I read widely and in several languages, and mostly outside of the computer. Mostly I read for pleasure and or information and if I get the gist, I will move on, even if I don’t understand each and every word. I don’t tend to look words up very often.
I also tried to buy hardcopies of both the book I am reading in the foreign language and in the German or English translation. I did so for Danish, and I must say that even though my Danish is far from good, I noticed several mistakes in the translation (Danish was the original in this case). So I tend to rely on what I know rather than on translations.
I am interested in your experience. How do you go about reading outside of lingQ and if you look words up, do you note them down, do you review or do you just look them up and then move on? I always feel that looking up words in non-digital books stops the reading flow. What about you?
I am not too sure what you mean.
You say for example:
“I did so for Danish, and I must say that even though my Danish is far from good, I noticed several mistakes in the translation (Danish was the original in this case)”
Do you mean that you saw mistakes in another language you speak well, i.e. in the German, English French, Spanish, or Italian translation of the Danish text?
Or do you mean that the original itself (the Danish text) contained mistakes?
Could you possibly please give us an example of what you mean, i.e. give us the original Danish text (containing the mistakes) so that we can see what you mean or if it was the translation of the Danish that was wrong, give us the original Danish text (which was correct) and the corresponding translation (which was wrong)?
As you clearly say bad translations, you obviously mean translations.
So ignore the question relating to my uncertainty and simply post the original Danish text and its translation.
Much nicer to do so in a language forum!
I mostly read books that I imported into LINGQ. I sometimes have a translation of the book in Dutch with which I can verify certain passages about which I am not certain. And I must say that now and then the translator has chosen the easy way by just leaving out difficult passsages.
I don’t note down the words that are new to me,I just make lingqs. In the past, before I worked with LINGQ, I made lists of new words with their translations, and tried to revise them, but I soon noticed that I did not do anything with these lists.
Unfortunately, I cannot post the original text here, as the book is, as I said a hard copy, plus it was a while back, so I don’t exactly remember where to find the passages.
Just to give you an idea, they mistranslated numbers, for example 90 minutes with 70 minutes, and then there was a situation, where someone declined a drink, and in the original they said, that she didn’t even look at it, or simply ignored it, while in German they said “Sie machte nur eine abfällige Handbewegung”, which is much stronger, in fact. Not completely false, though I would say, that it is impossible to learn vocabulary with comparing those texts, because the meaning doesn’t always correspond.
Yes, translators seem to write their very own version of the text, it seems.
I try not to read away from LingQ because I don’t like to “waste” my word count and ability to create LingQs. I sometimes do it because I can’t read in LingQ anymore unless it’s on the desktop computer, and I’d prefer to do it on an iPad or something. Once I hit 33,200 Known words or maybe 35K, and 2 million words read, I’ll stop worrying so much.
However, some exceptions:
I do often watch telenovelas on NetFlix in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Depending on how lazy I am, I usually write down the 10 or so words/phrases per episode that I either want to remember or potentially look up. For that, I just import them into LingQ and look them up later. If I type on my phone in a Note file, I will often just email it to myself and import into its own lesson such as “Duenos del Paraiso Vocabulary.”
If I am reading a newspaper, there are few words I don’t know. For those I either skip them or circle them and look them up on my phone real quick or just after I’m done with the article.
When the day comes in the future where I will read actual books away from the computer, I will probably just circle or otherwise highlight and then, after the chapter is finished, I’ll use voice recognition software to read off the highlight words/phrases and create a written list I can import later into LingQ.
When I read outside of LingQ I try to keep a sheet of paper in the book and write down any words I have to look up. Each time I pick up the book to continue reading I review the vocabulary and will try to make sentences with some of them to help me remember them. It is very different from reading in LingQ and as I often have to reread a passage several times, the time spent in looking up unknown words does not much interrupt my reading.
I did this with an index card used as a bookmark in normal (English) books to make notes of new words and things I wanted to remember. Then I didn’t need to with Spanish stuff because I found LingQ. When I start reading away from LingQ, I might implement something similiar.
Before I read fluently in French I would jot words down in a notebook and then search for them afterwards, and then re-read with the notebook open as a glossary.
Now I know enough words and understand 99%+ of the text, I just skim by unless they really hinder meaning or I particularly want to know what it says. If not I just read and don’t worry about unknown words. I think stopping all the time or looking up all the time at a higher level can actually hinder you by 1. stopping your reading ‘flow’ and 2. forcing translation of individual words when you should be getting used to TL.