Studying with a difficult material

I have been studying with the Steve’s book “The Linguist” and it has been very pleasure and productive. Although, I would like to begin to study with something more, let’s say, literary. I tried with a book called Sailing Alone Around the World, available in the LingQ’s lessons, but I think that it’s a little bit difficult. First because the reading is with the English accent and I’m habituated with the American accent. Second because the vocabulary is a little bit difficult for me.

My question is, in your point of view, studying with a apparently difficult material is a good idea or it’s best to learn perfectly first a content that is more easy, but less interesting?

I studied first Italian and now I have I very good level, sufficient to read the best Italian literature, but I haven’t had this kind of problem with that language because I lived in Italy and my progress was natural. Now I’m not sure about what’s the best way to learn a language without go to the country of that language.

Thank you for your help.

I prefer difficult, fun material over boring, easy material. I don’t know how it affects learning, but if I was placed in the country speaking the language I am learning everything would be difficult to understand, but I would be very interested in understanding it. If the material is boring my thoughts starts to drift and I wouldn’t learn much anyway. Of course if I can’t understand a word the difficult material isn’t any use either.

Since you can write quite good in English I think it wouldn’t be any problem for you to take on some difficult material, especially if your difficulties are because of the material being British instead of American, as I guess yo want to be able to understand both?

I think a mixture of difficult and easy is a good idea. But I prefer difficult content, or at least interesting content.

The problem is that interesting content is often too difficult the first time. The major challenge for me at LingQ is to survive that period when all you have is scraps of understanding and no synthetic knowledge of difficult but interesting texts. But it does pass.

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I like to do some easy content to “warm me up”, them jump into extremely difficult content (on an interesting topic of course). When I reach my frustration limit or burn out I hop back to the easier content which relaxes me and makes me feel good about my accomplishements. This then gives me the ambition I need to attack the hard stuff again. Its pretty much like high intensity interval training for your brain.

If I were to start a totally new language I’d prefer easy content. If the language is close to another one I’ve studied (Spanish - Portuguese, German - Dutch), the level could probably be a bit higher. I heard it’s not unusual to know every character of a sentence in Mandarin and still have no idea what it means…:confused: