Novels that are completely in Spanish can seem overwhelming at first! They’re a great way to learn, but they aren’t the first books you should try to read. Even though you’re an adult, when you first start learning Spanish, your reading level is that of a kid. The best way to expand your vocabulary as a beginner is to read bilingual books.
Finding bilingual books
Nowadays, there are tons of bilingual books on the market that you can find. In fact, many bookstores even have a section dedicated to books in Spanish or bilingual books. If they don’t have books you’re looking for in the store, you could try ordering them online. Libraries are another great resource, since they’re free and you can easily check out multiple books and return them.
Benefits of reading books in English and Spanish
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, why would I read books in English, too? Shouldn’t I be fully immersing myself in Spanish?” The answer isn’t so simple. Everyone’s language learning journey is different, and there are plenty of benefits of reading bilingual books. Here are some great reasons to consider books that have English alongside Spanish:
- You can see the colloquial translation of Spanish phrases. Not all parts of language translate exactly. For example, the phrase “to have fun” in English doesn’t translate to three separate words in Spanish, but rather divertirse. Seeing way you’d say it in English can help you understand the meaning of idioms and phrases.
- It’s easy to define words you don’t know. Context clues are the best way to try and figure out the meaning of a word, along with pictures in books. However, sometimes that just isn’t enough, and you need to look up a word. By reading bilingual books, you won’t even need to touch a dictionary, because the English word is right there on the same page.
- Kids books are rich in vocabulary. Children’s books are written with language development in mind! Just like how kids will learn new words in their native language through children’s books, you’ll learn new words every time you pick up a new story.