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TEFL Videos - Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - Grammar Translation
The purpose of grammar translation then is to basically translate between L1 and L2 and vice versa. So, we could take a simple example. Let's imagine that our native language was English and our target language was French and let's assume that we want to translate a document from French into English. Let's take a simple sentence. Here's a sentence in French "Ouvre la fenêtre" and we'll add "s'il vous plaît" at the end. What we want to do is to take this L2 and translate it back into English. Now, if we have a reasonable knowledge of French then we may well know that this particular verb "ouvre" "to open" translates directly and this female form of the and finally the fenêtre "Open the window" and this polite form of "please". This is all very well if the two structures that we're translating between the L1 and L2 have a common grammar, which French and English usually do. However, one problem that we do get with this particular classical method, is that if the grammar structures are not the same, then it's very difficult to translate between the two things.