I Can Read German

Growing up I had a huge hardcover book called I Can Read German which had words and sentences in German followed by their English language translations. As a kid I would open this book up and spend hours looking at all the funny German words. I never actually bothered learning any of them or if I did, they never stuck.

Does anyone else remember this book from the early 80s?

Flash forward 30 years and finally, I can actually say I can read German as I have just finished reading my first proper book in German -Die Neune Abenteuer des Wunschstuhls (The New Adventures of the Wishing Chair) by Enid Blyton.  At 144 pages, it definitely falls into the book category rather than being a graded reader.  I didn’t understand every single word, but I definitely understood the gist of it and could follow the story.  I didn’t look up every single word I didn’t know as the point of reading this book was to see if I could read an actual book with the level of German I have now.  I’m happy to say that answer is yes, even a book that is written in Präterium which forces you to learn a totally different word for all words written in past tense.

I’m now moving onto my next book  Im Netz der schwarzen Spinne (In the net of the black spider) which promises adventure, puzzles and knowledge about Australia.  I can’t wait!

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4 thoughts on “I Can Read German

  1. Cool! Definitely something to be proud of.
    I’m currently learning British Sign Language – which is an incredible language. No reading involved but facial expressions are crucial so I feel I should watch some old silent movies.

  2. Great! Go on. Reading is the best thing. Books don’t get bored, impatient or start to be in English all of a sudden… I dare you to read Potter. You want it. You’re up to it. Trust yourself! By the way… I don’t know how many words you didn’t understand but I think you should look up 80% or so. One book as one specific vocab and the more you look up in the beginning the less unknown words will there be later on… if you don’t look up the amount stays the same. Slows you down at first, gives you a boost eventually :)

    • Usually I look up the words I don’t know, especially ones that are used multiple times, however for Wunschstuhl I didn’t do that because it was a test to see what I could or could not do with my current level of German.
      Now the test is over, I’ll go back to looking up the words. :)

      I don’t think I’m entirely ready for Potter right now. I think a couple of months with Blyton and similar level books will give my vocab a boost so I don’t find reading Potter a frustrating experience.

      • Wunschstuhl :D… I don’t know what that is … so… I asked my doctor about it and he described it to me as brow… ok I’ll stop right here… just couldn’t resist. I hope you don’t mind my being stupid. Gute Besserung mit deiner Höllengrippe

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