I’ve done it again. I’ve read another Harry Potter book in Spanish. This time it was La Cámara Secreta (The Chamber of Secrets). I was really impressed with myself after reading this one. Mostly because of the pace in which I read. I think I finished the whole thing in 2 or 3 weeks. That’s much faster than the first one I read.
I was also impressed with myself because of the more expansive vocabulary I was able to manage. There are still tons of words I don’t understand and conjugations of verbs that are beyond me, but I found myself learning and remembering more new words.
This time, I started looking up less words in the dictionary. Switching between the book and a dictionary to define every mystery word was exhausting and time consuming. Instead, I would only look up words that were obviously repetitive or interesting to me. This saved me a lot of time and actually helped for new vocab acquisition because I wasn’t inundated with words every page.
For some of the most important scenes in the book, or for scenes where I wasn’t quite understanding, I would turn to youtube for help. Watching some of the scenes from the movie was really nice. It clarified things and added more flavor to the book especially when I felt my understanding of the scene was lacking. It also made me realize just how different the movies can be from the books. In general, I have always been more of a fan of text then the text’s movie representation. But using the films as supplementary material really increased my enjoyment and understanding of the book. I would recommend this strategy to anyone attempting to read a book in a foreign language.