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https://www.duolingo.com/wtinney

Tip for reading Spanish novels on Kindle

wtinney
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This may be old-hat to some of you, but I'm very excited about a recent discovery I made which greatly facilitates ready foreign-language books on the Kindle. Hopefully others here will find it useful.

So, one of the great things about reading on a Kindle is that you can hold your finger on a word and a definition of that word (or a Wikipedia entry for it if no definition is available) will pop-up.

What I recently learned is that you can set a translation dictionary (in my case a Spanish-English dictionary) as the default dictionary, so that highlighting a word pops up it's translation. This seamless, instantaneous look-up makes reading a book in a foreign language SO much easier.

Now, what's even cooler is that the Kindle automatically saves all of the words that you look up in this manner and includes an app called Vocabulary Builder which lets you study those words as flashcards. Amazing!

Tip: Apparently not all language dictionaries are good about recognizing conjugated verbs, so I suggest you read reviews on Amazon before you purchase one. Personally, I am using the Harper Collins Spanish College Dictionary and have been quite happy with it.

As I said, this may be old information for some of you. For others, I hope you find this useful. I am loving it.

Cheers!

Wade

p.s. The novel I'm currently reading using this method is La Catedral del Mar by Ildefonso Falcones. It's set in medieval Barcelona and is reminiscent of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. It's pretty long, but the language is quite clear and so I would recommend it for fairly advanced Spanish language students who like historical fiction (and even more so if you've been to Barcelona.) Do you have other recommendations?

3 years ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/peter_chant

This previously posted link may be of interest.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr-Pen
Dr-Pen
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That is a pretty good idea! Anyone know of a free Spanish-to-English/English-to-Spanish dictionary out there with the same functionality for Kindle?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr-Pen
Dr-Pen
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I couldn't find the actual file. There are so many links that seem to lead to dead ends.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

Wow! This is good Intel. I installed Kindle Spanish books for children months ago in my Android tablet but could not handle them. I did not know about the translation function. Wondering if it works in the Kindle app.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnhaug
johnhaug
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I am reading El Asesinato de Pitágoras, which you also might enjoy if you like historical fiction. I loved Pillars of the Earth, so will definitely look for La Catedral del Mar soon as I am done (might be a while at my current pace though).

I am using Hispano v.3.0 dictionary on Kindle, which works great.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davloose
davloose
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My son gave me El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba by Gabriel García Márquez, in paperback for Christmas. Classic literature, but a tough nut to crack with the vocabulary! I'm enjoying though, and writing translations to words in the margins. That helps, as a word will typically come up again soon and is easy to reference back.

The Kindle sounds good.. I've read Spanish books on the iPad, which is nice, and has a built in spanish dictionary. However, the dictionary defines Spanish words in (drumroll...) Spanish! So from that, I usually get the gist of the word, but what I really want is the translated word to substitute in my head, so I end up looking up a lot too. Saving words to build vocabulary sounds like the killer app!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate1432
Kate1432
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I love Garcia Marquez and have read everything he has ever written. I am not yet at the point where I can read him in Spanish though. Someday!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davloose
davloose
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Level 20, puedes hacerlo!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate1432
Kate1432
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No tengo la paciencia! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CoachDeb

oooh this is VERY cool news! This will help in my quest to learn Spanish while I'm living in Catalunya. Your book recommendation sounds like a good place to start! Gracias Wade!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wtinney
wtinney
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De nada! Actually, I started reading this book (and using Duolingo) in preparation to (hopefully) move to Barcelona later this year. Next on my list is La Sombra del Viento: http://www.carlosruizzafon.co.uk/shadowofthewind.html

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moshen244
moshen244
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Any suggestions for regular fiction or thrillers in Spanish that are good for an intermediate learner?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davloose
davloose
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The previous book I read was El curioso incidente del perro a medianoche, which is available via download various places on the web. It's a good story, interesting to read and the vocabulary isn't too hard. Which is not to say you won't be looking up plenty of words, but not as many as some!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moshen244
moshen244
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Thank but I would rather not read translated works. Would prefer Spanish originals. Any other ideas?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Equilibrio99
Equilibrio99
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At one point, translation only worked with Kindle Touch and Paperwhite(?), Not Kindle Fire. Has this been fixed?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/whittt

awesome idea. thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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Question! Does this work on any kindle? The other comment said that we would have to use kindle white.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wtinney
wtinney
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I can confirm that it works on the kindle app for iPhone, which leads me to believe that it would work on other kindles. Having said that, I'm not sure how word highlighting/look-up works on non-touchscreen kindles. Probably a bit more tedious if nothing else.

3 years ago