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Learn German with our “ Easy Reader” Parallel Texts. Learn key vocabulary, phrases and conjugations in a structured environment, which is designed to help build you a solid foundation you will always remember.
Translations are provided in Parallel Text as a guide to help you make word associations, compare sentence structures and learn new vocabulary. Our material is enjoyable, current and made for you. Learning German can be lots of fun - so buy this eBook now and learn German today!
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Narrator: Polyglot Planet
Format: eBook (eBook included (ePub, Kindle & PDF format)
Pages: (3 short stories)
Series: German Easy Reader Series
Release date: 01-04-2016
Publisher: Polyglot Planet
What is Parallel Text?
An important and increasingly popular method in learning German is using ‘parallel text’, also known as ‘bilingual texts’, ‘dual-language books’, or ‘interlinear texts’. The parallel text method works best for Indo-European languages, as grammar, syntax, and vocabulary can be similar, and therefore, easily compared.
Parallel text books are effectively two books in one as they include a translation of the text. The learner’s native language (in this case English) is placed either below or next to the target (German) language translation. Reading parallel text helps you process words and grammar in a structured and logical manner. Depending on how much effort you wish to apply, beginners to advanced-level learners of German can use parallel text for improving their language skills.
The advantages of parallel text are far reaching. It can give you immediate feedback, as you no longer need to use other resources such as dictionaries. Moreover, comparing the English with German is incredibly useful for making new word connections (vocabulary acquisition) and becoming familiar with German language patterns and sentence structures. The translator’s interpretation of the text also provides clues in how the words could be used or translated differently. Being able to use new German vocabulary directly in context also helps students effortlessly understand, memorise and use German new words. For those who simply need to refresh their language skills, parallel text quickly revives some of the old brain connections.
Although some linguists argue that learners should engage in three to four hours of learning per day, 15 minutes of reading a parallel text each day is more than enough for it to be effective; that makes the German parallel text a valuable addition to the language course you might be taking.
Choosing a good parallel text layout (format) is important and can depend on your language skills or reading preferences. Also, how much you want to use your eyes or fingers can play a role. To take this often-overlooked choice into consideration, we need to understand the different parallel text layouts and the language levels for which they can be effective. Your choice can make the difference between an enjoyable learning experience and a frustrating one.
Page by page
Traditional parallel text books present the translated text on the opposite page. This allows for a better reading flow or reading in the source and target languages, and prevents the reader from naturally wanting to read in his or her dominant language; this format is good for motivated learners. While popular in physical books, for digital eBooks or reading on tablets, this traditional approach is not practical as eReaders cannot display a page-by-page presentation. Good reading flow is important for advanced or intermediate language learners, but not for beginners or learners who are still struggling to understand what has been written; it can quickly become demotivating.
Paragraph by paragraph
Common parallel text books use a paragraph-by-paragraph format. The translation of a paragraph is placed below the paragraph of the target language, and the languages are not isolated. This is a more practical layout than the page-by-page format. Depending on the publisher, the font style can vary from heavy reading to having a beautifully presented text. This layout is also recommended for intermediate to advanced language learners.
Line by line
Line-by-line parallel text books are very popular. The translated sentence appears directly below the original target language sentence. This is by far the most practical way to work with parallel texts as it comfortably allows you to read the target language and directly compare the translation. Due to the detail and effort required to format a book in this manner, only a few publishers choose this presentation. It is also the only practical way to use parallel text on an eReader, tablet, or digital reader. While beginners prefer this layout, it is also popular with intermediate to advanced language learners as it is easy on the eyes, and there is less need to flip through the pages.
How to use parallel text books
There are many ways to use parallel text books, and how to use it depends on your language skill level. If you have purchased this as an audiobook, to get the best value from your purchase, you will need to use the accompanying PDF or eBook. If it is not included in your audiobook library, please contact the publisher.
As a beginner, you can read the first sentence or paragraph in your native language, and then read the same text in the target language. By first reading it in your native language, you become familiar with the context, and can then make a stronger connection to the target language.
The advantages of using the line-by-line method becomes obvious for beginners. The mind needs to concentrate on the new language; searching for the translation of difficult words is distracting, so a line-by-line translation keeps the brain focused on learning.
For intermediate learners
The paragraph-by-paragraph method increases the difficulty. As the learner is more familiar with target language ‘patterns’ (sentence structure and vocabulary), it is easier for them to process new sentences and find what is new.
Reading a paragraph in the native language clarifies possible inconsistencies in the paragraph in the target language and makes stronger connections between the two.
For intermediate to advanced learners
A page-by-page method can be used for advanced students since they are at a very high level of knowledge and can comprehend almost all content on the page. Contrary to the beginner level, it is recommended to read a page first in the target language, and then go back to the source language to clarify if they understood or missed something in the target language.
First reading a page in the target language is useful for improving the deductive learning of students because after finishing a page in the target language, they can start reasoning and conclude how certain sentences and phrases are going to be translated, as in the source language.
General advice using parallel text with audio
Although reading aloud may be more associated with elementary school, it is an effective tool for all language learners. Speak the texts out loud, while mixing the languages: either by reading in alternating paragraphs, alternating sentences, or even alternating chapters, is a fantastic learning method. The reader will develop a strong understanding of the concepts in their stronger language and will help identify differences or missing information from the weaker language. Starting from the beginning, reading the text again in the opposite structure would be great practice.
The goal of our books is not to create translators (although it can be a natural by-product), but to move our readers closer to fluency and critical literacy in both languages. Ideally, our readers’ aim is to be able to fully use both languages intellectually, socially, academically, and cognitively.