5 easy-to-read Spanish books for Spanish Learners
I got this from one of tweeter feeds I follow.
However, "easy-to-read" is a rather subjective description. From the article I feel like they are targeting these books for intermediate level Spanish learners.
I do wish they wouldn't have 40% of the list be books that were translated from other languages. There are other Spanish books out there! I'm currently going through everything by Laura Gallego García.
I'll need to check out the other three, though. But yeah, I've read Petit Prince before and I have O Alquimista sitting on my tablet, and I'd definitely agree that they're both intermediate.
For what it's worth, I've actually heard that books that are translated are actually a great place to start, because translators tend to reuse the same word a little more rather than original language texts. So where someone in their native language might be making references to cerulean, azure, peacock, robin's egg, etc a translator is more likely to just say 'blue' most of the time, leaving you with a book that's at a slightly more approachable reading level than the original may have been. (Depends on the translator of course.)
That is an interesting point! It also explains why, if you're a bit more advanced and trying to build vocabulary, you're warned away from the translations.
I agree! There's nothing wrong with reading works in translation, but I wish a list like this would focus on books that were written in the target language. Save Le Petit Prince for the French learners.
True beginners will always find it very difficult to read anything that is intended for native speakers, even small children. (Exceptions: things that use very limited amounts of text, like a book intended for babies/toddlers. But do many adult language learners really want to read the Spanish equivalent of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) There are ways around it (involving heavy dictionary use), but for the most part, books are going to be very difficult until you're at least at the "advanced beginner" and probably the intermediate level.
Right now I'm at the stage where I read translated books... I read books in Spanish that I know well in English. I'd rather read Divergente or Los Juegos del Hambre than Brown Bear, Brown Bear. While Divergente is a much more difficult book than Brown Bear, since I know the book well in English, when I read it in Spanish, if I get lost, then at least I still know what's going on. Plus, I enjoy it much more.
I would agree with your assessment that even translated books are good for intermediate or advanced beginner, although after reading about 1500 pages of the Divergente trilogy I probably qualify as the former now rather than the latter, at least in reading comprehension. I wouldn't have wanted to try it without having first gone through Rosetta Stone levels 1 to 5. I haven't finished my Spanish tree here, but I'm guessing that a person would be capable of tackling books after finishing the Duolingo arból.
Yes, I'd say that especially if you have a dictionary handy, after finishing the Duo tree you'd be able to read books. (I like translated books! There is nothing wrong with translated books! I have a stack of French Agatha Christies from the thrift store! I just wish rec lists like this would focus on things originally written in the language. I didn't need someone to tell me to go look for Agatha Christie books in French. I knew I liked them, I saw one of my favorites for twenty-five cents, I grabbed it. The next week I went back and bought all the ones they had.)
Good point. I actually can't think of very many books originally written in Spanish that I'd like to read. Sure, I'd eventually like to read Don Quixote, but I hated 100 Years of Solitude in English, so I'm not sure if I'd like that author in the original (I don't know, maybe it's better).
It'd be great to find some contemporary Spanish authors writing in genres that I enjoy. Right now, for fiction, I'm really into post-Apocalyptic books with a little romance thrown in, like Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, etc. If I could find some medieval fantasy books like Lord of the Rings or Dragonlance I'd love that too. I don't know if there are Spanish authors writing in that genre or not.
Don Quijote and 100 Years of Solitude are different authors. Waaay different authors. With several centuries between them. I wouldn't recommend Don Quijote until you're already fluent, though. I tried it briefly and got scared away by all the antiquated syntax - less because it was difficult (though it was), and more I was afraid I'd end up in Spain sounding like I'd stepped out of the 16th century.
The Spanish author I've been reading, Laura Gallego García, does a lot of fantasy. And a bit of historical fantasy / folklore type stuff. So you might like her too.
Yes, I realize they are different authors. One (Cervantes) is someone that I'd like to read eventually. I didn't like the other guy's writing translated into English, so I don't have an interest in reading it in Spanish.
I'll have to try out Laura Gallego Garcia. I have six translated books that I'd like to read first, but then maybe I'll try some books that I haven't read in English yet, or Spanish authors.