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Reading things you don't understand

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ylva, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Am I the only one who likes reading text I don't understand?

    I don't mean simply difficult text that is technical or above my reading level. I mean text in languages I don't know and alphabets I can barely decipher. In fact, when I start to understand what I'm reading, it starts getting less interesting. Not by much, but my relationship to the text changes.

    I wasn't like this as a child.

    Does it even count as reading?
     
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I rated your post "informative" because I feel like my perspective on the world just widened now that I know somebody somewhere does that. It never crossed my mind! After reading the title and the first sentence, I was like, "Yeah, it's relaxing to just keep reading and not comprehend all that much without caring." Then at the next sentence, my brain had a little lurch!

    I don't like to read in languages I don't know because I don't know how to pronounce the words, and that bothers me. And the way I try sounds dumb.
     
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  3. Graphin

    Graphin They're red can duck?

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    Congratulations! wanna become a linguist?

    No level of understanding may make this boring, but as many say it's about the process.
     
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  4. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I love this - I love looking at langauge I don't know and trying to figure out what words mean, or the grammar rules. The German publisher Hueber is great because their website has samples of lots of language learning books for some quite unusual languages such as Albanian, it's fascinating.
     
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  5. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I check out the language's wikipage. Latin based alphabets usually have only a handful of differences.

    At the "no level" it can be about aestethics. Semantics are fun, but not necessarily… necessary. Once you understand a word you just see the meaning. Your work is done, at least until you have a pretty solid grasp on the language and can read monolingual dictionaries and stuff.

    Thank you! Unusual languages are the best ones. Most recently for me, Basque and Volapük.
     
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  6. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  7. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Who came up with that rule? And if you read the whole thread, you'll know I usually learn how to pronounce the text first.
     
  8. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    The dictionary... and logic... came up with that rule...


    Reading involves the vocalization of letters / symbols. If you can't do that, then you can't read it in your mind either.

    esta es una frase
    i can pronounce and vocalize this therefore i can read it.
    Understanding it is a different matter.

    هذه جملة
    I can't pronounce that. So i can't vocalize that. Or mentally read it.
    Therefore i cannot read it.



    I mean text in languages I don't know and alphabets I can barely decipher. In fact, when I start to understand what I'm reading, it starts getting less interesting.

    ... puzzle solving.

    You don't care about what the words say you like to decipher alphabets you barely understand... (In your own words) so, you like puzzle solving. It does not count as reading if you cannot read it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  9. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Mentally vocalizing is tiring. I don't understand people who always do it.

    And it's odd that you say that, because I actually hate puzzle solving.
     
  10. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...
    Maybe you just hate most forms of common puzzle solving or you like under certain circumstances (language decoding)

    There are many, many different types of puzzles out there.

    Coding / programming involves a lot of different puzzle solving skills.

    Then there's games like candy crush.

    2 Very different forms of puzzles.
     
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  11. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Perhaps. It is more that I like encountering words/symbols I know or half-know, as well as seeing new ones in context. Sometimes I understand or feel like I understand because of loanwords or roots, but as a whole it's more like listening to music. I don't "understand" music, either, at least nor with my analytical or semantic mind.
     
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  12. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it, but that just means I wouldn't like it. :) When my kids would come home singing a song in a foreign language that they had been taught in school I would ask them to tell me what they were saying and they couldn't. I just want to know what's being said or what I'm saying or singing. But I think it's pretty cool that you can figure it out. I've always been the absolute worst with other languages. Maybe it has to do with it was hard enough learning my own. lol
     
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  13. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I''ve been thinking about this a lot lately, if I understand it correctly! When you read, are the words not said in your head and you're just skipping straight to comprehension? Because I read so much faster when I do that, but for some reason it makes me uncomfortable and feels wrong so I stop.
     
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  14. tlc

    tlc The Mackinac Bridge and U.P. is my happy place.

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    Not reading, but I like watching some things I don't understand. Like foreign programs on my satellite dish. It's a way of zoning out for me.
     
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  15. Bronzelincolns

    Bronzelincolns Well-Known Member

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    I barely enjoy reading things I do understand.

    overall, I don't like reading.
     
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  16. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That could be down to conditioning. Your teachers probably told you to read that way. I am still strying to decondition myself from some of the things instilled in me as a child.

    It is far more relaxing to just know what the words sound like without having to prove it to yourself.
     
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  17. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for bringing this up! Some things are conditioned so early and so absolutely, it can be hard to tell that it's the result of conditioning! :eek:
     
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  18. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    @Ylva Sorry to keep going on about this, but are you able to stop yourself from mentally vocalizing entirely or do some of the words vocalize incidentally?
     
  19. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd say my brain is fairly quiet when I read languages I am fluent in, but the awareness of the sound of the words is close enough that it wouldn't take much to hear it. It seems to depend on how much attention I pay.
     
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  20. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I am starting to recognize the Greek alphabet, but not Hebrew, Arabic, Cyrillic or Sanskrit, yet.
     
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