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Learning by Reading


There are many ways to learn a language. Whether which one to use depends on your preferences. You can use one method to learn one language and another method to learn another language. It is because all languages have different structures, such as grammar, vocabulary or word order.

Some people would prefer to speak from day one but that means you need to live at where the speakers are. Not everyone can have this opportunity, including me.

Don't worry, if you have the convenience to learn by yourself at home or while commuting, you can learn by reading. Depends on what you read, it may take some time to understand the whole context. You may read materials prepared for learners or for native speakers.

Materials for learners are usually those that contain story or dialogues and equipped with a glossary. The purpose of the glossary is to aid your reading so you can understand the content. If you are up for challenges, read materials for native speakers, such as news articles.

Out of many learning platforms that are available on the internet. I found one that is doing a little different, and I can see that it's not easy to build such material. It's called Interlinear.
Interlinear are bilingual books that include the original and an English translation below in a smaller font.
It is like subtitles for books. You can read the meaning of each word or expression right below the original. This saves you time and effort to check the dictionary, not to say if you can't find the word in the dictionary you are using, this certainly can save you much more time.


Reading is my frequently used method to learn a language. It is because, firstly, I like reading. Secondly, I learn better by seeing the word so I can use more senses in language learning. The most problem that I have encountered with this method is my lack of familiarity with the language I am learning, I don't know if a word is a word that I can translate literally or it is an expression. I definitely need someone to tell me.

For instance, in Taiwan, the word "紅 hong2 (red)" is used to mean "famous", where the literal meaning is "red". It is used as in "他很紅 ta1 hen3 hong2", which means "he is famous", not "he is red". When you check any dictionaries for the word "紅 hong2", you will never get the meaning "famous".

You may say, the internet is so advanced nowadays, we have had tools that can translate to any languages and show us how the pronunciation is. But, note that it is done by a program. Interlinear books are translated by a human, so don't worry about seeing awkward meanings that don't match the context. Moreover, there are many kinds of format for you to choose so you can study on any devices.


Try Interlinear now!

Photo credit
Alina Daniker
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