Zettelkasten Forum


Does translating count as re-stating for learning?

Re-stating points and summarizing arguments constitutes a fundamental part of the Zettelkasten. I've also seen many claims that taking notes on a topic is conductive to learning - with many arguments revolving around the issue of 'hand-writing or laptop writing'. And one of the principles of why hand-writing aids with understanding would be that you need to re-state the material in your own words because handwriting is too slow for verbatim note-taking.

So my question for the Forum is: Does translating the argument count as re-stating towards learning effects - does it improve short-term memory and long-term understanding of a subject?
On the one hand, it IS re-stating as you invoke and manipulate the relevant mental concepts for the given topicin your mind. On the other hand, there is no compression of material involved - you're not writing down the most important things of that material, you're changing one verbatim version to another one.

Do you have anecdotal experience with this phenomenon? Did you come across mentions of this question in scienc-y stuff (textbooks, published papers, etc.)? A few searches mostly yielded results for language learning and unrelated floatsam about didiactics of mathematics and I'm a bit out of the loop learning-theory wise - I don't know the term that would lead to the infamous 'bush trail of citations' that leads to an answer.

Comments

  • In my opinion: Yes.

    I ground my opinion in the concept of Levels-of-processing effect. It means that the more your process information the better you will retrieve it. I think it is a bit more complicated than that because recall is different than rembering and so on and so forth.

    But specific answer to your post is: Translating should count as processing which in turn increases the depth which improves memory.

  • @sfast said:
    In my opinion: Yes.

    I ground my opinion in the concept of Levels-of-processing effect. It means that the more your process information the better you will retrieve it. I think it is a bit more complicated than that because recall is different than rembering and so on and so forth.

    But specific answer to your post is: Translating should count as processing which in turn increases the depth which improves memory.

    Yes indeed. This is an advantage you multilingualists have over us neanderthals.

    Will Simpson
    kestrelcreek.com

  • I wouldn't compare it to neanderthalism. It is rather something similar to the pampered millennial generation. :smiley: You English speaking folks are just blessed with a easy to learn language that is actually the pidgin for science and traveling. Far less pressure to learn another language.

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