Reader Problems

Reader Problems » I Want to Read in English but it is not my Strength?

Today I am here to talk to you about reading in another language that is not your own language from your country… and by that I mean – READING IN ENGLISH.

As you probably know, and if you don’t you should (kidding…) I am portuguese, so I am not from UK and I am not from USA or Canada I am from Portugal. A lot of people automatically know when someone is portuguese because of the accent and because of the writting skills (which of course sometimes is true) but not every portuguese shows to the world that he/she is not Britith or American, actually we (portuguese people) have an actor in the United States that has a perfect accent – Diogo Morgado – and we have an actress that has a perfect accent too and that played or is still playing (not sure) a role in the TV Show NCIS Los Angeles – Daniela Ruah.

I told you all of that because we may not be born in The United States or in England but we can be as good as they can, we can be international… we can travel the world and be understood by everyone, we can take masters and degrees in their countries and talk perfectly their language… we just have to work a little harder.

I guess that I talked about this once but I will talk about it again just in case you don’t remember…

Before 2013 I hated to read because I never liked the way books were translated to my native language and a lot of people on Instagram told me the same about their “reading habits”… my godmother would give me a ton of books every Christmas and every year on my birthday and I need to be honest, in 50 I probably read 10, not even that I guess. My mother, my cousin and my godmother said a million times that I should read but I  never wanted to because it was boring and portuguese books are huge because in a phrase we use more words than “english” people use to construct their phrases.

In November of 2013 (I am not sure if it was in November or in December actually) I was really bored because I was waiting for a class and I had nothing to do and I asked my mom “What can I do? I am bored”, and my mom said “Read”… and I was like “yes mom, thank you so much, you want to kill me with boredom”… and my mom said “You have an iPad, there’s a thing called eBooks… there are FREE eBooks on the Internet… give it a try… they are written in english and since you don’t like to read in portuguese…” and I actually did, I gave it a try, I downloaded an eBook and it was a New Adult story and I totally loved it. I read that book really slowly because my english was REALLY bad… and that’s basically where this post should begin (I am sorry, I know, I talk too much).

I was really bad in english, at school it was probably my WORST subject, so when I started reading that eBook I knew nothing about the language, I mean, I knew some little things here and there but my ability to conjugate verbs was HORRIBLE, I didn’t know how to construct a phrase, I didn’t know how to pronounce most part of the words… I was a disgrace. BUT I don’t know what happened, that changed, dramatically. At the beginning I had to ask my mom about the meaning of some words, I had to search some stuff around and I was really slow reading in english, I had to read out loud sometimes to try to understand some stuff. Somehow I started reading faster and faster and understanding everything… my accent was still a disgrace and my writting skills were a shame but I was getting better and I was finally understanding this awesome language.

There’s something I guess that is REALLY important to you to understand and that is “you will not learn a language fast… not as fast as you wanted to because it is a process and it takes time, you are always learning and that’s why reading is so important”… It took me a lot of time to learn how to write correctly, my first reviews are a SHAME, I was a shame, I wrote those reviews and they were full of mistakes, everytime I finished writting a review I had to show it to my mom so she could correct the mistakes because it was really bad, and also, those reviews are really small… we are in 2016, I am reading in english for 2 years and something now and now I write my own reviews, I don’t ask my mom to read them and to correct them because I already know how to write correctly but it took time, in 2014 most part of my reviews were revised by my mom, then it changed but I was still “writting mistakes”… sometimes I still do.

