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Old 8th March 2009, 05:17 PM   #21
Angel1968
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Originally Posted by lazarus1907 View Post
The first time I tried to read a book in English, my vocabulary was rather rudimentary, and I chose a normal novel, not one for beginners. I had to look up easily between 5 to 10 words per line, or more (I didn't know words like "so", "since",...), and I wrote them all down as I went along. I didn't really enjoy what I read, and it was hard, but half way through the book I was only checking a few words per page, at worst. After that, I started enjoying the books I read, but I'm sure my method is not the ideal one.

In German I used simplified books for students with the translation on one page, and the key vocabulary at the bottom of the German page. I avoided the translated page most of the time, and I found it quite useful, almost enjoyable (when I realized I could actually understand what I was reading).
Hi,

the idea is not the ideal one, that`s right, but I do it so, too. I just read a few pages of my first spanish book. I have a piece of paper next to my book and the dictionary. Every word I don't know, I look at the dictionary and write the spanish and the german word next to each other. If one page is full I take it in the kitchen and while I cook I learn the vocabulary. I hope that the book would became easier same pages later.

Angel
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Old 8th March 2009, 09:59 PM   #22
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Here's an idea that might work if, like me, you tend to read favourite books over and over again.

Choose an English book that you really like, you've read at least twice, and would be happy to read again - then get the Spanish translation.

I'm currently reading Donna Tartt's 'The Secret History' in Spanish: 'El Secreto'. In theory, the language in this novel should be way beyond my intermediate level Spanish, but because I am so familiar with the plot, dialogue and descriptions in the English version, words and sentence-constructions that should be too difficult just jump out at me. I also keep the English version at hand if I get stuck, but try to treat this as a last resort.

The disadvantage of this method is that you are reading Spanish translated from English, but unless you are very advanced I don't think this matters too much.

My problem with reading unknown Spanish books is that I find it very difficult and frustrating to 'read for gist' and ignore unknown words, and so far this has been a way round that. But it only works if you enjoy re-reading novels.
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Old 9th March 2009, 01:37 AM   #23
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I agree with Melocoton. The first book I read from cover to cover in Spanish was El incidente curioso del perro a medianoche by Mark Haddon. It was translated from English, which some people would prefer not to read, though. I'd already read the English version a few years before, but even without this, the book is fairly simple due to the protagonist's Ausperger's Syndrome, which means that he doesn't employ idioms and such-like.

I'm now reading Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel, and that's going great too, so I'd recommend that.
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Old 9th March 2009, 04:30 AM   #24
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i find not looking up the words almost impossible. whilst i get the general gist it really annoys me that i don't understand exactly what is happening and can find i am thinking one thing has happened when in fact something altogether different is going on- very frustrating.
I too suffer from this compulsion, but I try to limit myself to say, one lookup every couple of pages. If you´re into the book it gets easier not to stop and look up words.

You can always take such a book along where you have no dictionary or internet connectivity, and preferably few other distractions. Walking trips, for example. A couple of years ago I was in the backcountry of Baja California when I came down with the flu. Nothing to do but doze all day, and read the rather longLa Catedral del Mar, which proved to be a real lifesaver...by the time I was well enough to walk again I had got through the whole thing with some degree of enjoyment, and without reference to a dictionary. I did write down a few words on the book jacket but of course never went back to look them up.
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Old 9th March 2009, 06:36 PM   #25
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I know it's not very "highbrow" but I've read a few Dannielle Steele books translated into Spanish. They're not usually my cup of tea, but are easy reading, with lots of dialogue - which is (for me, anyway) more useful than lots of description. At present, I don't think I could cope too well with something by a Spanish author, as the language is likely to be too difficult - that's why I've gone for translations. I've also read "El nino con las pijamas de rayas" - (another translation) which is written from the point of view of a child, so the vocabulary is quite straightforward.
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Old 9th March 2009, 09:51 PM   #26
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I'm now reading Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel, and that's going great too, so I'd recommend that.
I've got a copy of that one in my (big) "to read" pile.

Have you seen the film? I quite enjoyed that.
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:28 AM   #27
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I've got a copy of that one in my (big) "to read" pile.

Have you seen the film? I quite enjoyed that.
I haven't seen the film yet, but I bought it a few weeks ago so maybe it's now time to move it up the pile a bit.
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Old 10th March 2009, 05:14 PM   #28
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Hallo everybody,

I want to read my first book in spanish. Does somebody can give me an advice which book is writen very simple.

Thanks for an answer

Angel
Hi Angel,
my first book was EL NIÑO CON EL PYJAMAS DE RAYAS by John Boyle. I´d recommend it, it's not very long and easy enough to read. Good luck!
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Old 19th March 2009, 01:59 PM   #29
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Hallo everybody,

I want to read my first book in spanish. Does somebody can give me an advice which book is writen very simple.

Thanks for an answer

Angel
Te propongo Pippi Langstrumpf, en espanol Pipi Calzaslargas

Me gusta mucho leer este libro en espanol porque no es demasiado dificil comprender el texto.

Saludos, Dany
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Old 19th March 2009, 04:41 PM   #30
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If you happen to be living in Spain then join the local library (a fairly simple process involving your NIE number and passport)and you will be able to borrow 5 children's books and 5 adult books per time. If you go to the children's section the books are colour coded (much the same as in the UK). Currently I'm reading the yellow ones (12 years +), which are not the most stimulating read but great for learning common vocab and improving your grammar.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by delgado; 19th March 2009 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 19th March 2009, 07:11 PM   #31
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Default Gracias por el consejo

Thanks Delgado, after struggling to write this in spanish I realized the post was in english, I suppose it would have been good practice in spanish.
However I have chosen the easy option..

