Does reading and recording books improve English?

Everything except LibriVox (yes, this is where knitting gets discussed. Now includes non-LV Volunteers Wanted projects)
Post Reply
nikita1
Posts: 4
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Post by nikita1 » September 10th, 2017, 11:59 pm

I'm intending to record one book, just for myself, and the principal aim of this will be improving English, because I cannot think in it at all, try as I may, I cannot use a single simple sentence in my thoughts on the fly, so to say. 5 minutes I wrote this first sentence, it doesn't satisfy me at all. One more thing is that I don't understand what I read when I read it aloud. So I'm intending to record an 8-hours book and see what it might improve. I've already read that book once, it hasn't an audio-version yet, and I've also converted the text to audio with the use of one site to be able to listen to every few sentences before recording so as not to make pronunciation mistakes and so that the result might be worth sharing somewhere.
But the main aim is to improve English and I wonder if somebody had the same intentions when they recorded audiobooks and how well that helped.

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 29060
Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Location: Melbourne,Australia

Post by annise » September 11th, 2017, 12:23 am

Just to clarify - is English your first language? Or something you can read well but not speak ?
Have you tried reading the text while listening ? that seems fairly popular for many second or more language learners.People's brains work in many different ways, I learn better by listening than reading so if I read something I don't understand I say it in my head

Anne
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

nikita1
Posts: 4
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Post by nikita1 » September 11th, 2017, 12:59 am

No, Russian is my first language. I meant I can't understand the meaning of words when reading them aloud. It's like I all at once begin to concentrate only on pronunciation or anything, but not the meaning of what is being read. Though it is the same with my first language when I read it aloud. But that is just the second problem. The main aim is to assimilate English through reading aloud, through a constant flow of English structures that might cling to memory somehow, because just reading is of no use.
However, I just now realized, how is something going 'to cling to memory' if I won't understand the meaning of anything that I speak.. It seems that the second problem is the first. Then I'll be hoping I solve it at the first stages of recording and then, with normal understanding, I could proceed to 'assimilating'.
Last edited by nikita1 on September 11th, 2017, 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

nikita1
Posts: 4
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Post by nikita1 » September 11th, 2017, 1:09 am

Yes, I tried reading while listening, of course. For two years I've tried different approaches, but so far I cannot write quickly and correctly. My aim is to write in English. It requires the ability to think in it quickly, to quickly remember and choose structures, without google and dictionaries. But now (as it was a year ago, only worse grammatically) I write only 500 words a day, which is a big annoyance and obstacle to pracrtice.

Peter Why
Posts: 4185
Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » September 11th, 2017, 3:48 am

You might find this Russian site helpful: http://usefulenglish.ru/ It covers use of English and English pronunciation.

I made some recordings of English phrases for the tutor a year or two ago, and the site looks very well structured.
It is important to stress that we do not recommend studying English by comparing the text in English with its Russian translation. It is much more useful to study and use typical English constructions and commonly used words, phrases and idioms that we have collected and explained in the materials of our site.
Peter
"Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Kenneth Boulding, 1973

plaidsicle
Posts: 694
Joined: December 17th, 2014, 10:57 pm
Location: Indiana, USA
Contact:

Post by plaidsicle » September 12th, 2017, 6:46 am

nikita1 wrote: It's like I all at once begin to concentrate only on pronunciation or anything, but not the meaning of what is being read. Though it is the same with my first language when I read it aloud.
this happens to me sometimes when I read in English (my first language) too-- it's a weird feeling, sort of getting lost in the flow of the words.
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
plaidsicle.blogspot.com

Piotrek81
Posts: 3138
Joined: November 3rd, 2011, 2:02 pm
Location: Poznań, Poland

Post by Piotrek81 » September 12th, 2017, 8:50 am

plaidsicle wrote:
nikita1 wrote: It's like I all at once begin to concentrate only on pronunciation or anything, but not the meaning of what is being read. Though it is the same with my first language when I read it aloud.
this happens to me sometimes when I read in English (my first language) too-- it's a weird feeling, sort of getting lost in the flow of the words.
I have that too, especially with more complex sentences (which, let's be real, form a big part of what we record here :roll: ).

@nikita1
Bear in mind that literature often uses more sophisticated words and expressions that aren't particularly useful in everyday life. Even more so, if you want to record something in the public domain (that is, several decades old). If you want to do this type of exercise to expand your active vocabulary (words which you actually want to be able to use on daily basis, and not just to recognize), I'd suggest recording newspaper articles instead.
Come help us record The Deluge THE DELUGE IS BACK!
Want to hear some PREPARATION TIPS before you press "record"? Listen to THIS and THIS

nikita1
Posts: 4
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Post by nikita1 » September 12th, 2017, 3:52 pm

I'd suggest recording newspaper articles instead.
Good advice, thanks!
But how do you think, whether frequent voice-reading-recording has improved your (even English natives'), ability to express your thoughts in writing, and vocabulary, or it has no better effect than just reading? Are all those literary structures and idioms memorized better when being spoken aloud? Having recorded a book, do you have a feeling that you could talk and write like the author of that book?

tovarisch
Posts: 2187
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » September 12th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Hello, Nikita!

My experience is that reading aloud (and subsequent listening to myself) helped me learn to pronounce the endings of words better. Also, you might want to ask to correct your pronunciation (PLers are not supposed to do that unasked). Take a habit of looking words up even if you feel pretty sure of the meaning and how to say it. Use sites like howjsay.com and forvo.com. Online dictionaries often include pronunciations given by native speakers.

As far as expressing myself better, I can't really tell how far I've progressed since I joined LV. Perhaps english.stackexchange.com (or even ell.stackexchange.com) is what you will find of interest*.

Good luck!

* - Beware of a certain dose of snobbery permeating it. I hung out there for a few months but then bailed when the benefit/snobbery ratio deminished.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

Johndec
Posts: 15
Joined: August 22nd, 2017, 7:22 am

Post by Johndec » September 14th, 2017, 2:01 am

Without a doubt reading out loud can help... particularly if you're reading a dictionary!!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I jest, just a little joke there...

I do enjoy learning and reading other languages in my spare time (I'd love to record a chapter of audiobook with my French and German skills on here someday!) but I would be interested to know what apps do the bilingual people here on Librivox find works best for them?

I've always used Google Translate as my go to... but I'd be glad of any suggestions of better translation apps anyone's had experience with!

Post Reply