LIL: The Importance of Native Input While Learning a Language


As you’re learning a language, one common term you’ll hear thrown around classrooms and in books is input – how important it is, how often you should be getting it, how to get it, etc. Many people will just nod their head and play along when input is mentioned, but don’t actually understand what it is or realize just how important – rather necessary – it is for the learning process.


What is Input and How Does It Work?

Input is defined as sentences, words or utterances from native speakers of a language that, when…

LIL: But What About all the “Different” Spanishes?

“I’m from Argentina (or Peru, or Cuba, or Puerto Rico, or Guatemala)! What if I don’t pass the state oral exam because I’m not using the ‘proper’ form of Spanish?”

As a company that helps students prepare for various interpreter certification exams, we get this question a lot. The simple answer? Spanish is Spanish.

Now hold on – before you fervently tell me that there’s no way Castilian and Caribbean Spanish are the same, hear me out.

Spanish is one language. Castilian and Caribbean are two dialects of Spanish. So, what’s the difference?


The main linguistic divider between a…

LIL: A Recipe for a Good Sight Translation: Mixing Modes

Sight translation exists somewhere in the gray area between simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, and translating. It draws on some of the main skills used in the three other modes of interpretation and translation, without totally eclipsing any of them. Knowing what skills are involved can help us understand what we need to practice a bit more, and what we’ve already mastered from our “main” method of interpreting.

Add a dash of consecutive

In consecutive interpretation, we get to hear and understand an entire utterance before interpreting it, allowing us to take notes and have a few extra seconds to figure…

LIL: Translating or Interpreting Idioms and Metaphors

Accurately translating idioms, metaphors, or indeed any form of figurative language can be very tricky – they bring along a lot to think about in one language, let alone two. Idioms and metaphors are loaded with stylism and hidden messages which can be a nightmare to transfer into a second language. Lots of times there isn’t even a logical equivalent in that second language, so what are we as interpreters to do? Well, we can narrow it down to three techniques or methods which help us to convey the message as best we can. It all comes down to one…

LIL: Resources for Improving Specialized Vocabulary

One of the most important qualities of a good interpreter is being studious – that is, a good interpreter is always looking for ways to learn new things and improve their skills.

When first entering the field, new interpreters and translators are often overwhelmed by the vast amount of specialized vocabulary and jargon that are present in their fields. Many fields – like the medical and legal fields, for example – have such a high level of speech that interpreting within them can be a great challenge. Luckily, there are resources everywhere that can help us interpreters improve and expand…