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New Super Challenge Discussion thread2014

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Serpent
Octoglot
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Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
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 Message 281 of 766
18 May 2014 at 7:45pm | IP Logged 
VivianJ5 wrote:
Then, a few years later, I spent a few weeks at my French in-laws summer home, with a large library of all kinds of popular literature, with lots of translated American novels. I had never read Mary Higgins Clark in English, but I
really enjoyed the French translations: once you understand her style, her stories were very predictable, with a not-very-difficult vocabulary, but it was more than adequate for my level at the time.

Which is one of the reasons I recommended series like Nancy Drew to my teenage English language learners: predictable story progression, with easy-to-middling vocabulary level. Plus you feel a sense of accomplishment when you can finally whip through the books so easily after reading ten or more!

David Eddings' books are sometimes called "fantasy soap operas", btw. Maybe not the most exciting description but especially the Belgariad series were great. I've heard the rest are kinda repetitive.. will see XD

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Emme
Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
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Speaks: Italian*, English, German
Studies: Russian, Swedish, French

 
 Message 282 of 766
18 May 2014 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
VivianJ5 wrote:
[...] I had never read Mary Higgins Clark in English, but I
really enjoyed the French translations: once you understand her style, her stories were very predictable, with a not-very-difficult vocabulary, but it was more than adequate for my level at the time.
[...]


Substitute German for French and Donna Leon for Mary Higgins Clark and you’ve described my reading habits in German to a T.

And I totally agree with you (and Kerrie and Cavesa): high-brow literature is better postponed to a point in the future when one is ready to enjoy it. As language learners we can truly say: long live commercial fiction!



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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 283 of 766
18 May 2014 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
VivianJ5 wrote:
Which is one of the reasons I recommended series like Nancy Drew to my teenage English language learners: predictable story progression, with easy-to-middling vocabulary level. Plus you feel a sense of accomplishment when you can finally whip through the books so easily after reading ten or more!

The classics can wait for a later, more advanced level...why not enjoy the process as much as possible?


First of all, congratulations on getting the first star of the challenge, Vivian!

I totally agree, "trashy" and easy books in translation are great for learners. I have the first three Famous Five books in French. However, I also think it's great to seek out the equivalents in your target language. Besides the fact that you are discovering something new, it helps you enter into the mindset and world of native speakers of your TL. For French, so far I've only discovered Le Petit Nicolas, and it's been wonderful!

Perhaps it would be useful for people to share their experience with simple, easy, and yes even trashy, series in their own languages. New or old. And if these series are well-known and read by most school children (at least those who actually read), so much the better!

For English, there are the "classics" like Enid Blyton (which I never read) and Roald Dahl. But there are modern series which are really popular, such as The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, How to Tame Your Dragon, Beast Quest (I understand every book in this series has a virtually identical plotline), etc. Many of these are available in translation, but what are the series kids are reading in your language?

Edited by Jeffers on 18 May 2014 at 9:28pm

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Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
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949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 284 of 766
18 May 2014 at 9:48pm | IP Logged 
I was hoping to get some good Spanish recommendations for young adult fantasy and science fiction while in Spain
- but it seems that most of the Spaniards I spoke to read translations of English novels! If it's good enough for
natives, then I guess it's good enough for me. But I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for some good Spanish
scifi/fantasy.

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dbag
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United Kingdom
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 Message 285 of 766
18 May 2014 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
Carlos ruis Zafon, who is a superb writer, has written some books for teens. His works for adults are unmissable, in my eyes.

Edit: Just noticed a great resource at the bottom of the article I linked to: Las mejores 100 novelas de la lengua Espanola de los ultimos 25 anos.

Edited by dbag on 18 May 2014 at 10:09pm

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VivianJ5
Diglot
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United States
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81 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 286 of 766
18 May 2014 at 10:20pm | IP Logged 
Thanks, Jeffers! Although I have to admit, my level is pretty high (at least B2, possibly C1, at least in reading), and it
helps that I read fast, and have a lot of free time...but I'm still pretty pleased ;-) !

Don't think I'll be able to read quite as quickly in Italian or Spanish (my future challenges!), as I can in French. But
one thing at a time. Getting my French up to speed will help next weekend: spending three days in Bordeaux with
the in-laws is always a challenge. I'm readier than ever, and even have a couple of French TV series to ask them
about; I KNOW that will make them happy...
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druckfehler
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
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1181 posts - 1912 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Korean
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 Message 287 of 766
18 May 2014 at 11:56pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
What I would really like to hear at this point, is how is everyone doing?

Those of you who have registered again, with the same language, as I have, can you say a few words about the improvements you see?

I'm participating with Korean for the second time now. Last time I finished the movie part and somehow managed to read about 10 books (which I didn't count by pages, however). I didn't stand a chance in hell to complete the reading challenge anyway. Before the challenge, I had finished reading a few children's books and -painstakingly- a short novel, but it was still pretty overwhelming. I guess if I could've actually gotten my hands on more children's books and any easy readers it might have been feasible...

This year, the reading part is going so much better. I'm halfway through a translation of Anne Frank's Diary and it's gotten quite readable by now. I think this time it will be possible for me to complete a full Super Challenge, but it will definitely still be a big challenge to keep up with the reading requirements.

Komma wrote:
Listening in the background might be helpful if one does it A LOT. But for an hour in the evening I don't find that quite useful.

I used to listen to 30 minute-long Korean podcasts and radio shows every night before sleep for a couple of months. You would be surprised how much my listening comprehension improved. At the beginning, I couldn't focus on more than 10 minutes, but after 2-3 months of regularly doing that listening it became much easier. Nowadays I have no trouble with those 30 minutes and I understand about 70-80% of it. You have to start somewhere and a steady habit of something like 10-30 minutes does add up (and can be a great method for falling asleep :D).

Edited by druckfehler on 19 May 2014 at 12:00am

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sfuqua
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2926 days ago

581 posts - 977 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hawaiian, Tagalog
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 288 of 766
19 May 2014 at 4:52am | IP Logged 
Please keep discussing what you are doing where what works, or worked for you last time. I'm a little over my head.
The idea of reading first and then listening to an audiobook is great. I was trying to do it the other way around, and I was spending too much time not understanding what was going on. I've tried doing L-R a few days after closely reading, and wow, does it seem effective. Even after reading through a passage a couple of times, I still have some things fall into place when I L-R the passage. I suppose this will become less necessary if and when I improve. I'm going to try to go for 10000 pages, whether I finish during this challenge or not; I've been inspired by some of the stories I've heard. of massive breakthroughs in reading.

I can't emphasize enough how easy Hemingway is when translated into Spanish. He was famous for his clear, simple style in English; it transfers to Spanish very well. I used Hemingway when I was teaching ESL to college students overseas; there is something poetic about me turning to Hemingway for my own learning. Whatever critical opinion of him is these days, he did win a Novel prize.

I made bilingual parallel text of the first ten pages of 15 of the books I plan to read, in rough order of grade level. I figure it's better to work through than trying Assimil again, at least for me. I'll work through it first, until I get tired of it and then start through the whole books.
:)


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