You know it, I know it, pretty much everybody knows it.
You should try reading more in your target language.
But it’s hard. It’s hard to force yourself to sit down and to do it. And that’s why 99% of articles suggest that you should read something which is interesting to you. And it’s a really great piece of advice. Seemingly, I mean.
Why? Because sometimes, even if you’re at an intermediate level, pure interest is not enough to pull you through an article. I love neuropsychology, physics, and statistics.
But reading about it with my bad French would be as fun as sticking needles in my back and pretending that I’m a hedgehog. So no, that’s not the way I start reading.
So how do I do it?
Well, the article’s title probably gives away a little bit about what I read. I start with things which I consider a huge waste of time. BUT only in the languages, I’m fluent in.
That’s why I prey on my most primitive instincts to keep myself focused on reading. I hope that this list will help with your studies. And please don’t judge me, I’m just a man!
1. COMIC BOOKS
Let’s be clear about one thing – I don’t consider comic books to be a waste of time! So go ahead, unleash your inner child!
Usually, the storyline and pictures make it a breeze to finish reading and keep you coming back for more! Here’s the website with free comic books in 9 languages (including English): Comicbookplus.com
2. BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Because who doesn’t like dragons and fluffy stuff? The biggest website with free children books is: ChildrensLibrary.org
They have books in thousands of languages! Well, not really, but definitely in over 30 languages! And here’s the website with picture books: ChildrenBooksForever.com
3. SONG LYRICS
One of my favorite ways to learn. Emotions and melody create a powerful mix which makes reading really enjoyable. What’s more, lyrics are usually short so they don’t require a lot of attention.
Simply choose a band singing in your target language and google the title of the song + lyrics/text. It works for most of the languages. Of course for the languages which are more exotic, you might want to check the translation of “lyrics”.
Most of the time I choose to read comments on Reddit, YouTube and below some interesting articles elsewhere. Usually, they are either quite witty or interesting which makes them really appealing.
I personally hate any kind of gossip. It sucks time and energy right out of your life. But you can’t deny that as people, we’re generally nosy. That’s why I try to use this vice to my advantage and read gossip-related online magazines.
To find such websites try to google: “news about celebrities” or any word combination of that kind.
6. EROTIC STORIES
There. I said it! And I’m not going to explain to you why. You KNOW why. Google “erotic stories” in your target language. Nobody needs (and wants) to know…!
Or any books of that kind. One of the guilty pleasures of women!
I’ve never tried to find such a thing but you can probably find a lot of such books and stories by googling “broken heart”, “mysterious lover”, etc. But hey! What do I know?
Just like comments, they are brief and (at least) try to be either funny or informative. Use Twitter Top 100 Most Followed website.
Then click “Global Top 100” and choose the country of your interest.
9. WEBSITES LIKE 9GaG.com
If you have never heard of http://9gag.com/ I want you to know that I don’t believe you!
I had been battling my addiction to this website for a long time before I had won! But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy such websites in other languages!
All the memes and cat pictures guarantee to keep you mesmerized and basically allow you to absorb all the phrases and words effortlessly.
The similar websites for languages other than English include:
- http://9blague.com/ (French)
- http://echtlustig.com/ (German)
- http://kwejk.pl/ (Polish)
- http://skrattsajten.com/ (Swedish)
- http://pictures.live4fun.ru/ (Russian)
- http://atkritka.com/ (Russian)
- http://www.graciosasimagenes.com/ (Spanish)
- http://imagenesgraciosas.es/ (Spanish)
10. GRUESOME STORIES
It’s not for everyone but I really enjoy them. Google “scary stories” in your target language.
Or start with this thread on Reddit “What’s the creepiest Wikipedia article you’ve ever read?” and change the language on Wikipedia to the one of your interest.
Reading confessions online is probably a modern counterpart of going through somebody’s diary. To get you started, try to google the following phrases in your target language:
- what’s the worst thing you have done
- what ‘s the strangest thing you did in bed
- what’s the stupidest thing you have ever done
- what’s the most embarrassing …
- my boyfriend/girlfriend cheated on me
In Poland, it’s almost a national tradition to complain about everything so I might be a little bit biased. Try to google the following phrases in your target language:
- a list of the worst …
- why I hate …
- the worst …
13. SILLY WEBSITES / FORUMS
Take your pick – anything from conspiracy theories forums to camel spotting fan-clubs. The possible side effect of such reading exercises is coming to the conclusion that the human race is doomed.
What embarrassing things do you read which help you to stay focused? Let me know so I can create the ultimate “shameless reading list”!