Saturday, May 21, 2016

#RW Update 2 and Reading in Spanish

I am reading…

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
La Casa de Los Espíritus by Isabel Allende
5/30 books finished

via Goodreads
As evidenced by the list above, I’m reading La Casa de Los Espíritus. It is a book in Spanish that I got for being a good Spanish student my senior year of high school. Since it is summer and I could use the opportunity to stimulate my brain, I am reading it now as “homework.”

Just because I am doing this, though, doesn’t mean it comes easily to me. As far as my language skills go, I think I’m okay, but I’m by no means fluent. I have a long ways to go. Sometimes reading in Spanish is downright tricky. My brain likes to wander when it isn’t engaged or if it feels bombarded by loads of text that it doesn’t understand. Thus, textbooks and foreign language reading is often tedious and empty for me.

To keep up my reading and stay focused this summer, I’m doing a couple things to understand what I read and enjoy the experience.

I pace myself. I read in fifteen-page sprints with a short break in between each section, so I’m not overloaded by my text.

I reflect afterwards. After each sprint I open a notebook and write notes (in Spanish) of what I’ve just read. Sometimes I add my personal reactions if something struck me. CDLE is kind of a biography of fictional people, though, so sometimes a summary makes more sense than emotional attachment.

I read in an environment where I’ll focus more. My original plan was to read fifteen pages of CDLE every day, which turned out to be a miserable idea. I got bored and distracted very fast and it didn’t work. Instead, I read at work. Since business is slower for the summer, I read in an environment where normally my brain would do nothing. Now I am occupied.

I don’t get concerned about what I don’t understand. I remember posters when I was in second grade… tricks to use when you come to words you don’t know. Through inference or delay you could come to understand meaning without a dictionary. I try to do the same in Spanish because if I focus on the details, my quest will never succeed.

I commit to it. Though I don’t read every day, I do read every day I’m at work. I try to fit thirty pages into every shift, and so far, that’s gotten me just under halfway through the book. Taking a big project in small steps gets the job done.


As odd as the actual story is in this book, I’m enjoying the assignment I’ve given myself! I look forward to finishing it and finally being able to put it on my shelf!

Are you fluent in or a student of any other languages? What do you do when you want to read in that language?


10 comments :

  1. I took Russian lessons for years but was too lazy to ever go beyond a very basic level (and boy do I regret that now), so I have nothing but admiration for anyone who's even semi-fluent in another language. It's wonderful that you're keeping up over the summer!
    I read an article by Roxane Gay that I really liked, so I've been thinking about checking out more of her work. How are you liking Bad Feminist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm enjoying myself as I keep up my practice. I'm tempted to go for another Spanish book after I finish this one!

      Oh, totally do it! I'm actually really loving Bad Feminist right now. I don't agree with her on everything, but most of the time the stuff she talks about is very true.

      Delete
  2. That's awesome! I don't speak (or read) aaaanyy other languages, so I'm always impressed by people that do. Although I think the title says...The House from the Spirits? Maybe not, that doesn't make much sense. XD Anyway, reading it at work is such a good idea. Even boring things seem exciting when you've got nothing else to do. X) Where do you work, out of curiosity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's more like "The House of the Spirits," but you were very close! Reading as a way to keep me occupied is indeed good; I work at the gym at my school!

      Delete
  3. I don't take Hindi anymore, although my parents still make us speak it occasionally (It's good for us, since it's everyone's second+ language. Our siblings kind of suck at hindi though). This is mainly because I wasn't good enough to do the highest level, Hindi 5, nor could I join mother tongue groups. ANYWAY, we did have to read a short move in Hindi, which we also read in English. I learned so much from it, although it was good to already know the story (which was kind of stupid tbh; but it the author is from our town and stuff). It definitely built my vocab and reading skills. This sound like a rewarding challenge :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. XDD My siblings kind of suck at Spanish, too. That is cool that you got to read and watch the work of a local author! And I can see how learning Hindi would be very convenient for functioning in your community, even if it isn't your favorite. But you're right—for me, it is just a rewarding challenge. :)

      Delete
  4. I am currently learning Spanish and Korean. I started learning Korean last year. I might consider reading in Spanish soon. I hope it turns out well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very cool! I wish you the best in your studies!

      Delete
  5. Well done! I hope you're enjoying it. I recently bought the book (in English!) and look forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! I am enjoying it, and I hope you likewise enjoy the story when you get around to it. :D

      Delete

Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!