Improve your language skills with a bilingual book

By Famworld
Improve your language skills with a bilingual book

Along with writing and speaking, reading is one of the fundamental exercises for learning a second language. It is also usually the first obstacle one faces when starting to study, and the development of other linguistic skills depends on reading. Reading a book written in the original language is one of the classic homework students are assigned during the holidays. Summer is always a good time to practice and invest time in training, such as a summer English course. However, the first few times you pick up a foreign-language book you can get discouraged, especially if it's written in the style of the period.

Fortunately, bilingual books can come to the rescue, providing translation alongside the text. For example, if you are Italian, it means that the English text will be accompanied by the Italian one, and this is useful both for those who have to learn English and for those who have to learn Italian.

With a bilingual book, whenever you don't understand the meaning of a sentence you can immediately check the translation, without leaving loose ends or spending time with dictionaries or translators.

This is beneficial not only for beginners but also for advanced students who want to perfect or test their level.

The choice on the market is varied, and on the market you can find several books in English with translations into another language, be it Spanish, French or German. In this article we list some books aimed at students of all major European languages.

1.”Bologna Grand Tour”, Italian-English

When one thinks of Italy, cities like Rome and Milan immediately come to mind. However, not everyone knows that one of the most international cities in the country is the Italian Bologna.

If Milan is famous for its dynamism and fashion, Bologna can be considered as the cultural capital of northern Italy, also known for its university, founded in the 11th century and considered the oldest in the world.

For those wishing to learn Italian, this is an excellent book to learn about the language and the secular culture of the country. Not only an Italian course at your fingertips, the book also offers a portrait of one of the most important Italian cities through its palaces, churches, towers and arcades, distinctive elements of the urban landscape. It also gives the reader the unique feeling of art, architecture, history and cuisine that can only be experienced by visiting this city.

2. “Short Stories in Spanish”, Spanish-English

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is the official language in more than twenty countries including Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. For this reason, many young people choose Spanish as a second or third language, as it is very beneficial for communication, travel and work. This book collects ten short stories from contemporary Hispanic literature and is suitable for Spanish and English learners of all levels. It's a great tool not only for learning languages, but also for expanding your knowledge of Hispanic culture and literature.

The selection includes both creations by well-known and new writers, covering various genres and styles. Among the short stories are “Walimai” by Isabel Allende and “María dos Prazeres” by Gabriel García Márquez.

This book format, which collects short stories, is great for learning a second language, as it allows for multiple writing styles, a diverse vocabulary, and multiple resources to promote comprehensive learning. Furthermore, the stories can be read and re-read in any order, they are a pleasant read to do on holiday and represent a learning tool to complement your summer English courses.

3. “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, French-English

Journey to the Center of the Earth is the name of the famous novel by Jules Verne, a world-famous French writer and author of adventure novels.

Regarded as one of the forerunners of the science fiction genre, Verne is one of the writers whose foreign language works are among the most widely read.

This novel was published in 1864, but was so successful that in 1870 the first English version came out. It tells the story of a scientist who sets out with his group to discover an underground world and is a pleasant read to keep alongside other English or French books or manuals.

It is a book suitable for students of all ages and levels, thanks to the length, genre and use of easy and clear prose, but always elegant and detailed.

4. “The Neverending Story”, German-English

Just like the previous one, "The Neverending Story" is an adventure novel by the German writer Michael Ende, published in 1979 and translated into over forty languages worldwide. It tells the story of a boy who is transported into the fantastic dimension of the book he is reading, thus becoming the protagonist of the story. This tale has become so well known that it has been adapted into various plays, films, and video games.

The chapters are written in a simple and easily understandable style, suitable for readers of all ages, and for learners of German or English of all levels. The story is long enough but, thanks to the flowing and engaging plot, it doesn't bore and invites the reader to continue. If you've already planned to improve your English with summer English courses, this could be a perfect story to accompany your study.

5. “The Time Machine”, Portuguese-English

Despite not being a studied language like English and Spanish, Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world and the fifth most spoken online, gaining increasing interest in recent years. "The Time Machine" is a novel by the English writer HG Wells, published in 1895, and belonging to the science fiction genre, now also available in a bilingual Portuguese-English version.

It tells the story of an inventor who thanks to his time machine travels into the future, where he will discover a humanity divided into two opposing civilizations.

The story was a huge success and created a real category within the genre, that of time travel, which will become very popular in the following century. Like other novels, it is written in a simple and direct way, with a language suitable for those who want to learn Portuguese or English. Furthermore, it is a very interesting adventure to read, offering a critical look at the evolution of humanity.

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