Translation | Explication | Classification | Description

What is a banana? Let’s translate it!

As mentioned on the Elaboration page, you are going to learn about four strategies for elaborating definitions. The first strategy is translation.

What is translation?

In its simplest form, this method involves identifying words in the original definition that are less familiar to you and substituting them with words that are more familiar to you. The translation method can be stated in three basic steps:

  1. Identify all words in the definition whose meaning is either unknown or unclear to you with a pink highlighter.
  2. Use translation tools to translate, define, and/or find synonyms for all of the pink highlighted words.
  3. Revise/rewrite the original definition by substituting the more familiar words in place of the less familiar ones.
    • This new definition should now be more understandable to you.

Some useful translation tools…


  1. Your teacher asks that you record all of your translation work in your Lab Notebook.
  2. Your translation work should be identified by a title that closely resembles the following example: Banana weeLAB™ – Translation
  3. Your final ‘translated’ definition should be boxed (i.e., enclosed in a neatly drawn rectangle) and labelled by a title placed just outside–and above–the top left corner of the box (the title should be “Translated definition”).
  4. Finally, you should perform a word count of your final translated definition and list this word count just outside–and under–the bottom right corner of the boxed definition.


Last updated: September 2019