German Progress Update #1: Reading & Absorbing a language

German Version of "Divergent" by Veronica Roth

German Version of “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

So a polyglot named Kato Lomb used to learn her languages via reading.

Its been a about six months since I read her book but I’ve finally taken her advice and began reading “Die Bestimmung – Tödliche Wahrheit” by Veronica Roth which is, the second book in the ‘Divergent series’ the movie, of which, is set to release in March.

You can get the first 50 pages via the German publisher in pdf form (for free!). In that program you can write/type on top of the file. This is great because it means, I can set up a dictionary on one side of my screen and the book in the other and go through ‘reading’ putting the English word above each German word that I don’t understand.

I’m 7 pages in but so far, I’m noticing I’ve picked up a lot of filler/joining words for example, “all, when, where, what.” And the best thing – I haven’t used a single flashcard yet!

While I’m not anti-flashcard (I have learned a good chunk of my Japanese this way), it is interesting to see what my brain is picking up just via reading and translating. I used to hate listening to people go ‘just immerse yourself and you’ll just start speaking/reading <insert language here>. However, while I’m not sprouting German sentences, I feel myself absorbing more and more words.

Looking further ahead…

One of the key areas I do come unstuck is speaking. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite put on my big girl pants and stepped out into trying to wing-my-way through a 15 minute ‘German only’ conversation. I think, in another month or so, I want to set some time to do some conversation practice. I’m putting some money aside (sacrificing a coffee every few days) to save up for some tutor-time/one on one conversation practice.

In the meantime, I’ll keep chugging along reading my book!


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