It was my first translation/interpretation conference where I had the opportunity to learn about one of the most important strategies to learning a foreign language. As I handed out pamphlets about the translation/interpretation program at the local college I engaged several seasoned professionals and asked them if they could give me one piece of advice on how to be the best translator that I could be, what would it be? Over and over again, there was one resounding answer, READ. Read in your native tongue. Read in your target language. Read for quality. Read for quantity. Read for information. Read for fun. Just simply read, read, read!
So why did so many translators and interpreters, many of which also taught …show more content…
Children’s books. Children’s books are easy. They introduce words slowly and repeat often.
Newspapers. Newspapers are concise and are written with words that are used frequently in every day life.
Novels. Novels will teach you slang and idioms. How do people really say that?
Academic books. Here is where you will learn your specific vocabulary on a specific topic. These books tend to follow grammar rules.
Magazines. This resource offers a variety of topics from fashion to trains. The articles are usually short and contain both industry terms and slang, but are tended for the common person, making them fairly easy to understand.
How do you prepare to read in a foreign language?
Read in your native tongue first. If your goal is to learn about immigration than read about immigration in your native tongue before reading about immigration in your target language, this will assist in understanding complex concepts and words.
Understand what you are reading. That is, have a general understanding. If you are reading a novel than read a synopsis of the book in your own language first to understand it …show more content…
Take a look at what you are going to read. Look for any unfamiliar words that may cause you problems in understanding the text. Look up the meanings of the word and jot them down.
You’ve listed your goals, selected your reading material and followed your pre-reading strategies. Now it is time to dive in and read, so how do you do it?
How do you read in a foreign language?
Read the article all the way through without looking up words. If it is an article, read it all the way through. If it is a novel, read an entire chapter.
Summarize. Summarize what you just read. List the characters and describe the plot, if it is a novel or list key points if you are reading an academic book, newspaper or magazine.
Read again, look up words. This time reread your material, underline the new words and take time to research them.
Read again, one more time. You’ve looked up words, you’ve read it twice. Now it is time to see well you understand without looking up any more words.
Summarize, again. When you summarize this time, be more specific. Did you understand more?
Read again and again. If the article is short and if you have time, I would suggest reading it over a few times throughout the day. This will help you memorize new words and