Reading is slow

I am doing an Intermediate 1 course. I complete two lessons per day which according to my stats is around 1000 words of reading and 100 new words. I intend to move onto Intermediate 2 within 10 days and upon completing one of those courses, begin Harry Potter. I do try to understand and translate to the best of my ability, this slows me down and I also reread multiple times until it starts to sound more natural. It takes me hours and I’d like to be able to read 1 page (300 words) in 15 minutes but obviously that is not happening.

I am wondering if my reading time is slow or expected for my level and experience?

Backstory: I did Duolingo and flashcards for 6 months before starting to read. I also know the basics of grammar. I’ve only been reading on LingQ for less than 1 month now though…

I would advice you to not raise your expectations too high. I’m on my third language now so I’m having this experience of having to read slowly for the third time. It’s normal and you shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by expecting too much. If you want to try to read Harry Potter then go on, but if your experience is frustrating and tiring because of your poor understanding then don’t hesitate to put the book away and read easier material instead.

Personally I wouldn’t advance to intermediate 2 if I still had any significant problems with intermediate 1 texts because I believe that by doing that, one is setting oneself up for a big disappointment. In my experience it takes months to improve significantly by means of daily reading. I read Russian with relative ease at this point but it takes me much more time to read the same text in Serbian, and that’s even just another slavic language. I don’t expect to be able to read Serbian news with the ease that I now read Russian news for at least six months and maybe even a year. That’s how slowly it works. You can rest assured, though, that if you continue with reading close to 1000 words daily and you make your best effort to understand, that you will improve, albeit slowly during a timespan of months.

I realized that last night, I could improve my reading speed by ignoring words or sentences that I don’t understand within 5 minutes and focusing on them when I finish. I am also going to try and not speak out loud when reading.

New text for me in my lessons has around 70 new words and so I’ve also decided to read one ‘Intermediate 1’ text per day and multiple ‘Beginner 2 texts.’ I figure that this will give me the best of both and bridge the gap.

I should mention that I have a large amount of free time. How many words per day would you recommend that I aim for?
I need to take my B2 exam within the next 4-5 months… so I would love to be able to relax and not worry much (I know this is how Steve thinks) but I really do need to be somewhat efficient… while also enjoying the language of course.

If you have an exam then of course you need to get work done. I recommend speaking out loud though because it’s valuable practice. There’s not much use knowing a language if, as soon as you try to pronounce something, you constantly stumble over difficult sounds. When it comes to the number of words daily then the more the better. Maybe Steve himself could give some useful advice. I seem to remember him advicing someone who was in your situation once.

Not sure if this could help you, but personally I don’t focus on the difficulty rating of what I’m reading… As long as I know a few hundred words, I’ll find Wikipedia or news articles on topics I like and work through that, and enjoy it despite the high difficulty.

I feel a little unsure what your level is if the site says you have nearly 3k words but you are finding things tough. I guess you must have done a really good job with your pre-LingQ flashcard study, in which case, nice job! You just have to get more practice reading the words you’ve already learned…

For your B2 test will you need to do more than read/listen? If you so should probably have additional plans aside from known/read word counts on LingQ.

I did okay but ended up hating flashcards. I refuse now to continue making or using flashcards.

I am just unnerved by the sheer amount of time being expended on one single lesson. The tough aspect is coming from the high number of new words, unusual constructions and very specific words like Dazu, dabei etc which seem to all mean the same thing when translated.

I will be required to read, listen, write and speak. I think that speaking and writing can wait since I can choose how to use my words and the act of transforming passive vocab to active seems more easily achievable than learning new words entirely which is why my focus is on reading and understanding.

Reading comprehension and speed differ between people even in their native language, due mainly to practice, interest, education level, etc. I really wouldn’t worry about how fast you read because the only thing you can do to improve it is putting in the time. The more you do it, the faster you’ll get.

As far as the level of difficulty to tackle, the only question you need to answer is: What’s my engagement to difficulty ratio here? Am I engaged enough with this material to want to work through it? Or is it easy enough without being boring?

If you can answer any of those with a yes, than just do it and don’t worry about it. If the answer is no, then find something easier, or more engaging.

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SilverWisdom, you inspired me to start to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher´s stone here on lingq as I found it online today and start to import here. There are so many words which I do not know and must search but at the same time the book is fun to read so I hope I can read it all and while that improve a lot my Greek.

I do hope that my reading progress becomes exponential. I just don’t like to think that my reading is less efficient than others because although estimates on time required to learn a certain language are helpful, It’s presumably with the stipulation that one optimizes that time and hence 300 hours to learn German might actually be 400 for someone else who is using the same time and resources differently. I do have this timescale in mind and strive to achieve it.

