Tips and Tricks to Reading a Foreign Language

Get Started At Reading

As fast as possible. Maybe obvious, but not for all. There's a widespread notion that learning languages is all about cramming word lists or generic conversations, but the only way to learn a language fluently is through reading. There's graded readers for this, and online texts with pop-up translation, and the best texts to read are of course those that have correct manual translation as we offer at Bermuda Word. These texts keep you reading and don't force you to look up words in a dictionary, so keeps reading in a foreign language fast and easy.

Use Root Recognition

When encountering new words, chances are that it's related to a word you already know. Be it because of Indo-European familiarity, or more likely because it contains a root that is already part of a word you learned. This is of course how you learn to recognize different verb conjugations, for example, but also noun cases, or two totally different words but that use the same word. Something like presentation and present, or in Dutch grijpen (grasp) and begrijpelijk (understandable). In languages with a lot of words that are formed of prefixes and suffixes and often more words, like Hungarian, it's especially useful to start noticing the root parts of the words, for example: Juli vég-ig-reszketett (vég-ig-reszketett; end-to-shivered), Julia shivered all over. Might seem far fetched but once you get the hang of it...

Sentence Context

When you have to learn words like you would a grocery list, the only thing that will help you is word cramming. This has been proven to be useful in the short term, but in the long term most of these words will be forgotten. When you pick up words in the context of a sentence, the meaning of the word is also conveyed by the context. And even when you see just that word in a word list afterwards, the context of the sentence will come back to you, and the meaning of that particular word. This way context is not only good for memorizing words but it will also strengthen your ability to actually use the word in a context.

Bermuda Word - Extensive Reading and Spaced Repetition in One!

Fast Reading

As already explained above, the fastest way to read is with manually pop-up translated texts that Bermuda Word offers. Reading speed is not only convenient, it's a must to keep your mind focused on the story, and with that, on the context. With graded readers that have no direct word/meaning possibility the number of unknown words that are allowed in a text is very small (which will probably stay unknown because you don't have the meaning, unless you can divine the meaning from the context somehow), if there are more than three unknown words in the text they will break immersion. With manually pop-up translated texts the number of unknown words that can be in a text is much higher, and, because they're all translated correctly in the correct conjugation, the number of new words actually learned will be much higher as well!

Fun Reading

When you're reading about someone booking is hotel room or a spaghetti in a restaurant, that's not so much fun, in my humble opinion. Reading existing fairytales or classics in a foreign language will give you more sense of achievement than a simple text that is cooked up for a course. Something being interesting or 'fun' is part of the reason you will memorize it well.