The literal or poetic translation, or any translation at all?

I had this question on a Forum at LingQ:

“when learning..a language do you learn the literal translation .. or the given (poetic) translation. “

My answer:

“I learn words and form my own impression of what I am reading or listening to. I usually do not bother with translations. I do not mind if my understanding is a little fuzzy, or even wrong. I know I will get better at understanding the language.”

I am not a fan of translations when it comes to language learning. I prefer to work my way through the material in the target language, however imperfect my understanding of the text. I do not like parallel texts. That is my greatest beef with Assimil. Only in the very beginning do I want a translation.

How do others feel?


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