I have now some tips for you so you can read and write fluently in english

1st. Follow book blogs

2nd. Write your own reviews (Goodreads)

3rd. Don’t be afraid to ask Google for help

4th. Don’t be afraid to ask any kind of help

5th. Create a bookstagram so you can communicate with other book lovers

 

Now some tips for your accent and so you can talk more fluently too

1st. Watch a lot of TV Shows and Movies with the subtitles in ENGLISH

2nd. Go and watch videos on Youtube (Booktubers are really awesome so you can get more “bookish” words)

3rd. Read out loud, it will help you a lot with your accent/pronounce

4th. Talk with your parents or friends in english

5th. Take english classes

 

If by change you don’t know where you can buy your books in english I will just leave the links bellow (note: TBD is international with free shipping, I order most part of my books from there, Amazon exists in a lot of countries BUT not every country has it – Portugal doesn’t have Amazon – and, the shipping for foreign countries can be really expensive on Amazon, so just think wisely.)

The Book Depository    |    Amazon US    |    Amazon UK    |    Amazon ES

 

Thank you for reading this post and I hope I helped you somehow, friday I will be talking about “Deciding What To Read Next”.

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12 thoughts on “Reader Problems » I Want to Read in English but it is not my Strength?

  1. I’ve been learning English since I was 5 and I’ve always been a decent student (probably because I have English cousins) but I was terrible with verbs. And then in 2010 I started watching a lot of tv shows like The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural and I didn’t want to wait for the subtitles t come out, it was already bad enough to wait a whole week for a new episode, so I started watching the episodes without subtitles and that’s when my English really got better. And I also had a similar problem as yours, I liked to read but I only read a couple books during holidays because it took me a long time to get through the book in Portuguese. I didn’t like the translation, there were mistakes like saying a character was in 11th grade and then she was in in the 10th and there were some things that were lost because they only made sense in English. Then in 2010 I finally found a book that really appealed to me, Hush Hush. I loved it so much so I decided to try it in English and it was so much better! I think things sound a lot better in English. And ever since then I’ve been reading in English, except when it’s for school (and those take me more than a month to finish haha)

    (Sorry this is so long 😅)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha totally understand you ! 😊 I can relate with everything you said, my mom, my uncle and my godmother/aunt were born in Africa, Zimbabwe and some years ago Africa was divided so part of Africa was teaching english an the other part was teaching portuguese.. so my grandparents are portuguese but since they were living in there my siblings learnt english really well, so they always talked in english … (they are “portuguese” , that’s their mother laguage, but they never lost the english language because it is really important) so I grew up listening my mom and my aunt talking this foreign language ! 😅 but I never cared too much, only when I started watching TV Shows (just like you – Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf…) without subtitles …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah my dad was born in Africa too, Mozambique, and those cousins I mentioned are from South Africa. They’re Portuguese from their dad’s side but they lived in South Africa for a long time so they speak English perfectly and they also speak Portuguese (not so well but still pretty well if you ask me, the accent is the only problem) 🙂

        Like

  2. I understand you! I’m from Brazil and six years ago I used to hate english. I didn’t understand anything about the language and the constructions of the phrases. Then, I started watching a lot of TV Shows and movies and I learned english all by myself. Now I can read and write without using Google all the time. Actually, english is now my favorite language (:

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  3. I started learning English language since I stepped in elementary school. I learned just to pass the English subject or for the sake of my grades but unfortunately we didn’t apply it in day to day routines/activities. In our province, people will laugh at you when you’re speaking in English. I don’t know why! So, I grew up using our own language or dialect. I’m not confident with my grammar in terms of writing and specially speaking! But I can read well. I’m afraid that someone will tell me, “Oh! Your English sucks!” Bookstagram is a great help to gain my confidence little by little and I decided to join the book blog community because I’m sure it can help me. Though I’m still not that too confident, I know that there’s an improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. there’s always a way… if people don’t accept the way you are and the things you want to do then they don’t deserve to be around you.. that’s really “stupid”, it is an awesome thing learning a new language and you should be proud of knowing that language , a language that is not your native language… and I am really sorry that some people just can’t develop the capacity of accepting the other persons decisions… but honey, we all understand your need of learning english so just talk with bookstagramers and bloggers, that will help you and I am sure everyone will always answer you when you ask something or talk to someone 😊❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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