Reading is even more Fundamental

Reading Room

Image from wikimedia commons

Just when I think I have everything figured out, something new happens that helps me even more.  What am I talking about?  I am talking about my system.  I recently added reading to my system page.  I have started trying to read every other day, one day is straight reading and the other a more systematic approach where I look up all the words and grammar.  It has worked out for me, but then I found something even better.

Luca and the Polyglot Dream

Several months ago I found this post by Luca that he did at   There are so many great pieces of advice that I would highly recommend reading all of it.  Then I would recommend following his blog over at  The heart of the post was to take a piece of reading material in the language you are learning, translate to your native language, and then translate back.  This isn’t supposed to be done in one sitting.  There should definitely be time separating the first translation and the second.  There is much more advice than this and so I recommend you read the whole thing.

At the time I was working on my system, and though I found it interesting, I chose to put it on the back burner for a while.  This means I promptly forgot about it.  I am a man and if I do too much at once, nothing gets done.  Just ask my wife.

How has this changed My System?

For Spanish?  Not much.  I still spend 2 of my 5 weekdays just reading with minimal stopping.  This is beneficial as it helps you learn to understand the reading as a whole.  The other days I spend using the “Luca” method.  One week is spent only translating from Spanish to English and the next is spent translating that back into Spanish.

This is improving my ability to understand things already.  It’s not just translating words or grammar, I also have to translate meaning.   Part of this translation processes is rereading what I translated and correcting it into common English, while keeping the original meaning 100 percent correct.  Sometimes this is more difficult than one would think.

My “Thai” weekends, where I take a break from Spanish and improve my Thai, I also read.  I added a twist to this one though.  Instead of Translating my Manii readers into English, I translate them into Spanish.  This has been real fun to do and I ‘m making linguistic connections between all three of my languages.

Try it out!  See what it does.  Then come back and share what you learned.


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Filed under spanish, Thai

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