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Forum like this for Spanish?


Moshen
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I've been following the recent threads here on what to read with great envy, because my Chinese isn't yet good enough to read books.  My Chinese is a couple of years behind my Spanish, which is good enough for telenovelas, some native audiobooks (nonfiction is easier for me when listening) and for novels in printed book form.

 

However, I'm floundering when trying to figure out which works are easier for second-language listeners and readers and which harder. 

 

If only there were an active forum like this for Spanish?  Maybe there is, but I have not been able to find it.  Any leads?  The ones I've found through Google seem inactive or at too low a learner level.  Thanks.

 

 

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a spanish language learning forum? I doubt there are any like this tbh. Since you have a decently specific question regarding learning material, reddit /rspanish or r/spanishlearners is probably ok. Just be clear on what your level is and what content you have already consumed so people can reccommend similar / slightly harder stuff

 

im sure you are well aware of this though so probably not the most helpful comment

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On 11/1/2021 at 7:39 PM, Moshen said:

However, I'm floundering when trying to figure out which works are easier for second-language listeners and readers and which harder. 

I found Juan Gómez-Jurado's Reina Roja books a good starting place - the language is fairly simple, the plots aren't too convoluted, and there are kindle and audiobooks for the whole set. 

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Also, Gómez-Jurado's Espia de Dios books are passable thrillers. Los Hijos del mar, Pedro Feijoo, is great fun - Spanish gold, Nazis, an everyman protagonist thrown into the middle of it. Originally Galician, I think, but the author's own translation. Also enjoy Juan Madrid's Transition noir stuff. The language is generally fine, but there's a lot of 80s vocab to look up. Start with the Toni Romano novels - real 'pretty woman walks into office of bankrupt private detective stuff'. 

 

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If only there were an active forum like this for Spanish?

Maybe the place you were looking for... was here all along?

 

More seriously, I'd enjoy a place like this for Spanish. Been learning off and on (more off than on) for years. Massively imbalanced skill set though, did the SIELE exam recently for reading and listening and got C1 in reading and B2 for listening, but honestly not sure I'd get past B1 for speaking or writing. It's all the novels and Netflix TV.

 

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On 11/1/2021 at 2:39 PM, Moshen said:

I've been following the recent threads here on what to read with great envy, because my Chinese isn't yet good enough to read books.


Unless you are a total beginner, you can do it. My first book was Potter 1, and I doubt my vocabulary was more than 3-4K words when I started. At first it was absolutely brutal and full of vocabulary, perhaps 30 new words per page. However, after I’d read 30-40% of the book, which probably took me 2 months, it got much easier, and I was only finding 15 new words per page. By the end of the book it was under 10, and I ended up choosing 三体1 after that (big mistake).  I didn’t stick with it and ended up putting Chinese down again a few months later (I only recently came back after nearly 4 years), but I’ll never forget how good it felt to finish that book, and I also remember my Chinese being greatly improved from the experience. 
 

Point is, you should give it a shot. Don’t try to do too much, just START. You’d be surprised how quickly it gets easier. Whatever you do, start with something EASY and interesting. 许三观卖血记 is very easy, considerably easier than Potter, and short. I’d start with that if I could go back in time. 

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Unless you are a total beginner, you can do it.

 

Thanks for the encouragement.  I am at HSK 4.5 at present.  I am starting with some graded readers now.  I need to get over the hump of freezing when I see too many characters in a row that I don't recognize, which is what happens when I look at a native news story rather than in Chairman's Bao, which is where I've been studying for the last few months.  I realize that that's a mental issue.

 

Since I never read Harry Potter in English, I wouldn't find it comfortable in Chinese, either.  I was thinking of aiming at "Wuhan Diary" for my first Chinese book, since it's available in both Chinese (at least it was at some point - maybe it's been "cancelled") and English.

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On 11/3/2021 at 11:01 AM, Moshen said:

Since I never read Harry Potter in English, I wouldn't find it comfortable in Chinese, either.

 

I had never read Harry Potter either before I ventured into the Chinese books, and I read all seven of them. I did however have a relation to the movies and I really like the Harry Potter universe. If you don't even have a relation to the movies (in a good way) you should read something else though. As has been mentioned before on this forum, the Harry Potter books aren't necessarily easier than other translated books.

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On 11/3/2021 at 9:45 AM, Insectosaurus said:

I did however have a relation to the movies and I really like the Harry Potter universe


My situation is exactly the same. I never read the books but loved the movies, so now I’m getting to live through that experience I missed out on years ago, in Chinese. I just finished Potter 2 about 10 minutes ago and loved it—I can’t wait to start the next one tomorrow. 
 

On 11/3/2021 at 5:01 AM, Moshen said:

I realize that that's a mental issue.


Just try not to be too invested in the outcome. I understand how pressure can get to you when you feel stupid for not understanding something, but you just have to get rid of that thinking. Set yourself a goal of one page a day and look up words to understand what is going on, but don’t feel like you need to make flashcards and memorize them all. 
 

 

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Harry potter for the first book isn't a bad choice. I don't think it's too difficult. I read the first book on linq around two years ago when I was at around HSK4. I first read each chapter in Japanese and then in Chinese and the language was easy enough to follow after first reading it in another language. I just wasn't enough into the story to continue after the first book. Then I wen't back to graded readers and chatting with tutors and began reading again in last December.

So HSK 4.5 is definitely good enough to start. Just get something that aids your reading as much as possible. Something like lingq or pleco. And just ignore the parts you don't understand.

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On 11/4/2021 at 9:51 PM, Moshen said:

While we're on the topic, can anyone suggest something other than Harry Potter for a first Chinese book effort? 

 

On 11/2/2021 at 11:34 PM, ablindwatchmaker said:

许三观卖血记 is very easy, considerably easier than Potter, and short. I’d start with that if I could go back in time. 

 

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余华 is always good.  But I'd also consider picking a Chinese translation of something you read as a child in your native language that you really liked.  Children stories really are easier to parse than adult ones. 

 

A big part of getting through your first book is just gaining the confidence of being able to read in Chinese, plus keeping up your interest through the slog.  Reading something that you already know and you already like helps on both dimensions.  It's like having training wheels on a bike, while riding through a favorite but familiar landscape.

 

And if a book moved you as a child, it's probably part of your thought patterns in some way, and knowing how to express the same thing in Chinese will help your Chinese progress.  Once you get comfortable with reading, you get the sense those thought patterns are not exactly the same as native Chinese language thought patterns, and so I prefer native Chinese language materials after that, to learn some new native language thought patterns.

 

I started with 活着 and then read 3 English translations of old children faves of increasing length.

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Consider picking a Chinese translation of something you read as a child in your native language that you really liked. 

 

That would be:  哈里特间谍 (Harriet the Spy)

 

shopping.jpg.fc989cf22b525ca3cfc59b36770c037e.jpg

 

Amazon seems to have a translation in traditional characters.  Can someone help me find a copy in Simplified Chinese? 

 

 

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Did you try 小侦探哈里特?  That seems to be the PRC name.

 

https://book.douban.com/subject/1386792/

 

https://baike.baidu.com/item/Harriet the Spy 小侦探哈里特/12288028

 

You can probably find a free e-copy around if you google hard enough, but I didn't see any easily accessible from a quick search.

 

Edit: Or maybe 小间谍哈瑞特.  I have no idea which is the better name, but I've seen it under both.

 

https://book.douban.com/subject/35478613/

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