Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Okay, so basically I'm going to read Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone but in French. From past experience of people who've done the same, is it best for me to read the words in my head as they are or do a kind of "live translation" in my head when I'm reading it. Also, should I try and abstain from the dictionary completely or do you think I should have a go at the words and then just look up the ones I'm completely :confused: about?

    Thanksss
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There will be too many words to look up every one. I'd only look them up if it's completely necessary to understand the sentence. Generally, if you're reading a book in a foreign language and you aren't particularly proficient in said tongue then just try and get the gist of the story. But feel free to disregard that and do what suits you best. If you have the time I guess there's nothing stopping you from researching every single word.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I find I automatically do a translation as I'm reading to help myself understand it. It's up to you whether you use a dictionary. Personally I don't like to so that I can see how much of the book I actually understood when I'm done. I only look up something if I think I know what it is, it's annoying me and I think I might be able to use it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yeahhh, I automatically translate it too, just from being in france before I've started thinking in french but I'll just go with the flow thanks guys.... nahh i was never gonna look up every single word anyway, but i'll just look it up if i'm completely :confused: about the sentence
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I would advice you to not necessarily translate things in your head, if you understand what it is that is being said IN French, there's nothing better!! I tend to just try and get the gist of it all, and sometimes I'll write down words as I'm reading and then I'll check them later. Normally I don't look them up until later, only if I'm really struggling with a sentence/part.

    Have you read the book in English?? If so, it shouldn't be necessary with a dictionary, as you will probably remember/be able to guess what things mean.

    Good luck!! I've just finished reading the entire series in Spanish
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think the translation is an automatic kind of thing but if you've started thinking in French it should be easier.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The best is to think French and not translate. It's hard at first, but much better on the long run. Also, try and guess meanings instead of looking in a dictionary which will often not translate very well a nuance or a subtlety you will eventually understand by reading a particular word several times in various situations. When you think you have guessed the meaning of a word, check if you're right though, to prevent getting used to a wrong or incomplete meaning that will get stuck in your head later.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    I'm doing the same. I have to look up words because I have a tiny vocabulary (only started learning recently). I prefer listening to French to reading it because when reading I do find myself translating it, whereas when I watch the news in French, the bits I do understand I understand without translating. I need a French person to read it to me slowly
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    i tried reading a bloody childrens book in french was, i kept looking up every other word

    i fail at french, even though i really like it
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    If you're good enough to be considering reading Harry Potter, you shouldn't be translating everything in your head. It will hold you back.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    You shouldn't transalte things, you should try and think in French.
    Try not to think what the words are in English, think of what they actually mean.
    You still should keep a dictionary at hand, if you need to look something up because your really lost, or even better, the English version of Harry Potter.
    Good luck! I hope you have fun.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don't find that translating holds me back at all. I don't do everything literally word for word.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    When I've read French texts, I think in French and never use a dictionary ever. If I get stuck on a sentence, that's when I start translating what I can get, finishing with a sort of overall sentence, and then I continue.

    You could try getting an English copy and reading them as parallel texts. I did that with a short story I read, and it was really helpful, when giving you the nuances in metaphors and idioms.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    thanks guys
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: February 9, 2010
The home of Results and Clearing

2,482

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year

University open days

  1. Keele University
    General Open Day Undergraduate
    Sun, 19 Aug '18
  2. University of Melbourne
    Open Day Undergraduate
    Sun, 19 Aug '18
  3. Sheffield Hallam University
    City Campus Undergraduate
    Tue, 21 Aug '18
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.