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thedrumdoctor
LSU Fan
Gonzales,La
Member since Sep 2016
575 posts
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Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
I'm getting through The Stranger by Albert Camus in it's original French. I can solidly speak, read, and write French, but a novel is a different beast. I find I'm reading it super slowly because I frequently have to look up a word translation. I hope that it becomes easier either with this book, or after, because it is super challenging and in turn super rewarding.


Azazello
Tennessee Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Sep 2011
2984 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
I speak 2 languages other than English and reading in those languages has drastically improved my skills.

I started off reading stories at the ~6th grade level, eventually graduated to Harry Potter, and now read at the high school level.

One piece of advice, don't look up words. Just read and slightly slower than normal pace and when you come across words you don't know, try to see if you can figure it out based on context. Once I get through a few chapters, I will go back and look up words that I couldn't figure out.

I am on my 3rd read through of HP and the half blood prince and it is amazing how much better I understand it than my first read through.




thedrumdoctor
LSU Fan
Gonzales,La
Member since Sep 2016
575 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
quote:

Just read and slightly slower than normal pace and when you come across words you don't know, try to see if you can figure it out based on context


This is exactly what I do. There are some, many words, however that I just couldn't deduce. I do think that It will become easier the more I read. This is my first attempt at a novel in a foreign language.

Which languages do you speak?


Azazello
Tennessee Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Sep 2011
2984 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
quote:

There are some, many words, however that I just couldn't deduce.


Try reading a few novels at a lower difficulty level. You said you have solid speaking, reading, and writing - have you read Harry Potter? The reason those are so popular for learning foreign languages is that everyone is familiar with the stories and they are intermediate level books.

quote:

Which languages do you speak?


Afrikaans and Spanish


S
Texas Southern Fan
RIP Wayde
Member since Jan 2007
116961 posts

re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
Read a few short novels in french and spanish.

Some of the tenses and conjugation (esp French...i mean i learned the majority from my cajun/creole grandparents ) trip me up but for the most part its cool. Recently read a senegalese novel which was in French but with a lot of colloquial senegal french/African words which i had to stop and google.


thedrumdoctor
LSU Fan
Gonzales,La
Member since Sep 2016
575 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
I'm noticing most of my problems arent coming from conjugations, but from both nouns and adjectives. Some words I just never had to learn in French class.


HailHailtoMichigan!
LSU Fan
Mission Viejo, CA
Member since Mar 2012
63225 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
quote:

Afrikaans
Are you from south africa?


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Azazello
Tennessee Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Sep 2011
2984 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
quote:

I'm noticing most of my problems arent coming from conjugations, but from both nouns and adjectives. Some words I just never had to learn in French class.


Understandable. It will just take time. Reading something easier will be much more enjoyable - but keep at it with the novel if you wish.

Also, there are a ton of graded readers on Amazon. Lingo Mastery has several in French.

quote:

Are you from south africa?


Negative. Family is.



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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
76890 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
Yes, but it was a struggle with material outside the scope of my education in the language.

I think you just have to stick with it. My second language skills are almost gone - never had much use for them, but it was great back in the day.


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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
30910 posts
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re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
No longer anywhere close to fluent in Spanish, but read Don Quixote in Spanish years ago. Even being fluent at the time, a fair amount of it eluded me.


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CelticDog
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2015
32538 posts

re: Bilinguals, ever read a book in your second language?
decide if you want to improve vocabulary or if you just want to get through them.
you are going to miss a lot if you dont go slow, look it all up.
even use internet to get idioms.
i read some spanish novels in a course on novels of a period called 1898.

i didnt have time to look anything up. speed read.
just got plot and actions basics.

i was taking 18 hours and one all time mistake was a modern english novels class that ate up my every free second.

and 202 French which had a science fiction novel to read.

now i use google news. news in every western language but frulian.
and google translate.
i look up everything.

when your library opens up again see if they have any in both languages page opposite.
This post was edited on 3/17 at 4:23 pm


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