I have decided to read one Intermediate 1 lesson and today I’ve also been going back and completing Beginner 2 and even some Beginner 1 lessons (Incredibly there is still some words there to be picked up.) I figured this would give me both more advance vocabulary and grammar but also with easier content, actual volume of words.

Greek is a very beautiful language and I intend to learn it after completion of German. Harry Potter is what I also strive for but obviously would be too difficult for me currently or that is what I suspect at least. You have many more learned words than myself. I wish you luck!

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Where can I import it from? I have a copy and have read some of it, but I want to track it here on Lingq.

" You inspired me to start - reading - {to read (this works but reading is better)} Harry Potter and the Philosopher´s stone here on lingq as I found it online today and startED* to import here. There are so many words which I do not know and must search but at the same time the book is fun to read so I hope I can read it all and (while that improve a lot my Greek.)" while I improve my Greek a lot*

Just thought I’d help you. Your English is wonderful though!

I see that you have a decent amount of words in German. Do you feel that you’re ready for reading Harry Potter?

At which level do you read here on LingQ, Intermediate or Advance? and how do you find it? I hope that you don’t mind a few questions but being slightly behind you in terms of time spent reading, I am quite curious.

I do not mind questions at all!

Yes, I know somewhere around 7000 German words. At this point people will tell you, “Man, you must be fluent.”

I usually read Intermediate 1, though I have found advanced material to be totally do-able. It really isn’t extremely difficult, so I do not believe that that is the right label for most of the material.

I can read Harry Potter, although there are still a lot of words I do not know. I learn by music mostly, so I import song lyrics here to learn. My favorite artists are Ufo361 and Trettmann. I recommend them.

Don’t give up!

And I am for sure far from fluent. I think Harry Potter is a very enjoyable experience at somewhere around 15,000 words. That’s the number I’m thinking that allows you to be comfortable with a VERY large variety of more difficult readings.

Do you listen to the audio or use flashcards? I typically listen only once and flashcards now have become unbearable for me. Since my topic was originally centered around speed of ones reading, how long does it take you generally to complete a typical Intermediate 1 lesson? and how has your reading speed improved since beginning?

I don’t really listen to music for learning purposes. I suppose that’s more of a relaxing experience for me but I like some German metal bands. I find even some pop songs to be enjoyable but not knowing the lyrics, I think that helps one enjoy a lot of foreign songs which would otherwise be intolerable.

I will try and order Harry Potter but also strive for 10,000 words until then. I am going through Beginner 2 and it’s much easier now that I’ve been exposed to Intermediate 1. My reading speed is much better at Beginner 2 which I suppose is something to be proud of since I was practically stuck in my learning before reading here at LingQ. Thanks for your answers, I appreciate it and also to everyone else who has been commenting.

Found the place:!.pdf

I do listen sometimes, but its not all that often. Flashcards I do not use, I prefer to be exposed to the words from reading. Some words I learn once and some words literally take 10 or more times to get into my head.

Yes, music is also relaxing for me, but I find I know too much to tune it out. If I need to focus I’ll listen to Spanish music because for the most part it goes over my head. (Although I don’t listen to English music at all, I hate English pop, but German pop is cool).

Yes, wait a bit on Harry Potter. I’m going through it now on LingQ.

In English, I have always been a VERY fast reader. Quite a bit faster than any of my peers. So, in easy lessons where I know all the words I can finish them in seconds. In maybe a 4-6 page intermediate reading, I can finish it in 2-3 minutes(this depends on the number of unknown or yellow words that I am not well with yet.

My reading, listening, writing, and speaking have all improved on this website. And my reading speed has improved a LOT.


This is not an advice, I just post here my experience.

I have been learning English and reading the Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells. I try to read at least 1 chapter every day. The more I read, the better I understand.

Reading a novel in a foreign language is not an easy thing. It’s a little bit difficult to understand everything that the author described in the novel and it’s exhausting. Thus I read and listen to easier texts too. I guess that’s what Steve does. Once he said that sometimes he goes for easy materials.

I think, it’s a good attitude to push yourself to the limit and see what you can do however we should avoid the burn-out syndrome. ijoh said well, It’s normal and you shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by expecting too much.

I don’t make flashcards and if you think that it doesn’t help you just skip it.

If you read Harry Potter, please share your thoughts here. I want to go back to studying German in the next months and want to read some serious stuffs. Harry Potter seems a little bit longer and harder than I can read however it’s always good to see how far I can go.

(BTW Die Welle seems interesting too. I’ve seen the movie and then found the novel. It’s a short-modern novel. It’s always easier to follow the texts that we are familiar to.)

I am creating the first Harry Potter book here: Login - LingQ