How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary

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How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary

Message  JeanPierreD le Lun 30 Sep - 18:37

A good trick i’d like to share . Have you ever tried to read an English book such as a novel or a thriller ? If you are not so talented or beginner( as me) you’d better have a good dictionnary next to you , to grap at the first unknown word you need and search the meaning which is sometimes difficult because some words have different meanings  according to the context of the story. On top of that it’s easy to become bored and tired of this continuous to and fro movement  between  the book and search through the dictionnary .  Recently i’ve found a solution to tackle these difficulties and pass over them. The Harraps’s new collection recently released subtitled well known thrillers. The traduction of the most difficult words and expressions are in the margins of the book so that you can really be in the story and enjoy it .
The first book of this kind i’have been offered is Paper Money from Ken Follet. Usually i’m not into thrillers, i don’t like them in french, but in English i enjoyed, and moreover i think it’s a good way to improve his englih . I started a second one The Drop by Michael Connelly whose quick summary is  :
Detective Harry Bosch has to solve two new mysteries : In the first case, traces of blood found on the victim of a brutal murder which took place in 1989 lead to a suspect, the only thing is he was eight years old at the time ! The second case has to do with a man who has jumped or was pushed from a window. Do they have anything in common ? Will Harry Bosch find out what exactly happened in both cases ?
Harraps’s collection already published four books, with Misery by Stephen King and a Mind to Murder by P-D-James but others will soon follow : books by Paul Auster, Julian Barnes, Harlan Coben. If you try, you are bound to enjoy as much as i do . Oh ! i was forgetting something, each book costs a little less than 9 euros .
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Re: How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary

Message  MurielB le Lun 30 Sep - 21:07

Thank you so much Jean-Pierre for that trick. I am sure such books will help the café polyglotte sur le net members and visitors

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Re: How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary

Message  gerardM le Lun 30 Sep - 23:43

Hi Muriel, Jean-Pierre, Hi everyone,

@ Jean-Pierre - Thank you very much for your message.
The way you quote is a very good one.
Did you try bilingual books?

However, the best method is the one that will teach and permit you to learn, which depends on everyone, that will differ for everyone.
It's not because I disagree with you (see below) that I would say your method is bad: again, the best method is individual: it's the one that suits you.
Your method is perfect providing you can improve your level.

> How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary
A dictionary is a wonderful tool.
As for me, I'm using a computerized dictionary that is far quicker than a paper one.
I absolutely a dictionary and not a method that will break the back of the work for me (Fr me mâcher le travail).
A language is very complex and a word doesn't have a single meaning. I don't like help which will give me the only meaning that fits the context but I want to "know everything" about the word. In addition, I learn my words (like babies do) thru the context, I have to feel the meaning...

Here's my own method (that needs time): I read the same article 3 times.
-1- I understand through the context (I try to guess) and underline the words I don't know, or I'm surprised with, or I want to know more about
-2- I read again looking into my computerized dictionary (stopping at my underlined words) - when I'm in a dictionary, I usually go here and there looking at lots of side-words and expressions - I want to dig all of the meanings of the words
-3- I read again without the dictionary to be sure I learned and remember.
This is my own method that other persons might not like... I love it when I've got time : it is long but very efficient and exciting.
I read 3 times and that lasts several days; for the second step, I have to be in front of my computer; the other steps can be performed anywhere.

I sometimes read Vocable or bilingual books but as for me, my method is far richer.
With a bilingual book, I have a different reading, checking if I understand the same way as the translator, then reading the French translation and checking the English text (translate in my head).

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: How to dare to read english books without getting bored by the dictionnary

Message  MurielB le Mar 1 Oct - 8:50

gerardM a écrit:
It's not because I disagree with you (see below) that I would say your method is bad: again, the best method is individual: it's the one that suits you.

Thank you Gérard and Jean-pierre
it is a very good idea to compare one another 's methods and it is really the purpose of this forum. I also like comparing words (Linguee is my best dictionnary because there are a lot of examples)  but also enjoy writing on this forum and reading all your posts. 
After working on a text I use to put my headphones on and listen. It also helps me doing the boring house work I have to do.

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methods in order to learn english more easily

Message  JeanPierreD le Dim 6 Oct - 19:05

Thank you very much for your good piece of advice concerning the different methods aimed at  learning new english words and expressions. Specially Gérard's method that consists in reading three times the same text but each time with a different goal.On a psychological point of view, we know that we need to meet many times the same word or expression in different contexts to be able  to remember it... for ever.The way Gerard, do, is certainly a good way ( many readings, with time between each reading, naps and paradoxical sleep !) to engrave them into our brain.
Above all, i know what i have to do to improve my english, i need to work more and spend more time in english texts and books. Sometimes i dream i could learn only by listening english radio, but quickly it becomes background noise and i don't learn anything ( at least consciously ) ...
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