Sunday, July 1, 2012

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

I was so elated to close the back cover of this book. I finished a book in Spanish!!!! If you look at my copy, page one is almost completely covered in yellow highlighter. The gruelling process of understanding the first page probably took the same amount of time as reading the whole last chapter. Which was very exciting. To be able to flip though a book and really see your progress is very satisfying.

This is now my favourite way of language learning and probably the cheapest and most effective I've encountered. (I've tried many methods) The most time consuming and annoying part was translating each word on three or four translation engines and how a meaning could change drastically depending on the word before or after. Though I'm sure the frustration helped me remember vocabulary.

Cost breakdown:
Book 7€
Yellow marker for 1€
Basic Notebook 2€
Total cost 10€ + the occasional coffee

As I read through I would make highlights of all the words I didn't know. I mentioned that while I was resting my feet in Almuñecar. The next step after writing the new word in my notebook and finding the translation, I wrote out new sentences for the new word. The fun part was meeting a cousin, who wanted to improve his English, on the beach or for a coffee and correcting each others new sentences. Then sentences became paragraphs and very odd short stories. Using words incorrectly and saying something vulgar or nonsensical by accident became the easiest vocabulary to remember after the laughter subsided.

I was sad to stop the writing and correcting process when I left Spain but I still continued the highlights until the last chapters where I was able to read through with fluidity.

I've bought the second Harry Potter in French. Since I have read these books in English and there are movies to quickly refresh my memory it was a lot easier to follow the story than something that would have been completely new.

Who knows what language Harry Potter three will be in...

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