Seeking advice

General discussion about learning languages
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Re: Seeking advice

Postby tarvos » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:26 pm

I also think it matters what language you're after - the further from your native tongue the more effort you'll need to build up all that new vocabulary, and then intensive reading does help
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Re: Seeking advice

Postby TrioLinguist » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:34 pm

First of all, thanks for all the helpful advice and information. I think as far as extensive reading goes, I will first finish with what I'm intensively reading now, and when I begin my next series of novels in German, I'll switch to extensive reading. I'm fairly convinced at this point that it's the right way forward for advanced learning and there seems to be a lot speaking for it so I'll have faith in the method (although it indeed seems somewhat counter-intuitive). Furthermore, I can see it being a relief to read far away from any dictionary and instead focus on enjoying the story as I would in my native language (which is English, iguanamon, sorry that wasn't clear in my profile, it's fixed now). Not to mention I can understand about 99% of individual words in a typical novel with limited guesswork.

I'll take a pen and paper along at first and try to make an effort not to jot anything down unless it isn't guessable (I wouldn't mind having just 10 or 20 words to look up afterwards), but I may stop if it gets out of hand. However, I will still set aside non-fiction, which I do online, for intensive reading since that's based on short articles and complete comprehension is more necessary.

Thanks to iguanamon for the tip to take advantage of writing prompts, this is what I was looking for and if I ever start a language log I'll consider using that as another writing opportunity as well.

Welcome to the forum, TrioLinguist!

Thank you! I look forward to becoming part of the community.
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Re: Seeking advice

Postby DaveBee » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:34 pm

Cavesa wrote:If you want to try extensive reading, start with something easier. A good quality translation of a book you know (and like of course) is a great choice. There is nothing shameful about reading translations at first. If you mean it with language learning and want to get to high levels, you will needto read so many books that a few translations will be just a drop in the lake ;-)
I'm considering re-reading one particular book a few times. (once I finish my current backlog!)
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Re: Seeking advice

Postby rdearman » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:47 pm

I think I have mentioned this somewhere before, but you can just combine extensive and intensive reading. When reading a book (normally paperbacks) I read one of every X pages intensively. So for example when I was reading a Stephen King book, I would read every 50th page intensively. This also happened to be the page which counted toward my super challenge, which was why I picked 50, but you could pick any number you want.
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Re: Seeking advice

Postby Ani » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:18 pm

I would never learn a language if I had to follow most of this advice on extensive reading. I couldn't possibly force myself not to look up words. We are all different.

I have liked the "semi-intensive" kindle method. For the first ~10 books I read, I looked up as many words as made me happy and pushed along where things were comfortable enough. After that I read a few books intensively looking up every unknown verb form, every idiom or expression I wasn't completely sure about. Now I am not even sure if my reading counts as intensive or extensive as I only hit an unknown word every 20-50 pages and I read just as fast as in my native language. I do look up most of the unknown words on my cell phone so maybe it is still semi-intensive :)

Either way, you'll learn the words and eventually it won't be an issue. I think you should look up whatever makes you comfortable and lets you enjoy the book.
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