشته‌اى علاقه دارند که بخواهند به آن رشته کمک کنند. آقاى دکتر عبدالمهدى ریاضى در کتاب خود ( How to Write Research Proposal ) پیشنهاد مى‌کنند که موضوع پایان‌نامه بر اساس تجربه و علاقه خود دانشجویان انتخاب شود اما دانشجویانى که دست به ترجمه کتاب مى‌زنند نه علاقه‌اى به کتاب و مطالعه دارند و نه اساساٌ تجربه‌اى در حیطه موضوع کتابى که ترجمه مى‌کنند و فقط رنج ترجمه کتابى که باید بیش از ۲۰۰ صفحه باشد را به جان مى‌خرند تا از مطالعات ترجمه و افزودن به دانش ترجمه فرار کنند و به چند فرهنگ لغت بسنده مى‌کنند و در نهایت کارى پر مشقت و دشوار انجام مى‌دهند.

موضوع دیگر به کارگیرى پایان‌نامه‌ها و استفاده کاربردى از آن است که هم مى‌تواند به عنوان مرجع مورد استفاده دانشجویان قرار بگیرد و هم به صورت مقاله‌اى در نشریات تخصصى منتشر شود و هم مورد استفاده دیگر دانشجویان و علاقه‌مندان قرار بگیرد. شایان ذکر است که ۵/ ۱ تا ۲ نمره از نمره پایان‌نامه مربوط به چاپ و نشر مقالات از پایان‌نامه یا دیگر تحقیقات است. اما قدر مسلّم از ترجمه کتابى که در رابطه با رشته ترجمه و مطالعات ترجمه نیست نمى‌توان مقاله علمى و تحقیقاتى تهیه و منتشر کرد.

نگارنده به عنوان دانشجوى کارشناسى ارشد مترجمى زبان انگلیسى با انجام ترجمه مخالف نیستم از آن روى که مطالعات ترجمه هدفى جز کمک به مترجمان و بهبود ترجمه ندارد، اما با این رویه به نظر مى‌رسد که ترجمه کتاب به عنوان پایان‌نامه- که عصاره توان علمى و تلاش علمى فرد است- در حد ترجمه انفرادى ۱ و ۲ در دوره کارشناسى تنزل مى‌یابد با این تفاوت که در دوره کارشناسى ارشد حجم ترجمه انفرادى افزایش مى‌یابد از یک فصل به تمامى کتاب. پایان‌نامه‌اى که بر این روال باشد مورد استفاده هیچ کس قرار نمى‌گیرد و در نهایت در گوشه کتابخانه دانشگاه‌ها بدون ارجاع خاک خواهد خورد.

اما اگر قرار باشد ترجمه‌اى از کتاب انجام پذیرد، ترجمه باید هدفمند باشد. انتخاب کتاب، کاربرد کتاب، لزوم ترجمه کتاب باید بر اساس نیازهاى جامعه باشد، نه صرفاٌ فرار از تحقیق و نگارش پایان‌نامه. چنانچه قرار است کتابى ترجمه شود سایر نهادها اعم از آموزشى، پرورشى، تربیتى، دانشگاه‌ها و… و همچنین انتشارات کتاب‌هاى مورد نیاز خود را به دانشگاه‌ها و دانشکده‌هاى زبان اعلام دارند تا دانشگاه‌ها با ابلاغ کتاب‌هاى مورد نیاز جهت ترجمه به دانشجویان با تعیین زمان و اولویت، کار ترجمه را هدفمند سازند. به دانشگاه‌ها نیز پیشنهاد مى‌شود که ترجمه دانشجویان را بدون دریافت وجهى یا دریافت حداقلى در اختیار نهادها، دانشگاه‌ها و انتشارات قرار دهند. به هر حال علم را اهل علم بارور مى‌کنند و اهل علم باید همراه و کمک حال هم باشند. بنابراین دیگر در اینجا مادیات مهم نیست. پیشنهاد مى‌شود که نهادها هم در طول ترجمه کتاب حداکثر کمک خود را به مترجمان و دانشجویان انجام دهند و پس از انجام دفاع توسط دانشجویان متن ترجمه شده کتاب را بر اساس نمره اکتسابى مترجم به متخصصان و ویراستاران رشته مربوطه دهند تا نسبت به اصلاح موارد تخصصى و واژگان تخصصى همت گمارند و ویراستاران هم به تعدیل ترجمه کمک کنند. اگر این چنین شود در فرایند ترجمه کتاب حق‌الزحمه مترجم حذف مى‌شود، چون مترجم داوطلبانه و جهت انجام پایان‌نامه دست به ترجمه زده است و نه مسائل مادى- در دانشگاه‌هاى آزاد اسلامى دانشجویان حتى براى انجام پایان‌نامه مبلغى در حدود یک میلیون تومان نیز مى‌پردازند- در نتیجه فقط هزینه ویراستاران و چاپ و نشر کتاب باقى مى‌ماند که منجر به کاهش قیمت تمام شده کتاب مى‌شود. آن‌گاه کتاب‌هایى که توسط دانشجویان ترجمه مى‌شود، مورد استفاده سایر نهادها نیز قرار مى‌گیرد.

برگرفته از: مجله ترجمان

 


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