Can You Learn Spanish Reading Harry Potter?
Reading fiction has a myriad of benefits, as studies have shown that those who do are more empathetic, increasingly socially perceptive, and tend to have sharper minds. Learning a foreign language also has its many pros, one of the major ones being that it lights up the pleasure receptors in your brain bringing you a sense of gratification. With so many benefits to both, you are probably more than ready to combine them, but may be wondering if, during your Spanish learning journey, you should aim at reading specific books in order to maximize the benefits. The Harry Potter series is one of the best-selling in the world and has been translated into over 60 languages, making finding a Spanish translation easy –but that may not mean it is a great choice when it comes to helping your Spanish language studies. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons to reading Harry Potter in Spanish to find out if you can indeed learn Spanish with these books!
J.K. Rowling’s first books are stamped with the Middle-Grade fiction label which means that they are aimed at 8-12 year olds. This simplified style of writing is a major plus for language learners. Sentences aren’t too long and convoluted and vocabulary is very basic with a lot of repeated terms. Within the first few pages you should be able to pick up several new words to impress your Spanish speaking acquaintances!
If you are successfully able to make it through the first book in the series, you’ll be surprised to know that Rowling’s writing gets more complicated and ‘grown-up’ with each subsequent story. This is a big pro when it comes to reading these books in Spanish because, as your grammar, vocab, and comprehension skills progress, the books will progress with you, allowing you to continue learning more and more complex words and phrases!
One of the most exciting things about the Harry Potter series is that the world has been blessed with film versions of these stories. Having a Spanish dubbed version of these films on hand will prove extremely useful to your language learning. Coupled with the books, this will create a more concise learning method in which you’re practicing listening and reading comprehension together (and its fun)!
Some teachers believe that when it comes to choosing literature for learning Spanish, Harry Potter is not the way to go. The reasoning behind this is that with Harry Potter’s storyline, which revolves around magic and wizardry, much of the vocabulary is rendered useless for the student who will be unable to utilize it in daily life. So according to experts, if you’re looking for a book which will teach you how to carry on conversations in the real world, Harry Potter might not be the way to go.
In order to get the most you can out of reading Harry Potter in Spanish, you must have former knowledge of the tale itself. According to language instructors, if you try tackling the series without knowing how the story will go you’ll spend more time trying to figure out what’s happening as opposed to focusing on the language usage itself – which can be detrimental to your learning process.
Verdict: It looks like the pros outweigh the cons on this one which is great news for you! Despite the magic-related vocab and the complicated storyline, reading Harry Potter will benefit your Spanish language studies more than it will harm them.
You may be on pins and needles ready to begin your first foray into reading Harry Potter in Spanish, but before you get carried away remember that for a well-rounded language education you can’t solely rely on yourself. Signing up for stellar language lessons is a great way to ensure you are advancing in the right direction and free online language tests make it easy to keep your Spanish knowledge sharp! This way you’ll be more than ready to head off into the magical world of Spanish books with nothing more than a wave of your wand and a twitch of your broomstick!