!Well guess where I am going next week!!!!!

In the past I have bought one or two childrens books, but it takes time to choose the right ones This way I can spend as much time as I want in the library,and I expect it is free.
All that is left for me to do is to find one near me.
Thanks again
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Old 31st March 2009, 05:42 PM   #32
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Default Reading a book in Spanish

Could I make another suggestion for a book which is very simple to read and the story is quite short. It was a book originally written for children so the vocabulary is simple. the book is called "El nino de las pijamas de rayos" by John Boyne.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel1968 View Post
Hallo everybody,

thank you very much for all the advices. I think I would find now the right book for the first time. And it's right, I don't have to translate every word - it is just important to understand the sense.

I think Harry Potter is a very good idea, because I saw the first episode on tv (but in german). English is foreign languages for me.

Hasta pronto en ese foro

Angel
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Old 31st March 2009, 09:48 PM   #33
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Hi, I'm reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's 'El Príncipe de la Niebla' which is easy to read and (perhaps more importantly) Spanish, rather than a translation. It is a prizewinning children's story, although I came across it having read 'La Sombra del Viento' first, which is by the same author but for adults (and a much more tricky read).
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Old 1st April 2009, 02:25 PM   #34
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Hola Angel,

¿hablas aleman? ¿Conoces la editorial "Reclam"? Tienen una colección que se llama "Colleción Roja", "Rote Reihe". Son libros especialmente preparados para alumnos de lenguas, entre otras español. Es el libro original, pero en el fondo de una pagina se traducen la palabras difíciles. Mira en la pagina de web de Reclam! Entre otros ofrecen "Historia de una muerta anunciada".

Hay otro editorial, creo que es "DTV". Ofrecen libros traducidos. Una pagina en el idioma original, la de enfrente en aleman.

Y al fin una enlace:
http://www.spanisch-lehrbuch.de/


Saludos de Bremen
Don André
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Old 5th April 2009, 01:37 PM   #35
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Welsh is my 1st language and it was really some time before I read much English!! However, I became hooked on Enid Blyton's Famous Five and have a lot to thank her for!!
I am now eagerly reading in SPANISH exactly the same and find that they are just "my level"!! Also reading, by same author, "Torres de Malory" (Mallory Towers) which I never did read when younger.....may be worth a try for some of you? A lot of conversation in them and I find use of the verbs etc helpful rather than descriptions (as someone else mentioned). Ana x
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Old 17th April 2009, 09:42 PM   #36
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I am currently taking a Spanish short stories class. We are reading El cuento hisapnoamericano. It's a collection of cuentos (short stories) from many Latin/South American authors that covers many literary movements from el romanticismo all the way to el neorrealismo. I wouldn't recommend this for beginners, but it's a great way to expand your abilities once you've reached an intermediate level or higher. There is a lot of colloquial language in some of the stories, but not all. Lots of stories for around $10-15. I'll dig up some of the other cuentos and novelas I've read for classes and post them later.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 08:53 PM   #37
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There are some good tips about reading Spanish books here! I´ve read quite a few Spanish books although have struggled with some "adult" books. I´ve read "El Principe de la Niebla" y "El Sombra del Viento" de Carlos Ruiz Zafron although I found the latter had a lot of difficult vocab and it was very slow. The books I´ve found the easiest and most enjoyable to read are: Sin Noticias de Gurb"by Eduardo Mendoza and "Como Agua Para el Chocolate" by Laura Esquival.Can anyone reccommend a Spanish book/author that is interesting and isn´t slow? As I have said, I´ve read quite a few books in Spanish although it can be a grind as I find them to be quite slow and very detailed(I like immediate action where you find it hard to put the book down and/or humourous books e.g. Marian Keyes) I prefer not to read translated books as I like to read them in the original version!
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Old 24th April 2009, 05:34 PM   #38
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Have just finished another Spanish book...it only took me an afternoon! It´s called Pedro y el Capitán by Mario Benedetti(although sounds like the author´s Italian!)It´s a play about a political prisoner being tortured by the Captain. The play is not too difficult to read and the best thing is it´s very short so you don´t feel bogged down by reading in Spanish! The actual story is ok...although wouldn´t put it down as one of my favourites.
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Old 24th April 2009, 07:01 PM   #39
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Mario Benedetti(although sounds like the author´s Italian!)
Around half the population of Uruguay is of Italian descent.
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Old 25th April 2009, 08:19 PM   #40
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Here are a few easy reads. Most are around 50 pages. I think they are all mystery type stories that are kind of geared towards young adults or teenagers...very fast-paced with a fairly streamlined vocabulary. I read them for a summer class a couple of years ago. The first five are part of a collection titled "Leer en español."

Asesinato en el barrio gótico Óscar Tosal
La chica de los zapatos verdes Jordi Surís Jordá
Carnaval en Canarias Fernando Uría
La Sombra de un fotógrafo Rosana Acquaroni Muñoz
El misterio de la llave *my favorite* Elena Moreno

El desorden de tu nombre by Juan José Millás is another that I read for the same class. It's the same type of read, but is a little over 200 pages.
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