Audiobooks are boosting my Spanish

A while back, I took on my first Spanish novel, The Little Prince.

It’s 89 pages so not scarily long. But it was hard (!) and not fun. I was looking up words nearly every sentence. Reading felt like learning to drive a manual car. I gave up.

Enter “Fluent Forever,” a book that suggests a helpful exercise: reading and listening to a book simultaneously. The recommended choice? Harry Potter. It brought to mind stories I had seen on Reddit where people jumped in their language fluency through immersing themselves to large quantities of Harry Potter. Maybe these myths of old were in fact real.

So, I decided to take on Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal!

Tackling this literary behemoth hasn't been a walk in the park, but with the aid of an audiobook, it has become not only manageable but enjoyable. This approach exposes me to large amounts of vocabulary and sentence structures in a fun way.

The main value-add from an audiobook has been a steady reading pace. Reading at a consistent speed ensures I’m not getting caught up in what I don’t understand and keeps the flow of the story. Although I don’t understand every word and detail, the combination of reading the words in the book in front of me gives me enough to be able to follow the story.

When I’m feeling curious, I look up the translation of words on my Kindle, but I don’t like pausing the audio so there’s limited breathing space to do this often.

Going forward, I will probably focus on books that have more comprehensible language before returning to large novels but for the time being, Harry Potter it is!

A sweet spot of practice time for me has been 10-20 minutes per day.