How do You Use Native Material?

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emk
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby emk » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:13 pm

Personally, I like to read extensively, without worrying too much about the bits I don't understand, as long as I'm having fun. I'll often mark sentences with interesting vocabulary, then go back later and add the interesting ones to Anki using SRS Collector.

I especially never worry if the first chapter is rough. The first chapter typically introduces some new vocabulary, and it often uses fancy, descriptive vocabulary that won't show up again.

Xmmm wrote:But given that you pick a book that is short and clearly written, it's not such a big deal to read a novel in your TL if you have a pop-up dictionary to help you along. In my opinion, people do themselves a disservice running to junk like Harry Potter as their first target, at least for major languages like Russian and French with enormous amounts of literature on line.

The big selling points of Harry Potter are:

  • You can buy it online from Pottermore without any DRM or region restrictions. If you're studying a major language and you get lucky, you may also be able to buy the audiobook as a downloadable MP3. This is a big deal for a language like French, where most ebooks are DRMed and region-locked. You can avoid this by reading classics from before 1928, but not everybody actually wants to limit themselves to old books.
  • There are a huge number of people under 30 (and a fair number over) who have read the entire series multiple times, which aids significantly with comprehension in a new language.
  • The series starts out as an older kid's book (about halfway between B1 and B2, at least for an anglophone learning a romance language), and gradually becomes more difficult over the course of several thousand pages.
Of course, if you don't like it as a book, or if you're thoroughly sick of it, then none of this matters. But there are reasons why many people choose it. And obviously, it can be replaced with another favorite series, or an easy native series, or anything else of interest. The linguist Stephen Krashen apparently prefers old Star Trek novels, for example.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Xmmm » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:55 pm

emk wrote:The big selling points of Harry Potter are:


And the big selling points of eating McDonalds every single day during your trip to France are:

1. You know exactly what the food is going to taste like
2. There's no danger of ordering snails by mistake
3. Since there are no waiters, there's no risk of a rude French waiter


:D


I don't know, Le Comte de Monte Cristo reads like it was written last week (I did parallel reading of the first 30 chapters before losing interest in French). It's pretty modern. It's not like the situation English learners have, where if they want to read old stuff they get to choose between Trollope, Hardy, etc.

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Edit: Original comment above is unchanged, but I will add that I'm too opinionated so apologies in advance. It seems to me students who want to learn French would be interested in French literature, but perhaps not. It also seems to be that bananas should be peeled all at once at the beginning rather than a bite at a time but I think I'm in the minority on that one as well.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Serpent » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:10 pm

For most learners HP is just the beginning, maybe even a necessary evil :lol: See this thread :)
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Tomás » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:26 pm

Xmmm wrote:I don't know, Le Comte de Monte Cristo reads like it was written last week (I did parallel reading of the first 30 chapters before losing interest in French). It's pretty modern.


FWIW, Marvel Classic Comics did that book. I have the Spanish version.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby arthaey » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:57 pm

Xmmm wrote:It seems to me students who want to learn French would be interested in French literature, but perhaps not.

I can't speak for others, but my sister & I are learning French despite neither of us having any real interest in French literature at all. YMMV. :)
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:14 pm

arthaey wrote:
Xmmm wrote:It seems to me students who want to learn French would be interested in French literature, but perhaps not.

I can't speak for others, but my sister & I are learning French despite neither of us having any real interest in French literature at all. YMMV. :)

What, not even Asterix and Obelix?
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby arthaey » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:56 am

rdearman wrote:
arthaey wrote:I can't speak for others, but my sister & I are learning French despite neither of us having any real interest in French literature at all. YMMV. :)

What, not even Asterix and Obelix?

Not really, no. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby steyyan » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:22 pm

Xmmm wrote:And the big selling points of eating McDonalds every single day during your trip to France are:

That would have been a good comparison if you were forbidden by law from buying most French food unless you had a home address in France and a French credit card.

Also, I just choose whatever languages I want to learn and let their cultures and litterature grow on me when I gradually get better at them. I also like Harry Potter, so I don't really mind re-reading the first book when starting a new language; to be fair, I wouldn't understand much of any native litterature at that point (<2 months into my learning) anyway, despite being able to look up every word instantly.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby LMAshton » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:48 pm

I'm 47. I've read the entire Harry Potter series in English at least a half dozen times, the early books even more. I periodically reread it because I find it fun and entertaining. Reading it in my target language? Why not? It doesn't matter that it's not highbrow fiction. For me, it's fun. That's enough. :)

Although now I'm wondering if Terry Pratchett is available in any of my target languages...
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Bao » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:39 pm

LMAshton wrote:Although now I'm wondering if Terry Pratchett is available in any of my target languages...


German and Spanish for sure.
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