how to read in a foreign language

Do you like reading? Do you want to read your new books in their original versions? So this blogpost is made for you!

I'll divide this post in three parts so that it'll be more structured and easier to read. Firstly, I'll tell you my own experience with the reading in a foreign language. Then, I'll give you my tips to begin this adventure and to finish, I'll weigh the pros and cons of this reading. 

In my case, the foreign language is english. Before I started read in this language, I read in french and czech - my mother tongues. I've learnt english for five years. For a few months now, I've increasingly approached the english language by starting to write this blog only in english, reading more and more english blogs.. I was thinking about starting to read in english too. You know, I really want to be fluent in this language. And then, I was in a very big library in Prag and I bought the sixth and seventh volumes from Harry Potter in the original version there. Now, I'm by the end of the sixth so I can share this little experience!

Soo, my first tip would be that, if you're still unsure, you can start by reading some books for children. I know it can sound funny but it can be an excellent way to immerse yourself into the foreign language you want to read in. Of course, I'm not talking about some books like Peppa Pig or so.. but you can read Harry Potter! ;)

The second tip is to print the most important vocabulary and the equivalents of the names of the book. Indeed, I very quickly noticed that some words like "wand", "cloak" or "broomstick" appear a lot in HP. There are the names too. I had to print their translations because I read the first HP in french and czech and the names change totally from one language to another and I didn't want to be completely lost.

The third tip, and it's absolutely optional, is to have a little dictionary or your phone with a translate app at hand during your reading. Sometimes, you'll need to find one word or one expression to understand something. And trust me, you'll be happy to have these tools with you! BUT - and this will be the fourth and the last tip - you shouldn't abuse of them. In fact, you'll see that it will be really better to be carried away by the story. If you watch the dictionary everytime you won't know one word, you'll never finish the book. So really, try to use them as little as possible.

Now, we can finally see the pros and the cons of a reading in a foreign language. Let's start with the pros. Or rather THE pro. I noticed that my vocabulary grew rich a lot. Now, I feel myself more confident in english. Above all when I write my blogpost. Of course, there are still a lot of errors, but I feel really better when I write. And I think that it's very important. Then, I found two cons. The first is, that we would read slower because we don't know well the language and the second is that the prize of the book would be highest because of the import charges. For example, when I was in the big library and was watching the prize of the HPs in french, they were at 20 euros. In France, I can buy them at 8. But, honestly, I don't think this two cons are really important in front of this big pro, who is contributing a lot.

I really hope you found my tips useful and that you liked this blogpost. Did you already read a book in a foreign language? Do you want to try it?

I love you all, Valerie x




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  2. This is soooo helpful, I absolutely love this post! English is a foreign language for me too and it's the best when you see the progress you've made. At first I did understand the story I was reading but only the big lines and now I understand most of what I'm reading which is amazing. I now need to read in German for school but I find it way harder, so these tips are very very helpful! xx



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