I have been trying extensive (as opposed to intensive) reading in LingQ and I was just curious if other people use LingQ in a similar way. I just put up a post with more detail about how I’m doing it (sorry for the shameless plug!):
For anyone who has tried it before, any words of wisdom? I really enjoyed this a lot and it has been helping me transition into reading books, but I have a bit of an SRS addiction from my time with Japanese. I’m still having trouble finding a good balance with learning new words when I’m not reading in LingQ.
Yes I’ve been doing this with Spanish. I’ve learned a lot about the language this way and its easy because I’m the type of person that can get very absorbed while I read, and hence it doesn’t feel like work. The hard part is finding stuff I want to read in Spanish. I read about 3 of the harry potter books, and a bunch of other books translated from English. The really difficult part for me is finding books that are originally written in Spanish that are also kind of light. Most of the books people recommend are classics like Don Quixote. I usually research what books to read on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, but they haven’t been very helpful for Spanish books.
Cool to hear, thanks for the comment. Have you been able to find any light books originally written in Spanish? Any recommendations?
It wasn’t originally written in Spanish, but the Spanish version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower looks pretty good considering it is written from the perspective of someone in high school. Also, comics can be pretty great. I have the Spanish version of the graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson and I’m waiting for a copy of Blacksad to arrive.
It’s hard to find stuff that is appropriate to my level though so I’ve been trying to take some books page by page, reading each one a couple times while referencing a dictionary or the English version of the book. Similar to what I found here:
sgilpin80, Some of these sites are more useful than others, and probably not all those who posted the newer works have the rights to them. The main links, at least, still function (I haven’t used these for awhile). Only sites for written text are listed; if you’re interested in audio, there was a recent discussion in a LingQ forum about that. If I can find the link, I’ll append it.
I found this method interesting to use with languages like Spanish which I can understand a little because of its similarities with Portuguese (my native language). But from what point can someone start this ‘learn a language from novels’ method? Have any of you tried it early in the learning process of a completely new language?
Edit: With english, I’ve been doing almost the same thing, only I also like to listen to the audio version of the book while I’m reading it. That way I can improve my listening skills as well.
My background was I had two years high school Spanish. I spend a small amount of time studying little pieces of grammar based on things that confuse me and then I try to notice what I learned while reading.
@jeffbbearn The most recent book I’ve found is called El Cuaderno de Maya which I found in the Spanish section of my local Barnes and Noble. I’m not sure if it’s good yet but the story is about a Chilean teenager who immigrates to the San Francisco area in California which is where I’m from. I’m guessing my local library would be a good resource since, about a quarter of my neighborhood is Spanish speaking. I used the method you described at first (I feel like I’ve memorized the first Harry Potter book) plus I have two Spanish readers that are easy to jump into and are mildly entertaining (Easy Spanish Reader and First Spanish Reader). Graphic novels in Spanish sounds like an awesome idea. There are a bunch of nonfiction written by Isaac Asimov, broad surveys of subjects, that have been translated which have been easy to read and very entertaining (The Roman Empire for example).
Listening to audiobooks is incredibly difficult for me, even when I listen over and over to books like Harry Potter which I’ve read multiple times. It’s easier to watch movies, I think because seeing the lips move helps. The narrator for the first Harry Potter book has this incredibly smooth voice that to my ear just blurs words together.
@Ernie - Thanks for this list of resources, it will save me from having to search all over for stuff.
@Allisson I tried reading Spanish books right when I started learning Spanish but found I couldn’t get into the books well enough to keep reading. Looking back, though, I feel like after a relatively short amount of time with something like Teach Yourself, Assimil, or the beginner lessons on LingQ that it would have been possible to start reading extensively in LingQ. Guess I’ll have to test it on the next language.
@sgilpin80 Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll definitely check them out.
@jeff_lindqvist - Reading this site I found out that I’ve been using not only the Listening-Reading Method but also Shadowing without even realize. Thank you man, I didn’t know about this website, it’s really organized and presents things in a concise way. I’ve been meaning to do some research about learning methods and this site seems to be a good place to get started.
@jeffbbbern - Thank you for the feedback, before I start reading extensively I’ll go through these courses you mentioned and see how it goes.