L-R vs Normal Reading

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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:32 pm

RDearman's three-step summary is how I interpreted it. I just skipped reading L1 to begin with.

Your summary (taken from learnanylanguage) isn't what the doctor ordered, but rather what I wrote a few posts above (in fewer words).

From the instructions compiled by siomotteikiru (also linked to from the learnanylanguage site):

The order ought to be EXACTLY as follows:

What you do:

1. you read the translation
because you only remember well what you understand and what you feel is "yours" psychologically

2. you listen to the recording and look at the written text at the same time,
because the flow of speech has no boundaries between words and the written text does, you will be able to separate each word in the speech flow and you will get used to the speed of talking of native speakers – at first it seems incredibly fast

3. you look at the translation and listen to the text at the same time, from the beginning to the end of a story, usually three times is enough to understand almost everything
This is the most important thing in the method, it is right AT THIS POINT that proper learning takes place.
If you’re in a position to do it right from the start, you can skip Step 1 and 2. (It takes some training, but after a while it becomes second nature.) (See ‘The essence, the soul, the spirit of L-R’ as well.)

4. now you can concentrate on SPEAKING: you repeat after the recording (and recite), you do it as many times as necessary to become fluent
Of course, first you have to know how to pronounce the sounds of the language you’re learning. How to teach yourself the correct PRONUNCIATION is a different matter, here I will only mention the importance of it.

(5.) you translate the text from your own language into the language you’re learning, no need to translate everything, of course
you can do the translation both orally and in writing, that’s why the written texts should be placed in vertical columns side by side: you can cover one side and check using the other one.

And last but not least: conversing is not learning, it is USING a language, you will NEVER be able to say more than you already know.

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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:24 pm

And wasn't there in the original prescription something about the book you choose should be one that is really really long and that you really really like and that you have read more than once?
Harry Potter springs to mind for such a book.
This is where L-R fails for me, cause there is no book that fits all those criteria for me: very long, liked, and read more than once. The longest book I have liked and read more than once is The Brothers Karamazov, in translation, of course, and read only twice.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby german2k01 » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:41 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:And wasn't there in the original prescription something about the book you choose should be one that is really really long and that you really really like and that you have read more than once?
Harry Potter springs to mind for such a book.
This is where L-R fails for me, cause there is no book that fits all those criteria for me: very long, liked, and read more than once. The longest book I have liked and read more than once is The Brothers Karamazov, in translation, of course, and read only twice.


She recommends Kafka's The Trial. She read it many times in different languages. She used it for learning German as she already read it in Polish. For me, such a book would be "crime and punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky I read the book twice in English. I would love to do L-R this novel in German.
Harry Potter book 1 was a slog in English and I stopped it in the middle. The same experience went with the German version as well. Seems like the my brain is not tuned in for fantasy and science fiction books. It will remain a pipe dream for reading Harry Potter.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby luke » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:43 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:I just skipped reading L1 to begin with.
The order ought to be EXACTLY as follows:

1. you read the translation
because you only remember well what you understand and what you feel is "yours" psychologically

I have pretty much always skipped step 1 too.

I've been thinking about that with my stretches into Cien años de soledad and El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha.

I've got more experience with Cien años de soledad, but I'm thinking that step 1 may have been useful.

Step 1 does a couple things:
* The book is vetted and you know you like it and want to read it again.
* You've got the story down.

I'm fortunate in that I like the story, although the selection of the novel was done on faith based upon it's reputation.

In my case, these haven't turned out to be a big downsides. I'm able to go through the book again and again, picking up more each time. So, a plus on the repetitions side.

More than 3 repetitions was never prescribed by the L-R originator, but he/she did seems to give the pupil some latitude in how they do L-R. (the word "EXACTLY" notwithstanding).

I happen to be doing some more Cien años de soledad today. I was editing the parallel text, adding breaks between some sections that were more than a single sentence. I was listening while editing. The cool part of today's experience was that I found I can understand the audio quite well most of the time without text to support it. (the sort of edits I'm doing are pretty mindless).

There have been some sections that were harder, so I went back to listen to these again and give the parallel text some "change the color of the unknown word/phrase" edits. Those aren't mindless, so listened to those sections a second time for these non-mindless edits.

Now, if I'd read the book and knew the story, these would probably still be sort of "unknown words", so not saying it makes a difference there.

I've got some experience with Le Petit Prince. I like that story a lot too, but haven't been able to capitalize on that with L-R as I've been able to with Cien años de soledad. I'm thinking of two reasons that may be:

* The Little Prince is only about 1 1/2 hours long, so shorter than the doctor ordered. That means using it over-and-over gets to the "senses dulled" a lot sooner than a 20 hour audiobook.
* The Little Prince was originally in French, so there's a bit of "well, this isn't the original", that comes into play when I use it with Spanish.

But I did about 30 minutes of L-R with El principito last night. It just doesn't give me the "do it all" that I get from Cien años de soledad.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby RyanSmallwood » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:55 pm

hasen wrote:It seems to me that if you're listening to audio in your target language while reading text in your native language you're not doing anything different to when anyone watches a movie with subtitles in their own language...people generally don't learn a language when they do this. Also many sentences when translated, something is lost in translation. You'll probably find a more accurate translation of short phrases than entire sentences.


A subtle but key difference is that with Listening-Reading you're manually synchronizing the audio and the text, which forces you to constantly pay attention to the audio, with subtitled movies and television its very easy to just shut them out. As an experiment you can find any audiobook with an expressive narrator, listen to the first chapter twice with audio and translation, see if you remember hearing certain expressions or words the second time, then try listening without the translation and see how much you remember and understand.

