Wednesday, February 24, 2016

(Not Quite) Reading in Spanish

I decided to give my Spanish skills a test by checking out an ebook from the library. I've tried reading in Spanish before, but I've always run into a vocabulary problem. Since using Duolingo, I've been able to get a good amount of meaning from the articles on BBC Mundo, so I figured it was time to try another book.

The Boise Public Library does not have a very large collection of ebooks in Spanish, but as I scrolled through the selection, I found one that I thought would be perfect for my purposes. It was a young adult book, and I'd read it before more than once. Surely, I'd be able to figure out some of the more exotic words by context in Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal. 

The problem was that the book was not immediately available. So I placed a hold. Unfortunately, the hold did not alert me when the book became available so I didn't even take a look until six of my fourteen allotted days had passed. And then I realized that it was not available through Kindle, so I would have to read it on my computer instead of on my ereader.

But all of those complications wouldn't mean anything if I couldn't read the text.

And, although I understand the gist, in part from a familiarity with the story and in part because I do have more Spanish vocabulary and grammar than I used to, I don't feel like I can read it. I hesitate every few words when something unfamiliar, either in construction or form, pops up. I tried for a while to search for the meanings of unfamiliar words, but that process was laborious and took away from the reading experience.

I think I need to find some simpler books to start reading in Spanish. Clearly, young adult is still too high an aspiration at my 54% fluency. Maybe I can ask my dad to send me that old copy of Jorge el Curioso...

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