On The Road...

Faruk   Saturday, December 18, 2004, 21:12 GMT
Hi there,
I have a problem about reading a book.
The book is "On the road, by Jack Kerouac". I borrowed this book
from library and returned 3 times that makes 9 weeks time. And along this nine weeks i started and stopped reading several times and i could only read 24 pages. The reason is that the writer uses a kind of slang language which i enjoy a lot if i understand but it contains a lot of new words and expressions. Thus, if i stopped reading while i came across a new word or expression and looked it up in dictionary, it takes a lot of time because there are many! During this time period i am missing the content and so i couldn't enjoy the book.

A while ago, I have read another book of the same writer which is
"Dharma Bums". But it was in my mother language. It was well-translated
book so that the flow of language was not destroyed and i had had the same taste of that writer-specific language.
I like the way Jack Kerouac writes and the story as well. I also want to
read it in English.
Is there any possible solutions do you offer for balancing the torture of looking up in a dictionary while missing the book and enjoying the book?
Maybe i can read it two times, one for memorizing the unknown words
and expressions and the other for enjoyment? :))

By the way, i also wonder about your comments about Jack Kerouac?
Thanks all!!
Boy   Saturday, December 18, 2004, 23:30 GMT
Hi Faruk,

There is only one solution of your problem.
You need to buy an electronic dictionary for a fast searching of words while reading. It'll give you only a definition and pronunciation of a word. No example sentences but context is itself enough to understand the word properly. Anyhow, it helps you to search the words faster in no time and it is as small as your palm. Take a look at this link: http://www.franklin.com/

I'm pretty sure that you can read many more pages at one sitting after purchasing it.

I have this model: (I'm satisfied with its performance.)

Merriam-Webster® Dictionary & Thesaurus
Model Number: MWD-1470

America's #1 Selling Electronic Dictionary& Thesaurus* in electronic format provides you with instant access to over 100,000 words and 500,000 synonyms!
kevin   Sunday, December 19, 2004, 05:19 GMT
Hi Faruk,
The Electronic Dictionary is very good. It save your time, but I think the dictionary which boy recommended is not convinent. Because Merriam-Webster includes so many new words for an intermediate English learner.
michael   Sunday, December 19, 2004, 17:27 GMT
i love jack kerouac as a writer and as an ideal. the rugged individualism that we should all attempt to attain. as for how to understand his books and enjoy them, well, that is difficult to solve. i am a native russian speaker although i've been in an english-speaking country for so long that english has in essence become my native language. in other words, i learned it as a child so i never had to translate from english back into russian or anything like that, so it is hard for me to even put myself in the shoes of someone who does not understand it. however, i myself have been learning german on and off for a few years and i too have trouble enjoying the books while having to look up words. it just takes time and practice, but once you break through that barrier you will be unstoppable in your abilities in your target language. you will be so happy that you know it. all the work that you have to do now in order to get where you want to be will not even be in your memory once you have attained your goal. this goes for any sort of goal, not only language learning. i would say, keep translating and once you get to the level where you truly are unable to "not understand" the language (if you know what i mean by that), then you will enjoy like never before.

i myself refuse to read anymore nietzsche, kant, hegel, or freud until i learn the german. think about it this way: how can you ever enjoy the art unless you learn how to use the tools? language is a tool, and by learning various languages you are accustoming yourself to being comfortable with different tools. in any kind of sport, you cannot enjoy the sport until you learn how to use the tools. sure, we could all play baskteball with a football, but we would enjoy it much more if we were to use a baskteball, because tools are formulated so as to serve specific purposes, and only the right tools can make the activity reach its full potential. likewise, we willl enjoy the literature that we read much more if we read it in the original language. this is my argument anyway, and it might be total crap, but that's how i think about this sort of thing.

in other words, you're just going to have to struggle through it, because nothing of any significance comes about without your having to struggle for it.