Over-reliance on translation into your first language can inhibit learning and create a comfort zone, but avoiding it completely seems artificial. Translation is a technique and has its time and place; in your example, it's fairly simple, but what happens when there are dozens of languages in a classroom?
When you have to communicate with someone in real life, simply getting your message across can be difficult, so I wouldn't exclude bilingual dictionaries or translation. If you think salamander is tricky, try explaining different types of fish from a menu- that's murderously difficult IMO.
Student or Learner