English All Around You: Intermediate/Advanced Version

English is everywhere! There are signs all around us.

(Photo by Mark Buckawicki)

(Photo by Mark Buckawicki)

Some signs have only pictures. Some signs have words, too.




When you can read the signs on the street, you feel good! You feel smart. You understand.

When you can’t read the signs, maybe you feel frustrated. You don’t feel smart. You don’t understand.

The Same Experience 

(photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)


I lived in Japan for two years.

Everything was in Japanese!

During my first year, I couldn’t read anything! Maybe I understood one or two words. But I didn’t understand a lot.

I felt lost sometimes.

And I felt ignorant.

I was sad.

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)



But sometimes the signs were in Japanese AND English.

I could understand.

And I felt good.

Thank you, City Planners!

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)


Be Careful 

At the same time, I knew I couldn’t rely (depend) on translations all the time.

Sometimes translations are wrong. They are bad.

Look at this t-shirt. Is this good English? (NO!!!!!)

Maybe they wanted to say, “Think and dream within your heart.” Or “You need to think and dream with your heart.” Either way, the t-shirt is not correct.

The same problem occurs in the United States. Here, we usually translate English to Spanish. It is very common to see Spanish translations everywhere.

(photo by Michael Pereckas)

(photo by Michael Pereckas)

Sometimes the translations are correct. But sometimes they are horrible! 

If you speak a different language, you probably never see your language translated anywhere.


So what is the solution?

You are doing it — studying English!

One day, you will be able to read all of the signs, all of the papers, all of the books in English with no problem. And you will be very proud of yourself!

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