Troubles with reading

Recently started getting into books once I reached 10.000 words and finding it difficult to “enjoy a book” because there are so many words per page that I have not learnt yet I am missing what is going on with the plot and missing a lot of dialogue so I have now thought it might be a good idea of choosing a book where I have already seen the film of the book for example harry potter as I know what happens and will hopefully not be so lost when reading.

I know I will not be able to fully follow a book once reaching minimum double my known words.

anyone have any advise for this?

You don’t really have to read “hard” books at this stage. If I were you I would import news articles or something. Don’t be so hard on yourself, by the way.

Reason why I’m importing books is because I can just import the whole thing and don’t keep on having to find new content to read.

IMO, there are two different issues here and both are important:
First, books differ dramatically in difficulty. It is worth trying a couple to decide if they feel right for your current level. Some are too easy and some too difficult. Don’t hesitate to begin a book and then leave it after a couple pages because it seems too easy or too difficult or because you just don’t like it. Those few pages are still exposure to the language and they’re useful. When I first tried to read Russian novels I began several of them and left them after a couple chapters. I didn’t read a whole one, cover to cover until my fourth or fifth attempt, but that’s all right, unfinished novels still count. I have revisited some of those novels after some time and finished some of them (Master and Margarita is a prime example). Some others are still unfinished. I’m sure I’ll never read some of them. What books are you trying to read? I may comment whether I find them too difficult or easy and I may suggest alternatives.
Second, and very important: get used to not understanding everything perfectly. It’s one of the most important skills for language learners. You’ll get that all the time. As you learn, you’ll understand different contents at different levels. If you find a passage that you don’t understand completely, browse over it and move on! Again, those less-than-perfectly-understood pieces will still improve your level over time. One thing I sometimes do is find a synopsis of the book/movie/sereies I’m trying to understand in another language (English, in your case). I’d read a chapter or section of the book or watch a few scenes of the movie then read the synopsis to check what I’ve missed

So I was reading a book called the “camel club” sounded really interesting when I read the description on Amazon but before that I got about half way through reading a book about Pablo Escobar but again I got bored of it as I was literally just going from page to page to learn words I had no idea what was actually happening within that book, now I am going to start reading the first Harry potter book as I have seen the film and feel like I have already a higher understand of what is going on because I have seen the film.

Just need to keep on grinding I suppose.

Thanks for the feedback.

You could start reading non-fiction books they’re easier. (not always the case though :confused: )

Ftornay says: “get used to not understanding everything perfectly. It’s one of the most important skills for language learners.” A good advice, but when reading a book you want (I want) to understand what the author says and what is happening. My solution is that I have a translation of the book in question, which I consult now and then. (By the way, my experience is that translators have the habit of just leaving away parts of a sentence that are too difficult to translate or to understand).


In my target language, I keep up a list of :

-websites with short interesting articles
-interesting discussion boards and forums
-news sites with short articles
-wechat accounts of interesting commentors
-chat shows that have full transcripts

This makes up the majority of my reading.

I have a novel I have been reading for the past two years. It’s a very, very long novel. I just chip away at it bit by bit. This makes up a small, but very fulfilling, part of my reading. I spend less than an hour a week on it.

Here’s a talk by Professor Alexander Arguelles on Reading Literature in Foreign Languages. Might help.

Choose something easier or grit your teeth and lingq the hell out of it and struggle through it, re-reading sections/chapters until they start to make some sense.

12k words for your first L2 is nothing, by the way. When you’re at 25-30k you will start to read fluently depending on what content you used to get to that number.

Sorry if this is a bit harsh, but based on your posts in various threads and this one, I think you’re trying to go too quickly and are too obsessed with increasing your known word count at the expense of consolidation and probably output. I’d say your word count does not reflect your true level (i.e. your true level is lower, which is also true for me in Portuguese, but I’m a ‘good reader’ so my lower-than-it-should-be level is coming out more in speaking and listening rather than reading). Not all word counts are created equal.

It’s completely natural that after only studying the language for a short period, you’re going to struggle with books. I agree that importing books is much easier than shorter articles so that’s what I do too but you have to read something that corresponds to your level otherwise you will get demotivated and have the other problems you’re describing. Yes, we all want to engage with material that we’re interested in, but at lower levels this is difficult because adult material is too complex.

I’ve already recommended Laura Gallego to you before, but let me do it again. These two books are for children - they’re fun little fantasy books about dragons and thieves. You can download the first chapter for free and see if it’s easier for you than the books you’re reading.

I had an enormous reading breakthrough with her books about eight years ago, going from highlighting 10-15 unknown words per page (‘offline LingQ’) to being able to read several consecutive pages with no highlights over the course of three books and a few months. Trust and enjoy the process and the rewards will come.

Sorry again if I am out of line here.

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I agree I am always popping up on the forum hahaha where this is my first attempt at learning a new language I know that I’m gonna ask loads of questions as everything is so new to me, this whole process is new! But yeah everything you’re saying is correct I just need to keep grinding away and overtime the mist will disappear

And I feel also because Spanish is my first attempt at a second language I’m also learning what is best for myself in tearms of learning it how to improve this that and the other once I’ve cracked this for myself I will just repeat it with another languages.

Thanks for the feedback as always I will have another look at that website again!!

I agree with benscheelings. Comparative reading would be my answer. In the beginning stages, having the book in booth your target and native language allows you not only to follow it better but it will also make you learn a hell of a lot faster because you will understand the words and expressions in context as opposed to just looking them up. This makes everything stick a lot better.

Think of comparative reading as a crutch – you wanna run right now, but your leg is broken, so use the crutch until your leg is strong enough to walk, then you can start picking up the pace and work on running.

(Comparative reading should really be advocated and pushed more by polyglots but, but I understand the economics behind not doing that.)

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