I’ve passed 70000 words in german now. I’ve been reading every day, and lately i’ve been listening to audiobooks at the same time. The gains are not as immediately visible as they were at the start when i was just reacquainting myself with the language, but the gains are still solid and consistent. There’s probably a lot that i’m learning without realizing it, but i’m still getting some “Aha!” moments all the time.
Currently i’m reading Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens (chamber of secrets), and also listening to the audiobook. I’m really liking this Listening-Reading method, as it more clearly cements the sounds of german in my head. For the last few nights i’ve been dreaming in german, and at random times through the day i notice that there’s a lot of “german chatter” happening in my head. Bits of phrases just turn over and morph into other phrases, like my brain is randomly walking the space of german.
The other benefit of Listening-Reading is that i can follow the story much more easily. The guy reading it does a lot of funny voices for the different characters and puts a lot of enthusiasm into the presentation, so it really allows me to understand a lot more of the situation, and pick up more meaning from that. It adds more context through tone of voice than i would otherwise get because of my lack of vocab.
This story definitely feels a lot easier to understand than the other book i was reading that had no audio. This could also be because harry potter is pretty easy reading anyway…this is book 2 and it’s really simplified and aimed at kids. I remember trying to read the english version once and i just couldn’t continue because all the plot points were reiterated so many times. But this becomes a great feature for someone learning a language.
Now, when i was back at 20000 words, it felt like 1M words was terribly far away, but now that i’m 7% of the way there, it doesn’t seem so far. I’m quite curious to see what my german reading skills are like once i’ve hit 1M.
I just looked back into the previous book and flipped back to page one. I remember not being able to get much at the time, just a word here and there, barely enough to get the idea of the story. Now it’s actually quite understandable, so my progress has actually gone further than i thought. Strangely, i don’t know the exact meaning of all the words, but they seem more familiar and i can guess a broad meaning for a lot of them that gives a partial understanding of the text.
This is definitely motivational. It’s good to go back and check on previous things and have journal entries to tell you what you thought about it several weeks ago so that you can compare. Keep reading, and improvement will magically happen!