Did you know one of the best ways to learn is new language is to read children’s books?
Every mom knows that reading to your kids is a great way to spend quality time together. What you may not know, however, is that it can also be an excellent opportunity for them to learn a new language! It’s true: learning a second tongue has never been easier than with the help of fabulous books.
From our favorite storybooks about animals in Spanish to bilingual versions of all-time classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, there are so many options available today—all designed specifically for kids. How do you choose? You can check out Preply!
Preply, the online language learning provider, released a report on the Most Translated Books in the World. From this list they have compiled a list of the top 10 most translated children’s books, to help you create the perfect fall reading list for both children and adults. These books are great options for families learning a new language as the books are available in so many language versions.
We have some tips on finding the right book for your child’s age and skill level below!
“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry is number one. It currently holds the Guinness record for the most translated author for the same book.
Here is the perfect Fall Reading List:
The top 10 most translated children’s books per country:
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (382+ languages) – France
- The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (300+ languages) – Italy
- Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol (175+ languages) – England
- Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (160+ languages) – Denmark
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (70+ languages) – Sweden
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri (50+ languages) – Switzerland
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (36+ languages) – Canada
- Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten (33+ languages) – Austria
- Kumewawa, the Son of the Jungle by Tibor Sekelj (17+ languages) – Slovakia
- One Hundred Poems for Children by Oscar Alfaro (7+ languages) – Bolivia
Did you know how children learn languages?
Language learning is an innate process babies are born to know how to do. All children, no matter which language their parents speak, learn languages in the same way. (source).
When babies are born, they can hear and distinguish all the sounds in all the languages in the world. That’s about 150 sounds in about 6500 languages, though no language uses all of those sounds. The sounds a language uses are called phonemes and English has about 44. (source).
You can help your child build language skills by reading to them. Have child-centric conversations with them as studies show that babies learn language best within a social context. (source).
Tips for learning a new language through reading (for children and adults):
Read children’s books.
These books have shorter content, basic vocabulary, and simple sentences. Begin with the easiest reading material. If you’re an adult who wants to learn, don’t be prejudiced against children’s books as this is a great way to learn the basics.
Consider reading parallel texts.
Get a book that is written in dual language. With these books, there are translations written right below the sentence you’re reading. This will save you time from finding the closest dictionary. It will also allow you to see how the grammar rules vary and you can notice similarities and differences.
Read a lot!
If you’re learning a new language, it’s about quantity. If you don’t take everything in, don’t worry – keep going. The idea is to expose yourself to as much material as you can. You don’t need to understand everything. It’s more about practicing your contextualizing abilities and guessing what you’re reading about. Try to make out what’s actually happening overall.
Read with intent
Just as you should try reading extensively, you should also try the technique of intensive reading. This means, being actively involved with what you’re reading and absorbing everything before moving on. If you don’t understand something – underlining the words, dog-ear pages, or writing your mnemonics to help.
Read about what you or your children love
Reading allows language learners to explore topics that they love and stories that engage them. If your child loves music, then have them read a book in a different language that’s about music. If you love gardening, then find multilingual books about gardening. If you love cooking, you can find recipe books in the language you want to learn.
This will help ensure you don’t get bored, as it’s not easy learning a new language and you might be tempted to give up.
Check out ‘The Most Translated Books in the World’ – some of them on the list surprised me!
Don’t miss this great chance to win Free Lessons!
From August 16th to October 24th, Preply is giving away a year of free lessons to 5 lucky winners. It’s easy to participate. Every lesson you take = 1 entry. The more lessons you take, the more chances you have to win. Preply will randomly draw a new winner every 2 weeks (). Find out more about this giveaway. The next Draw is October 11th and the last Draw is October 15th!
The winner will be notified by email to the address used on Preply. They may also announce the winner on their Facebook page.
Preply is a global language learning marketplace, connecting 15,000 tutors with tens of thousands of students from all over the world.
Founded in 2012 and backed by some of the world’s leading investors, Preply is on a mission to shape the future of effective learning. Fueled by a belief that live engagement with a teacher is still the most effective way to learn a new skill, Preply is building a personalized learning space that will enable individual learners to reach their goals in the fastest way possible.