Best Foreign Language Books For Beginners
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If you like reading, you should start with it even at the beginner stage of your language learning journey. Today, we have so many reading resources you can use as a beginner. And the best thing you can do is to choose foreign language books for beginners.
Foreign language books for beginners use simple vocabulary so that you can understand right from the beginning. These books are usually written in short dialogues to not be overwhelmed by new vocabulary or tricky grammar structures. Foreign language books actually help you to build your vocabulary and improve your understanding.
This article will introduce you to the best foreign language books that are great for beginners (and also intermediate learners) and are written in several languages. Choose your language and start reading them right now.
List Of The Best Foreign Language Books
Here is the list of the best foreign language books that will improve your language skills. Just replace the word ‘language’ with a particular language (Spanish, German, French, etc.). These books are written in several languages, so you can choose your foreign language:
- 101 Conversations in Simple ‘Language’
- Short Stories ‘Language’
- Series of ‘Language’ Novels for Beginners
- First ‘Language’ Reader – A Beginner’s Dual Language Book
- Books with Famous Stories (such as the Little Prince)
- 501 Language Verbs
Why Are Foreign Language Books Beneficial?
You still can’t decide whether you should read books in a foreign language as an absolute beginner? Let me tell you how it’ll help you to improve your language skills and why they’re great for beginners:
1.Use simple vocabulary
2.They are usually written in dialogues
3.You can learn useful vocabulary
4.Improve your understanding
5.Learn at your own pace
6.See how words are written
How To Learn A Language Using Foreign Language Books?
You don’t have to use books in foreign languages specifically to learn languages. What I mean is that you can just read interesting stories without even noticing that you are learning new words. The approach you choose is your decision. You can read books in foreign languages in the following two ways:
You can read 1 or 2 pages a day, highlighting new vocabulary you want to add to your list.
First, read 1 page and try to understand the context. After, reread it and highlight each word you don’t understand and would like to learn. You don’t have to highlight each word you don’t understand, only those you wish to remember. After, look these words up in a dictionary.
Foreign language books for beginners usually have translations on the next page, so you can look the new words up there without even searching them in a dictionary. Then, read only these new words out loud.
Pro Tip: Take 1 word, write it down into Google Translator, listen to its pronunciation, and then repeat it 3 times. Then repeat the same process with other words you want to learn and remember.
This would be the first approach you can take when reading foreign language books and trying to learn new vocabulary on the way.
The second way is to basically read the book, 1 or 2 pages a day, without looking the words up. You only focus on understanding the context and assuming what the meaning of chapters is. However, this approach is better to practice once you understand more vocabulary at the intermediate level.
So now you know why foreign language books are beneficial and how you can learn languages using them. It’s time to dive into actual foreign language books you can start reading now, even as an absolute beginner.
I have 5 amazing language books for you, which I ranked from the best to start off to the more advanced ones.
If you are an absolute beginner, I highly recommend choosing the first book I write about in this article.
In the end, I have one book that solely focuses on verbs, and they are conjugated in the language. I generally don’t recommend learning a lot of grammar at the beginner stage, but knowing how verbs are conjugated is essential. It will take you to the next level.
So here you have the best 5 foreign language books that will improve your understanding of a foreign language.
1. 101 Conversations in Simple ‘Language’
I highly recommend you to start with this book if you are an absolute beginner. Whenever I start learning a new language, I choose this book to enhance my reading skills and learn new vocabulary. It uses simple words you will use in your everyday life once you travel in the country, exactly what we are looking for.
You’ll be driven into a real-life conversation with its 6 characters who will help you understand and speak like a local. These dialogues come from typical daily situations like being in a shop or café, ordering something, making arrangements, meeting friends and people on the street, and communicating with them easily.
You’ll also get English definitions and explanations in each chapter to guide you through the context, words, and meanings.
It mainly includes expressions written in the main languages (no dialects) spoken in the countries worldwide.
2. Short Stories ‘Language’ – Olly Richards
After you’re done reading 101 simple conversations, head to the next one with exciting stories. Short Stories’ Language’ is a collection of language books for beginners. Just replace the word ‘language’ with the actual language you want to learn.
