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Reading in Welsh - Helen's journal and online home
heleninwales
heleninwales
Reading in Welsh
I'm currently trying to read Harri Potter a Maen Yr Athronydd. Again. I've had the book for years but never managed to finish it. Previous attempts just got me a few chapters in before I got bored.

The problem is, I can now read Welsh (either silently or aloud) and get the gist of it, but it's too hard to do it for pleasure and if I consider it as Welsh study, ploughing on and ignoring all the words I don't understand is not going to expand my vocabulary. However, looking up every unknown word as I come to it just makes the whole process frustrating and boring. I know because I've tried that before.

So, this time I'm experimenting with a compromise. As I read I'm writing down a) words I don't know and b) phrases I understand but feel might be useful to learn by heart (mostly idioms), but I'm not looking up the meaning (unless it's vital for understanding). I'm writing the unknown words in a physical notebook, along with page and line number so I can easily find the them again to see the context.

My plan is that when I've finished the book I'll spend some study time going through the words and translating them and perhaps making flash cards to learn them thoroughly. So far it seems to be a reasonable compromise and it's enabling me to make steady progress.
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Comments
hrj From: hrj Date: April 16th, 2016 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found that Harri Potter was just around the limit of my "reading Welsh for fun without constantly looking things up". What I tended to trip over were idiomatic grammatical constructions that I hadn't encountered in academic papers. The repetition and context eventually made those stick. But it made a big difference that I was already familiar with the story, yet not so familiar with the specific text as to skip over big chunks.

I've picked up a number of Welsh books at a similar reading level with the intent of keeping in practice, but somehow it always gets crowded out.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: April 16th, 2016 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm trying to collect idioms because they're so useful in conversation. :)

Most of the courses I've done have focused on speaking and listening, to the extent that I can understand things well if spoken, even spoken rapidly, but not so well when things are written. However, my reading has improved a lot recently, as has my written Welsh.
feodora From: feodora Date: April 17th, 2016 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I have this problem with reading in english. Esp fantasy because sometimes can't distinguish if I just don't know the word/phrase or if it is just a neologism. Best example for me was "Lord of the Ring" I got the sense of the sentence but often there where words "invented" by Tollkien.
kishenehn From: kishenehn Date: April 17th, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could never learn Welsh, but I could lovingly stare at Welsh words on a page for hours. :)
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