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https://www.duolingo.com/John.Red

Reading foreign language literature

Hi Everyone! It will probably be a number of years before I have an opportunity to do much traveling, so at the moment my main language-related goal is to be able to read literature in the original language.

Right now I'm about halfway through the Spanish tree, and I'm thinking maybe it's time to try reading something easy, like the first Harry Potter book perhaps :) I'm sure I will need a dictionary by my side though.

It would be wonderful to be able to read Marquez or Borges as they actually wrote...I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what reading level a person would be at after finishing the skill tree? Or if anyone has any other thoughts or suggestions of good ways to start in the world of Spanish literature?

4 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Salxandra
Salxandra
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I started small and have been ravenously consuming the Spanish section of my library's childrens section. I'm to the point that I have to get my books through interlibrary loan. Checking my Goodreads account, I've read over 50 books this past year in Spanish. Yes, many of them are picture books.

I'm almost through the skill tree. I can easily read the easy "chapter" books. And, I'm now reading "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid", in Spanish.

I like to be able to sit down and read and not spend all my time looking things up. . But, I could read anything in Spanish with a dictionary at my side.

For me, being able to congratulate myself on finishing the book is essential. The long books early on were too overwhelming for me.

But, as I near the end of the tree, I'm surprising myself with what I can read. I was shopping in Walmart and not even batting an eye when I was looking at Spanish descriptions on the labels. And, I read the Christmas story out of Luke in my Spanish bible during Christmas.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LingPenguin
LingPenguin
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After finishing the tree you should be at the right level to be able to read children's books and understand what's going on. If you're planning on reading Harry Potter then you'll definitely need a dictionary or something similar. After finishing my tree I've started reading The Wizard of Oz (or more specifically, "El Mago de Oz"), on Readlang (side note: it's a great resource. Just put in the book you're reading and then you can click on each word while you're reading and it'll give you the translation, and once you've read a lot it can give you content that is at your reading level.), and I found that I was rather horrible for the first couple of pages, often having to look up 5-6 words per sentence, and now, even by the fourth chapter, I'm only having to look up 1-2 words per paragraph! Admittedly the paragraphs are rather short, but still. Just make sure to read some stuff that you find interesting, and you shouldn't have any problems with it. I would recommend not reading anything advanced at first though. Work your way up. If you just jump straight into some advanced Spanish novel right after finishing your tree, you probably won't enjoy it because you'll be looking up every other word and each page'll take an hour.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John.Red

Hmm, Readlang looks pretty amazing! I wonder if it is possible to import books that I actually purchase from Amazon? Or does it have to be a plain text document?...I'll have to watch the Beginner's Guide video when i have some time today.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LingPenguin
LingPenguin
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I haven't tried importing books yet (I've been happy with the selection they have) but I would assume that any ebook that doesn't have DRM could be used. If you really care then it's also not very hard to break DRM, but for legal reasons I won't go any farther than that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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There are special learner's books for reading at A1-B1 level. I'm currently reading the last of the "Lola Lago detective" stories, and they are short, funny and easy to read with the duolingo vocabulary. After that, I will start with comics and maybe some books I already know.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WordJigsaw
WordJigsaw
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I haven't finished my tree but I have been learning Spanish prior to using Duolingo and have started reading Harry Potter. I had the English copy by my side, which I found very helpful, and when I did not understand the Spanish, I would read the English copy, and also sometimes use a dictionary, to dissect the different words and meanings in the Spanish sentence. I have found it rather slow-going, though, so it might be better to start off with something shorter and work your way up, to keep your motivation up :) However, I'm very familiar with the Harry Potter books, which has helped and has also given me the motivation to keep reading - just choose something which appeals to you really!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pinkduckling

I've been doing this in French!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/harryclark17
harryclark17Plus
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I'm reading the French Harry Potter books. I've read the whole series in English more than 50 times, so I know every sentence. It's really fun!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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I've been reading comics, they are good for this because the text is mostly dialogue so no blocks of scenery description or stuff like that.

And French being a major country for comics is of course a plus, there's lots of stuff I have wanted to read anyway and now I can :)

But the level of language varies a lot fo course. Some comics use simple structures or rely heavily on everyday conversational phrases, so they are a relative breeze even if I have to look occasional things from the dictionary. But then there are comics like Alix which have intimidating blocks of text or Yoko Tsuno with specialist vocabulary about technical thingamajigs, and the worst type of all, comics which rely heavily on puns, like Iznogoud.

4 years ago