I have been (very) slowly teaching myself Spanish over the past few years, mostly by using Duolingo for just 20 minutes or so each day. But recently I felt comfortable enough to seek out more content to read. Because how better to learn a language than by just jumping right in?
This week I reached the momentous milestone of finishing my first book in Spanish. It was very slow going, and I looked up words constantly, but by the end of it, it felt quite similar to actual reading.
The book I read was Short Stories for Beginners by Olly Richards. It contained 8 unique short stories that were actually entertaining to read, as opposed to some other ‘beginner’ books I looked at which were composed of boring, repetitive exercises, Richards’ stories were fun and interesting to read, while also being written very simply with the learning beginner in mind.
Brains are impressive, and it was startling to find how much I could understand without knowing what specific words meant or how to form sentences on my own. While I still can barely speak it at all, I find that reading is so much easier because you can pick up everything from context. And reading is what I’m really interested in, anyway.
Perhaps next year I’ll be able to read an actual novel written for native speakers!