Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

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samfrances
Orange Belt
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:41 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: Native: British English
Learning: Spanish (B1/B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2967
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Re: Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

Postby samfrances » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:24 am

I'm going to take a leap now and try to read something actually written for native Spanish speakers (children, but still natives). If it's too difficult, I'm going to give myself permission to give up, fall back on some graded readers and try again later. I'm going to try applying the advice of looking up absolutely everything for the first 20 pages or so.

Here goes: Esperanza Renace by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Image
4 x
: 156 / 156 : Schaum's grammar, Fluent Forever
: 642 / 1000 : Learn / make flashcards for 1000 most frequent Spanish words

Sam's Spanish Log
Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish
Dipping my toe into Latin

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samfrances
Orange Belt
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:41 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: Native: British English
Learning: Spanish (B1/B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2967
x 294

Re: Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

Postby samfrances » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:09 am

Uff! That was a difficult few pages. Lots of "vides frondosas" and verbs like "latir" and "arrodillarse". I'm going to keep going for at least the first 20 pages though, to see if it gets easier. I don't know whether this intensive reading style will be better or worse for my learning than my usual more exensive style, but I guess we'll see.
1 x
: 156 / 156 : Schaum's grammar, Fluent Forever
: 642 / 1000 : Learn / make flashcards for 1000 most frequent Spanish words

Sam's Spanish Log
Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish
Dipping my toe into Latin

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iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1880
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

Postby iguanamon » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:06 pm

I remember when I read my first real book in Haitian Creole, Woben Lakwa/Robinson Crusoe. I had finished a very thorough and complete DLI Basic Course. I'd read Genesis in the Old Testament with a parallel text to help me when I needed it. That first real book was tough, even though I'd read it already in English as a kid and more recently in Portuguese. It seemed as if I was looking up words right and left. Probably the first 50-75 pages were very difficult and frustrating. I remember that after the first third of the book, things got a lot easier. By the last third of the book, reading was significantly easier.

Learning a language, especially the first second language, is difficult. It takes time, effort and, indeed, frustration. My only advice is to stick with it despite the frustration. It will become easier to read but you have to build up a base. Looking up words helps to do that.

Right now, I am reading a "noir" novel in Catalan, a translation of a 1929 novel by American author Dashiell Hammett. You wouldn't think there would be a half a dozen words for "to crash" or "to grab" in a language... but there are. I just have to deal with it. I could skip over these unknown verbs and adverbs and finish the novel much quicker if I did, but I wouldn't learn the language that way. As I've gotten to the halfway point of the novel, I find that I have fewer words to look up and reading is becoming easier to do. Now, I highlight interesting idioms and turns of phrase more and more. I'm getting there... and you will too... despite the frustration.
8 x

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samfrances
Orange Belt
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:41 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: Native: British English
Learning: Spanish (B1/B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2967
x 294

Re: Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

Postby samfrances » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:51 am

iguanamon wrote:I remember when I read my first real book in Haitian Creole, Woben Lakwa/Robinson Crusoe. I had finished a very thorough and complete DLI Basic Course. I'd read Genesis in the Old Testament with a parallel text to help me when I needed it. That first real book was tough, even though I'd read it already in English as a kid and more recently in Portuguese. It seemed as if I was looking up words right and left. Probably the first 50-75 pages were very difficult and frustrating. I remember that after the first third of the book, things got a lot easier. By the last third of the book, reading was significantly easier.

Learning a language, especially the first second language, is difficult. It takes time, effort and, indeed, frustration. My only advice is to stick with it despite the frustration. It will become easier to read but you have to build up a base. Looking up words helps to do that.

Right now, I am reading a "noir" novel in Catalan, a translation of a 1929 novel by American author Dashiell Hammett. You wouldn't think there would be a half a dozen words for "to crash" or "to grab" in a language... but there are. I just have to deal with it. I could skip over these unknown verbs and adverbs and finish the novel much quicker if I did, but I wouldn't learn the language that way. As I've gotten to the halfway point of the novel, I find that I have fewer words to look up and reading is becoming easier to do. Now, I highlight interesting idioms and turns of phrase more and more. I'm getting there... and you will too... despite the frustration.


Thanks Iguanamon. I don't mind the hard work, as long as its productive. Sounds like from your experience that this sort of "close reading" can be productive, so that's encouraging.
1 x
: 156 / 156 : Schaum's grammar, Fluent Forever
: 642 / 1000 : Learn / make flashcards for 1000 most frequent Spanish words

Sam's Spanish Log
Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish
Dipping my toe into Latin

User avatar
samfrances
Orange Belt
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:41 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: Native: British English
Learning: Spanish (B1/B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2967
x 294

Re: Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish

Postby samfrances » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:24 am

Phew! Those first 20 pages kicked. my. butt.

I'm going to try reading a bit more extensively from now on, reading each clear section or chapter a few times through before resorting to the dictionary.

Onwards!
2 x
: 156 / 156 : Schaum's grammar, Fluent Forever
: 642 / 1000 : Learn / make flashcards for 1000 most frequent Spanish words

Sam's Spanish Log
Sam's Year of Reading Only Spanish
Dipping my toe into Latin


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