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Audio books in the target language

 Language Learning Forum : Books, Literature & Reading Post Reply
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Hexaglot
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 Message 1 of 12
24 March 2005 at 8:42am | IP Logged 
Did anybody try to listen to audio books in the their target language?

I know you can buy many on tape, CD and even by download, and all of these texts are also available as regular books and in translation. This looks quite appealing but I would welcome some first hand experiences!
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victor
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 Message 2 of 12
24 March 2005 at 1:48pm | IP Logged 
In case this would be of interest to anyone, I borrowed parts of the Harry Potter series in French and copied them at home. It's difficult to listen to it alone; I think I will need the book to accompany it.

Edited by Malcolm on 24 March 2005 at 8:26pm

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ProfArguelles
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 Message 3 of 12
24 March 2005 at 8:24pm | IP Logged 
Apart from reading literature, shadowing audiobooks intended for native speakers is the chief way that I maintain my languages. Doing this for languages like Russian that have irregular stress patterns is absolutely necessary. For others, it is more of a simple pleasure. Beyond boosting listening comprehension and adding vocabulary by osmosis, I find that repeated shadowing of such literary materials is the most effective form of advanced study. If you can internalize enough of the word choice and sentence structure of, e.g., Tolstoy, with the accent and intonation of the kind of person generally recruited to read such materials, you may find Russians telling you that you speak Russian better than they do!
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heartburn
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 Message 4 of 12
24 March 2005 at 8:31pm | IP Logged 
Ardaschir, you said here that you shadow the audio as you read the book. At what stage would you recommend starting this? Do you begin with the audio when you can still only handle a chapter at a time without referring to the translation? Or, do you wait until you can finally read the entire book after reading the translation?

Why do you recommend walking while reading? In my case, it sounds like a good idea because I often fall asleep when I read. :)
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ProfArguelles
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 Message 5 of 12
25 March 2005 at 11:21am | IP Logged 
Heartburn, I don't want to be too authoritative here because, especially at an advanced stage, you need to be cognizant of your own style of learning rather than listening to the advice of others, so the best advice I can give you is to experiment until you find what is right for you. Still...

I would certainly recommend walking while reading, at least pacing back and forth in your study/room, or ideally walking slowly in circles on a hazard-free path in a field or park.

I would not wait until I could handle the whole book without translation to start using the audio portion.

If the book is really over your head, you are not ready for this. Try this by simply reading and seeing if you cannot at least get the gist of what is going on after having read the translation first.

If you can get the gist, although with difficulty, try letting the tape "drive" you through the whole text and see if you don't get even more out of it.

If you do, keep doing this several times until you level out. Then, read the text slowly and try to let the voice of the tape dominate your own accent and speed. You should understand more than you do on your own.

After your have listened to the tape and simultaneously looked at the book multiple times, read the book alone (chapter by chapter if need be, the entirety if possible), much more slowly, and try to figure out what is going on.

After you can read the book and look at the text simultaneously and understand pretty much everything, start listening to and shadowing the tape alone, trying to recall and understand as much as you can.
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heartburn
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 Message 6 of 12
25 March 2005 at 6:32pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, Ardaschir! This is great stuff. I'm so glad you wrote so much about it, both here and in the Russian literature topic.

I'm still wondering, what exactly is the reasoning behind walking while reading?
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blackr00t
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 Message 7 of 12
25 March 2005 at 6:47pm | IP Logged 
On a side note, I may add that all the geniuses in history have made their greatest discoveries while walking. Einstein, Newton, and many others derived and discovered their most noted findings while walking or pacing.
I'm not quite sure why this is, but I recall reading somewhere that it has to do with stimulating the brain and perhaps oxygenating it ?

Anyhow, I think if one does this while trying to learn languages perhaps they'll have greater success.... Ardaschir what was your reasoning ?
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ProfArguelles
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 Message 8 of 12
26 March 2005 at 8:50pm | IP Logged 
Exactly what was just mentioned - moving around sends more blood to the brain, and if you can do so under the ideal surroundings of a walk in nature, then you will get the best quality oxygen. Needless to say, this is not strenuous physical exercise, but it is better than being sedentary all the time, mens sana in corpore sano and all that. Furthermore, if you try to read and shadow while you are sitting down, your mind is more likely to wander, and you are more likely to get bored and to fall asleep if you are generally fatigued. So, walking about is an aid to concentration as well.


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