Translate an article (1.5 hours)

↵ Back to module homepage

Before we start the module, this is an exercise to help you notice a particular issue in psycholinguistics. Consider this a "pre-test". There are no right or wrong answers, this is just an activity to get you thinking.

Read the fake/joke article "New speech disorder linguists contracted discovered!" on Speculative Grammarian. (If you can't open that link, try this archive link.)

It's short, but you might need to read it several times to understand it!

Once you have read and understood the article, try to translate it into your language. (If you don't speak another language other than English, you could instead try rewriting the article in your own words.) (Note that the term center embedding is a technical term and you don't need to translate it; you can leave it in English. You will learn more about this term later in this module. Also, LSA stands for "Linguistic Society of America"; in your translation you may translate it, or you may just use the acronym "LSA" directly, it's your choice.)

Your translation does not need to be perfect. Remember that the estimated time for this activity is 1.5 hours; if you find yourself spending much longer than that, you can stop and do an imperfect translation, rather than using up a lot of time trying to make this translation perfect.

Think back about the article you just read, and your experience trying to translate it.

Many people find this article very difficult to understand and difficult to translate. Did you also feel this way? Why or why not? (i.e., if you found it difficult, what aspect of the writing/language did you find difficult?)

When you have finished these activities, continue to the next section of the module: "Understanding relative clauses".

by Stephen Politzer-Ahles. Last modified on 2021-05-01. CC-BY-4.0.