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Language learning with parallel texts

Learn languages with parallel texts

A parallel text resource for learning another language is a book or text in which the second language and first language are presented side by side on the same page or screen. The side by side nature of the text makes apprehension and comprehending easy for language learners because it provides input and translation when it is required,that is while reading.

How To Use Parallel Texts

Parallel texts can be used in a number of ways depending on your level in the new language and creativity.


Beginner Level Language Learners

beginners should start with small bits of translated text

Parallel texts in sentence for sentence translation mode

Start with sentence by sentence and as your understanding of the language grows, begin to read bigger and bigger chunks at a time (like proper paragraphs). You want to move toward reading whole pages and then whole chapters first in the first language and then in the target language.

Intermediate Level Language Learners

intermediate and advanced students can use larger and larger chunks of text

parallel text in paragraph for paragraph mode

As a new student, you may want to read a paragraph of text  in your native language first and then move on to read the same paragraph in the second language. By reading the text in your own language first you are basically preparing your mind to understand and make connections with the  language you are learning. The context of what you read will be fresh and allow you to make logical connections to words and expressions thus creating a good source of the comprehensible input necessary to maximize your learning.

Advanced Language Learners

As an advanced speaker of a second language, you may try to read parallel texts in the target language first and then use the your primary language section as a tool to check on  words or expressions that you did not  understand.


There are many parallel texts already available over the Internet and in bookstores as printed copies. But the truth is there aren’t as much titles as there should be and we as learners are limited to choosing from sparse number of editions. Here comes software that allows you to quickly create parallel texts or books of your choosing which makes it for even more effective learning,because now you can study from books/texts that interest you.

Updated: March 3, 2015 — 6:50 am
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