Anyone can easily try the method out and see how it works for themselves without going "all in" and committing to it for a whole book so to speak.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby RyanSmallwood » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:07 pm

Just to address some other points made in terms of length and Step 1. Longer is better with L-R, but it still benefits with books that are not crazy long, and I would say a short book you'll re-read is more valuable than a long book you won't re-read, I ran into this issue with some Chinese webnovels I tried, plenty long, but not always worth re-reading. The key thing to remember is diminishing returns on re-reading the same sentences, so if you feel you're not noticing new stuff as much on a pass of a shorter book, I would L-R something else and then come back.

With Step 1 (just reading translation first) I think it varies a lot more from book to book. I would say with some fiction books Step 1 can even be damaging if the book is not as interesting to re-read, and with some books I can stay more interested by re-doing L-R on the earlier parts without finishing the book and learning the ending. Recently though, in looking for books I want to re-read, I've been going to a lot more dense non-fiction and philosophy type books, and I find that Step 1 is crucial for these texts. For more dense texts that I might read slower, it can sometimes be impossible to absorb the content on the first pass with L-R, but because the information is useful and worth re-visiting knowing the general idea and then doing L-R makes it much easier to follow and I don't mind re-reading a lot with texts like this.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby luke » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:55 pm

RyanSmallwood wrote:With Step 1 (just reading translation first) I think it varies a lot more from book to book. I would say with some fiction books Step 1 can even be damaging if the book is not as interesting to re-read, and with some books I can stay more interested by re-doing L-R on the earlier parts without finishing the book and learning the ending. Recently though, in looking for books I want to re-read, I've been going to a lot more dense non-fiction and philosophy type books, and I find that Step 1 is crucial for these texts. For more dense texts that I might read slower, it can sometimes be impossible to absorb the content on the first pass with L-R, but because the information is useful and worth re-visiting knowing the general idea and then doing L-R makes it much easier to follow and I don't mind re-reading a lot with texts like this.

Those are good points.

I get that for many things, "spoilers" are bad. I've never watched Star Wars because I know who Luke's father is. ;)

Thinking about Cien años de soledad, the "spoiler" notion is fascinating. The author opens up chapter 6 (of 20) telling much of what's going to happen in future parts of the book. You could argue he does this from the first sentence in the first chapter. It was just so shocking when it happened in the first paragraph of chapter 6 and went on for a whole paragraph.

Some authors are so good they can get away with it. Thinking about older novels which often had a "here's a one sentence summary of what happens in this chapter" subtitle. Perhaps in the olden days, these were like "previews" in modern movies.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby RyanSmallwood » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:45 pm

luke wrote:
RyanSmallwood wrote:With Step 1 (just reading translation first) I think it varies a lot more from book to book. I would say with some fiction books Step 1 can even be damaging if the book is not as interesting to re-read, and with some books I can stay more interested by re-doing L-R on the earlier parts without finishing the book and learning the ending. Recently though, in looking for books I want to re-read, I've been going to a lot more dense non-fiction and philosophy type books, and I find that Step 1 is crucial for these texts. For more dense texts that I might read slower, it can sometimes be impossible to absorb the content on the first pass with L-R, but because the information is useful and worth re-visiting knowing the general idea and then doing L-R makes it much easier to follow and I don't mind re-reading a lot with texts like this.

Those are good points.

I get that for many things, "spoilers" are bad. I've never watched Star Wars because I know who Luke's father is. ;)

Thinking about Cien años de soledad, the "spoiler" notion is fascinating. The author opens up chapter 6 (of 20) telling much of what's going to happen in future parts of the book. You could argue he does this from the first sentence in the first chapter. It was just so shocking when it happened in the first paragraph of chapter 6 and went on for a whole paragraph.

Some authors are so good they can get away with it. Thinking about older novels which often had a "here's a one sentence summary of what happens in this chapter" subtitle. Perhaps in the olden days, these were like "previews" in modern movies.


Yeah, just to jump into narrative theory for a bit Alfred Hitchcock has a famous example of the "bomb under the table" to talk about surprise vs suspense. Basically if you have to tell the story of "two characters have a boring conversation then a bomb under the table explodes", if the viewers doesn't know about the bomb, they're bored for most of the conversation then get surprised for a few moments at the end when the bomb explodes. Whereas if you show the bomb before it explodes, you get "Suspense" instead of "Surprise", so suddenly the audience is worrying about the bomb the whole time and hoping they might come across it before it explodes, and the "boringness" of their conversation just adds to the tension, because of the triviality of what they're saying juxtaposed to the danger they're in.

The Russian Formalists talk in more detail about the order of the actual events of the story, and the order of how information is revealed to the reader or audience. There's other factors one could talk about to, but basically different storytellers pay more or less attention to how the audience will experience the story the first time, and how they'll re-experience it re-reading (or watching) after they know what will happen. So some stories are very good at hooking you on the first time through, but may not necessarily be worth re-reading.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby hasen » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:30 am

RyanSmallwood wrote:A subtle but key difference is that with Listening-Reading you're manually synchronizing the audio and the text, which forces you to constantly pay attention to the audio, with subtitled movies and television its very easy to just shut them out. As an experiment you can find any audiobook with an expressive narrator, listen to the first chapter twice with audio and translation, see if you remember hearing certain expressions or words the second time, then try listening without the translation and see how much you remember and understand.


That's a valid point, synchronising the English text with the French audio would be somewhat different to English subtitles, but I don't really see any use for either. That's also exactly why both text and audio should be in the target language because that way you can't "shut out" since otherwise you won't know what is going on.
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Re: L-R vs Normal Reading

Postby rdearman » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:55 am

hasen wrote:That's also exactly why both text and audio should be in the target language because that way you can't "shut out" since otherwise you won't know what is going on.

But it means you also need to know every word, both audio and text. In which case you're probably a native speaker or C2 already, so why bother learning at all?
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