You will have to translate your thinking into English before saying it.

Does into mean in that sentence that you are thinking in English OR that you are translating whatever you are thinking of to English? Because I want it to be the second meaning, but I've heard that to isn't the correct preposition there.


2 Answers 2


That's the preposition used after the verb 'to translate', when the result of translation should be in some language. The Oxford Collocation Dictionary only mentions prepositions as (a particular word, phrase), for (someone), from (some language) and into (some language, some other expression).

P.S. Here's an article explaining the details of using 'to' instead of 'into' where possible: https://jakubmarian.com/translate-to-vs-translate-into-in-english/

  • 1
    That said, it's not like the prepositions that get mentioned in the dictionary are the only valid allowable ones. For example, there is nothing wrong with saying "translated by (someone)," even though that usage doesn't get an explicit mention: This edition was translated by Howard.
    – J.R.
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:36

It means that you will have to translate the thoughts that are in your head from your mother tongue to English. People who don't speak a foreign language very well tend to first form sentences in their mother tongue and then mentally translate them to the foreign language they want to express their thoughts in.

(transcribed from comment)

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