I finished reading Lu Xun’s 祝福 on friday, and i started going back through it to pull out a couple of choice sentences and words. I realized as i went back that i now know almost all of the characters and almost all of the vocab. The story seems fairly easy to read now, whereas before i started reading it in this way (skipping over hard words and keep on pushing, no dictionary), it used to seem very tough and i was always focusing on the english side (since it’s a dual text, 1 page chinese, 1 page english).
I estimate that i’ve read about 10000 words of chinese now, using this method. That’s 1% of the way to a million words. So far the results have been very promising. My reading speed has increased by several times (mostly due to fewer dictionary lookups, but also due to just feeling more comfortable with it). I’ve learned some new vocabulary, and i’m much more comfortable with several new usages of older vocab.
I’m really enthusiastic about this no-dictionary sort of reading. I’m anxious to try it with something else, so i’m going to try it with the german translation of some Harry Potter books, while listening to the german audio books of the same. This is also referred to as the “L-R” method…reading lots and lots of words, no dictionaries, and with exact audio following along. i just have to wait for these new books to arrive, since i had to order them specially to find the german versions.