Are you considering reading a book in a foreign language? Good for you! Reading will vastly improve your vocabulary and help you see your new language’s grammar in use. However, selecting the right book can be difficult. Read on, bookworms*, for some recommendations for selecting a novel to read in a foreign language!
Recommendations for selecting a novel in a foreign language
1. Consider choosing a novel you’ve read in your native language
You liked the book enough to finish it, and you understand the basic plot. Now, tackle the book in another language! Not worrying about the plot will allow you to focus on the language instead.
2. Check out Young Adult fiction (or even children’s books)
Reading a book written for adults could be difficult (and disappointing if it’s too hard to finish). Consider reading a book that is written for a slightly younger audience (in English, these books are called “Young Adult” or “YA” novels). If these novels are too difficult, don’t stress: even children’s books can be a great way to learn new vocabulary and grammar! Try to read a book that was one of your favorites when you were a child.
3. Search for audiobooks
These days, most books come in audio versions. Make your novel-reading adventure an opportunity to improve your listening skills.
4. Avoid books with technical or specific language
When selecting a novel, keep in mind that some genres can be more difficult than others: books that use complex ideas and complicated or technical language can be tough to understand. A general rule? If it’s technical in your native language, you should probably avoid it in your new language.
Remember that websites such as Google Books allow you to preview books. Before buying the book, try to read a few paragraphs online to get an idea for the level of difficulty.
5. Ask for recommendations
Your teacher or friends will be happy to recommend some books for you to check out. Additionally, try searching online for book lists that are published by schools and universities. Another great way to search for novels? Use Amazon! Select a book that you’re considering reading, and then look at the bottom of the page for Amazon’s recommendations. You can see what other books people purchased while buying the book you’re considering, and you might stumble across** a new book.
Have you read a novel in a language other than your native one? Why did you select this novel? Would you recommend this novel to others? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook!
*bookworm = a person who loves to read
**stumble across = to unexpectedly find
By Amanda Jones