How To Learn A New Language Using Your Favorite Book
Here’s a quick tip how I intuitively picked up, that can help you quickly pick up and adapt a new language for the conversational purposes.
In order to start mastering a language you’re trying to learn, you must read and write in that language. But the funny thing is, most of us learn new languages to be able to speak it. That’s how babies learn to speak a language also, by actually trying to speak.
So when I moved to the US I was desperate to speak English. And one day out of nowhere I got this idea. I thought if I could only read an entire book, even a small book in English, I’d experience just about all aspects of the language, proper grammar on a practical level, sentence structure and construction, dialog, description of things and I’ll go through about 50,000 words, which in reality is about 2000-3000 words, many words repeat in books. And 2000-3000 words is more than enough to start the process of communication in that language. I thought to myself I’d be able to say stuff.
But the big problem was I wouldn’t know the meaning of the words I’d read. I also realized that by stopping and checking the meaning of each word I didn’t know would take me forever. I needed a quicker fix, and when I thought about it little more, I came up with a solution, a strategy, kind of a hack.
This was a big idea.
If I read a book that I already have read in another language that I know, I’d know the story very well, I’d know the characters, the settings, so I would have a general idea all the visual images that the book is communicating and all I have to do is associate the English words those visuals.
So here is what I did.
I read my favorite book, which is still my all-time favorite book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I read the book multiple times in Russian before. It’s a wonderful story and a quick read, I love that book.
So I read in Russian again, and right after I finished it, I started reading in English.
It was really difficult in the beginning, but because I knew the story and was able to guess a lot of the words and didn’t have to stop to check words. I just powered through it.
Right after I did that once, I did it again. The idea was if I master the content of this one book in English I can actually talk to people. So I did it again.
I repeated that process three or four times. I read “The Alchemist” in Russian and right after I read it in English. I read it in Russian and then right after I read it in English.
To my surprise, I leapfrogged in English, it worked. I started actually to speak the language good enough, to have conversations and apply for decent work. Obviously, I never stopped learning the language, but that was a turning point for me.
Keep in mind, I only knew a handful of sentences in English, and after doing these process I was able to hold a conversation. I continued that process with other books until I got proficient enough to take classes and start writing.
Just a quick tip for you, try it maybe it’ll work for you too. But remember you got to have fun, so pick a small book that you really like, and enjoy the process.
Thanks for reading…