Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Harry Potter

Here's a thing worth mentioning: some time ago, I finished reading Harry Potter e il Calice di Fuoco. I'm now reading Harry Potter e l'Ordine della Fenice.

That's not bad is it?


Berenike said...

I learned to speak italian from a yellow grammar book, and then almost entirely from Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale! It's just the right level - plain natural language, not too slangy, not formal, lots of conversation. I recommend it to my EFL pupils, and bought in Polish for someone who wants to improve his communicative command of that language :-)

rosie said...

I'm amazed you're reading Harry Potter, let alone the fact that it's in Italian!

Mark said...

I don't disapprove of things just because they're popular, honest!

I didn't read them at uni because I knew I had enough to read. Then, I wasn't going to pay full price for something the world and his little brother had already read (too difficult to get from the library too), so I read the first three in English after I found them in charity shops.

... said...

I, too, am reading Harry Potter in Italian. It is a slow process but I have learned many new words and phrases in just the first ten pages. My question to you, though, is how did you go about it? Did you keep a list of words? Did you...I have no idea what other possibilities there are. I'd really like to know, though.

Mark said...

Well, I'm using three things:

Memorylifter, which is free, and can be downloaded here: http://www.memorylifter.com/

Mastering Italian Vocabulary (Mastering Vocabulary Series) by Luciana Feinler-Torriani

A little blue book

The first I find very helpful, because it's a rather efficient aid to keeping the words I'm learning in my long-term memory.

The second I wanted because I don't want to spend all my time learning rather specific vocabulary that I won't need in daily life, but words which are actually common. Apparently the thematic association helps with memorisation as well.

I use the little blue book for noting down words (that I can't guess the meaning of) that occur relatively frequently in whatever I happen to be reading but aren't in Mastering Italian Vocabulary. When I get a full page, I look up the meanings in my dictionary and add them into my Memorylifter file to learn along with all the others.

I don't bother with odd words that I don't understand if I get the gist of the sentence - it's no fun spending all your time leafing through the dictionary. I think I'd recommend doing the same. There's every possibility that if you leave an unknown word on one page, you'll see it again and immediately be able to work it out from the context.

Also, I notice that although all my grammar books say not to worry too much about the passato remoto, it's all over the place in most books that I pick up, so I'd say it is worth learning.

Hope that helps.