Readlang Blog

Read for pleasure and super‑fast language acquisition

Parallel Texts

February 3, 2013

Parallel texts are a great learning tool for beginners. These allow you to quickly switch back and fore between the translated version and the original without breaking your flow too much. The problem is it’s almost too easy to rely on the translated version, and figuring out the matching point in the translated version sometimes takes a little searching. Aside from portability they haven’t improved much in over 2000 years.

Added to that, the selection of books available is very limited, typically they are collections of short stories by authors I’ve never heard of. Good luck finding a parallel text version of the latest George R. R. Martin novel!

I’m sure e-readers will improve parallel text reading in future. They could hide the translated version and only display it where required, identify the corresponding words or phrases between translations, and even automatically generate parallel texts from two versions of the same book. I’d love to work on these features for Readlang one day, but there are so many other things to improve first.

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