leosmith wrote:Overall, I think it's a good method, and I'm sure it works well for you, but I have two questions.
1) Why do you read the translation first? To each his own, but for me that would reduce my motivation.
2) Why don't you just use a reading tool? They have built in mouse-over dictionaries and keep track of your vocab, including color coding. There are free ones available, if price is the issue.
1) An experienced translator is by definition more equipped to appreciate the subtle nuances of the original, especially if you read the classical text (archaic vocabulary, different Umwelt). In some cases (poetry is a good example) reading translation first saves you a lot of time and trouble.
That doesn't mean that I read all classical or complex fiction with translation as a crutch. Sometimes it's only the beginning of the book, just to get used to the author's style. Sometimes there's no translation at all (after all, this is the main reason I learn languages — to get access to books which otherwise I wouldn't be able to read). But I doubt you can approach someone like Hölderlin or Milton without translation even after 5 years of extensive reading. But, of course, it should be a translation you can trust.
2) I cannot read books on laptops, I get easily distracted. For me, it simply doesn't feel like reading at all. iPad is the only exception, I can easily read on it for hours (I wish someone started to sell print replica books for Kindle, since for me mobi and epubs are an evil, a necessary but, at the end of the day, still evil).