For foreign languages learners

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Language learning possibilities for readers using Kindle
In general, if one has a Kindle format of a book in a language one knows and in the language one is learning and there are Kindle dictionaries connecting the two languages, then there are additional possibilities for learning. One may read the book in the language one knows while looking up difficult words and translate them into the language one is learning. Later, one can read the volume in the language one is learning and look up words in the reverse dictionary to connect between the lesser-known language and the well-known language. Depending on where one is on the learning curve, it may also be an option to read just one chapter in one's own language and then shift to the language one is learning. This alternation may reinforce and strengthen the learning of newly encountered words and make it overall enjoyable as one still does not know how the plot develops.

Using Kindle Highlight to save words one is learning
With Kindle Highlights, one can save words to My Clippings for later review. Of course, one can also write down the words, as one reads.

Finding dictionaries for Kindle
If someone has an old Kindle, there may be fewer dictionaries preinstalled, mine had just two English to English. Fortunately, suitable dictionaries can often be found or purchased.

An example for someone reading Spanish much easier than English:
Say one is reading a Kindle version of a Mary Balogh book in Spanish from the titles mentioned in this thread. One knows all the words in Spanish but not in English. With a Kindle Spanish to English dictionary installed and activated one may look up the translation of the words into English. This may prepare one for reading a Kindle version of the same title in English using a Kindle English to Spanish dictionary. All one needs to do is change the default dictionary on Kindle and have both book available.

Applied to French
There seem to be fewer books in Kindle of the same author in French, but La perle cachée (The Secret Pearl) is available.

Other languages
If a title is missing in Kindle format for the language one speaks, sometimes one can change another format if it is exists by using an ebook converter. Alternatively one may find solutions for other ebook readers using other formats.
 
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thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finding dictionaries for Kindle
If someone has an old Kindle, there may be fewer dictionaries preinstalled, mine had just two English to English. Fortunately, suitable dictionaries can often be found or purchased.
Since then a couple of pages turned up. One has several of the major languages, and this page in Russian is helpful if one is Russian, is translating from or to Russian or is learning Russian. As an example, I imported and changed the setting on my Kindle, so I can look up the meaning of English words in Russian. I chose a word in English and the Eng-Rus dictionary gave several words in Russian of which I only knew one.
 

Mark7

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Being stationed in Germany during my tour in the army in the 80's, I became passionate about learning German. One thing I did was to buy some German books for 10-14 year olds, Any word I didn't know I looked it up in a German-English dictionary. I underlined that word in the book and in the dictionary. After a while I stopped even writing the meaning down in the margins of the book. I scored a penalty to myself if I looked up a word that I had previously looked up more than once. It was not long before I was reading German and English classics (in German).

Of course, I was immersing myself in the culture, watching German TV and listening to German radio. I was also studying German grammar. At that point I met some German people who I became friends with - which perhaps helped more than anything else as I became conversational in German.

German is a fairly easy language to learn for an English speaking person, (it's almost 'Old English'), except for the gender rules - there are 3 genders in German. The subjunctive form is also difficult as that has atrophied in the English language.

Funny how it is much easier to read a foreign language rather than understand the spoken. German sounds as beautiful as French to me.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Applied to French
There seem to be fewer books in Kindle of the same author in French, but La perle cachée (The Secret Pearl) is available.
Thanks for the reminder, thorbiorn!

Since my French writing skills are abominable and I wish to become more fluent in the language I bought a few French titles of the romance novels, like Grace Burrowes's stand-alone Le Chef du Clan (The Laird) and Julia Quinn's Un goût du Paradis (Just like Heaven). Quinn's entire Smythe-Smith Quartet has been translated into French, so I might purchase the rest of the series.

I already read The Laird in English, so that will make reading in French much easier and subsequently I can focus more on the grammar and syntax (something I wish to do).
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Social media groups dedicated to the learning of languages
There are dedicated forums for language learner on several social media platforms, many with so much material and so many ideas, that one can easily run out of time just reading about them. To find them one can try: "English learn" or "English language" or "English language learner" and several search suggestions come up. For other languages one can change English with French or Spanish, Russian, German etc.
Examples:
Not that the number of members necessarily translates current quality, but at some stage a lot of people must have been interested, if there are many members and they are active, meaning that one can also get answers to questions.
On Facebook, there is
Russian Language with 65,000 members. As always some posts and questions give rise to more responses than others.
On VK there is English for Teaching & Learning they have more than 54,000 members.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Language learning possibilities for readers using Kindle
In general, if one has a Kindle format of a book in a language one knows and in the language one is learning and there are Kindle dictionaries connecting the two languages, then there are additional possibilities for learning. One may read the book in the language one knows while looking up difficult words and translate them into the language one is learning. Later, one can read the volume in the language one is learning and look up words in the reverse dictionary to connect between the lesser-known language and the well-known language. Depending on where one is on the learning curve, it may also be an option to read just one chapter in one's own language and then shift to the language one is learning. This alternation may reinforce and strengthen the learning of newly encountered words and make it overall enjoyable as one still does not know how the plot develops.
I can really recommend this! A few days ago I (finally!) started reading romance novel writer Julia Quinn's Un goût du Paradis (Just like Heaven) after first reading the novel in English. I am looking up every word I don't know using the French-French dictionary on my kindle, just for fun. That said, there are many words that are similar in English, which makes reading easier. Still, it takes me much longer than reading an English novel, but Quinn is still witty, even in French. ;-) While reading I also pay attention to grammar and syntax.

I also bought the second tome of Quinn's Smythe-Smith series, but this time in German. I started reading German literature, and although I understand the gist of the novel I decided to leave it and read the romance novel first, because it probably helps me build comprehension and the German-German dictionary on my Kindle makes the life of a language learner much easier!

At the same time I started watching German Krimis (crime series) to help me with pronunciation and comprehension. As I started a German business correspondence course (distance learning) it is very likely that my German (and French) will improve by reading and listening at the same time.

That reminds me of this article which extols the virtues of interleaving:
One of the potential drawbacks of the technique is that it can feel harder at first.

Instead of concentrating on one skill at a time, you have to work on two or more.

But interleaving probably works because it forces the mind to work harder.

Instead of relying on learning a system and sticking with it, the mind has to keep searching and reaching for solutions.
But this article also contains important knowledge:
We remember things longer if we take breaks during learning, referred to as the spacing effect. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology gained deeper insight into the neuronal basis for this phenomenon in mice. With longer intervals between learning repetitions, mice re-use more of the same neurons as before - instead of activating different ones. Possibly, this allows the neuronal connections to strengthen with each learning event, such that knowledge is stored for a longer time.

So, switching from one language to another might not be such a bad idea.
 
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