Harry Potter auf Deutsch!
This spring, I decided it would be fun to try reading some books in German, since I had begun to feel comfortable speaking it. I ordered the German translation of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, from Amazon. Initially, it was fairly difficult, although it helped that the previous owner had written notes in it. I decided to continue reading them, and ten minutes ago, I finished Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes, the final book. I really enjoyed reading them and learned a lot. Now, I plan to focus on one of my Christmas gifts: The Hunger Games trilogy in Spanish!
Hey, I did the same thing as you last year, I also ordered the Harry Potter books and audio books (all of them!), but in English. It took me 1 year and a half to read them all, it wasn't easy at the first but after a while I got used to it and it was worth it. I used to look up all the words I didn't know and put then on Anki. I find it most useful on my phone. When I came across a new word or expression, I automatically put it on Anki, so that I could study it later !
I look forward to learn German next year, I've already downloaded the entire content from germanpod101.com to start with before sign up for a class. And who knows, maybe one day I'll be reading Harry Potter books in German too !
I am a Harry Potter freak as you can see in my picture ! haha
Never separate words ! That's a mistake most people do when learning vocab, they tend to learn words without context, but vocabulary is best learned in context. In your native language, you learned almost all the vocabulary you know from context. That is, from encountering the words while reading or listening to others. Why you should learn differently when studying a foreign language? Learning a new word in context gives you additional clues to help remember it. You can associate it with the situation you were in or the emotion you felt when you learned it.
That's how I did while reading HP: http://imgur.com/hyhUASz
Forgetting is a natural part of learning a word! In my experience, I rarely remember a word the first time I learn it. I usually forget it and relearn it multiple times before I truly remember it. That's the beauty of Anki and other programs with spaced repetition systems (SRS) they make it easy for you! ; )
I'm reading Harry Potter 3 in German, I just go by what I know of words and use context and my familiarity with the story to figure out the rest, it works well, I don't understand every word, but I have picked up a lot of vocab and it has emphasized the vocab I already know. Plus I find just reading more enjoyable than checking the dictionary. If there is a vocab word that keeps recurring but I can't figure it out, then I look it up. But It has made learning German a lot more fun! :)
Personally, one of my favorite memories of reading them was in book 2: Harry, Ron, and Hermione were trying to turn themselves into Malfoy's friends, but Hermione accidentally turns into a cat. Then Moaning Myrtle says "Wait until everybody finds out you have a tail!" However, I found this hilarious because Schwanz, the German word for tail, also is a slang word for another part of human anatomy, which, in this context, meant that I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard. :P
I did something similar--I put the first two harry potter books (in german) on my kindle before a several month backpacking trip, then before bed each night, I would read half a chapter or so aloud to my german husband by headlamp in the tent. It was super helpful with pronunciation, sentence cadence, and vocabulary (the instant-feedback walking dictionary made it even easier). The only bad thing is I still owe him ~400 pushups for mispronouncing "ie" as "ei" and vice versa. Unfortunately, I think it would be slightly more difficult to get a native speaker to sit still and listen to mangled German in any other context than "it's dark out and we're in a tent in the wilderness with nothing to do."
Anyway, long story short, I highly recommend the harry potter books for language learning, especially if you already know the stories from reading them in your native language.
I did the same thing! I'm still one chapter 1 of Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, though. I haven't had much time to read, and I'm reading it out loud to myself. I find it is a lot easier to read it aloud. I'm trying to read through and get the gist of it rather than look up every word. Then I plan to reread it for the vocabulary.
It's not Harry Potter but at some point in the past I happened upon Der Angriff der Klonkrieger, bought it (though at the time understanding it was quite a hopeless task) and the other day I managed to make out what the first scene was about, (even if I didn't understand everything exactly. Although it didn't help that I'd forgotten the word "Abenteuer". Nor that I haven't read The Attack of the Clones novelization in English.)
I have the first two Harry Potter books in German and, although my German is quite good (not great, no, but good), I don't have the patience to get through the first few pages of the first one. It's definitely my plan, though, to read it all the way through, because I know it would be a great help. What I did read I managed to pick up on a few words and phrases from when I had read the English version so many times. I absolutely refuse to sit down with a dictionary and read it, though!
I've been attempting to read Stein der Weisen since I started duolingo, but I'm having a lot of trouble with the past tense of the verbs and the almost constant reflexive verb use. It seems like every sentence contains "sich".
Is the reflexive verb problem the result of the informality of the original text in English, or are reflexive verbs that commonly used in German speaking and storytelling? If that sentence structure really is that common, I think the duolingo course could benefit from having more focus on it.
This is a super-old thread so I'm going to post elsewhere also...