Each of them contains 8 stories. They have various genres, from crime stories to fiction, romance, and comedy. Their stories are captivating and easy to understand. They’ll give you soon the feeling that you are making progress with your language. You’ll understand more and more from one page to another.
The book further contains the 1000 most frequent words to help you understand the core of the stories. It also gives you a bilingual word list and a summary of the plot. After each chapter, there is a section with comprehension questions to ensure you are on track with the story.
It’s truly one of the best language books out there, and I highly recommend it to you. The mixture of stories, comprehensive questions, and easy-to-understand language style will help you improve your language skills.
3.Series of ‘Language’ Novels For Beginners
Learning a language with book series is a ticket for a better understanding of the language. I’m sure it’ll help you improve your skills, and you’ll become more familiar with words and how to use them in a context.
It helps you improve your understanding with its short sentences, everyday and simple dialogues, with easy grammar. It’s packed with useful vocabulary you have been learning on your own, like greetings, buying things, and small talks.
Getting book series is one of the best things we, as language learners, can do. You don’t have to think about which book to read next once you finish reading one book. The other 4 books are waiting for you to read them. But the biggest advantage is that they are all written in the same style.
You’ll get used to it, know what to expect from those books, which will boost your learning process. You’ll read similar sentence structures, and vocabulary learning will get much easier. It’ll also cover a wide range of different vocabulary for you.
These book series also have a free foreign language dictionary you can download.
If you like to know more about each episode of these Spanish novels, red my article about the top 9 Spanish books for beginners.
In Which Languages Can You Read Novel Series?
Now, I haven’t found too many novel series in foreign languages. But you can pick some you already know in your native language and just order the books in the language you want to learn. I have something for Spanish and French learners here.
For Spanish learners, get the Spanish novels for beginners. These are great books with thrilling and exciting stories. I write about each of them in my article about Spanish books for beginners, so check them out.
There are series of 3 French novels for French learners: Petit Déjeuner à Paris, Déjeuner à Paris, and Dîner à Paris. I personally haven’t read these books yet (it’s on my list), but if you like book series, I am sure they will come in handy for you.
4. First ‘Language’ Reader – A Beginner’s Dual Language Book
With these book, you will be driven to a life of countries, the culture, and thinking of people where your chosen language is spoken. It uses simple vocabulary, which makes it easy to understand for you as a beginner.
The best part is that it offers English translation on the opposite page, so you can double-check and look up new words right away. Have your language travel notebook ready to write these new words down. It also includes vocabulary and some exercises to help you work with new vocabulary from the book.
5. The Little Prince
One of the most effective ways to learn and practice a foreign language when it comes to book reading is to take a story you already know. The Little Prince might be one of those. Since you are already familiar with the story and happening, you can associate things and vocabulary much easier. It also helps you to assume the meaning of words before looking them up in a dictionary. It’s a very efficient method.
This book is particularly great for small dialogues and to learn past tense. I recommend you read it after you understand beginner vocabulary and sentences as a free time reading activity. First, as an absolute beginner, choose the books that are ranked as number 1 and 2 on this list.
6. 501 ‘Language’ Verbs
I mentioned in my introduction, I don’t generally recommend learning a lot of grammar, especially not at the beginner stage of a language learning process. However, this book is a great source with the most useful verbs.
Honestly, verbs are the core of any language. As beginners, we need to know how to conjugate them to speak correctly. I don’t want you to learn the verbs and their conjugations. But I encourage you to have this book with you. Once you are reading, listening, or speaking, and you don’t know how to use a word in other persons, you can look it up in this book.
It’ll serve you as a guide and a reference and back you up when you are stuck. It’s really a great source that’ll help you to lay the ground for your language skills.
More Tips On Language Learning
These are my foreign language books for beginners that I recommend to anyone who wants to learn languages for travel. As I mentioned in my other articles, it’s essential to use various materials and sources to learn a language.
Books can be great to read in the morning after you wake up. Or, when you are having an afternoon tea or coffee, read a few pages and write some new vocabulary down. Not only is it an effective way to learn a language, but you’ll also have a lot of fun with these exciting stories. And you’ll learn something about the culture and people where the language is spoken.
Interested in Audiobooks?
If you prefer listening to audiobooks over reading, check out the list of the best audiobooks for beginners in different languages:
- 13 best German audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best French audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best Italian audiobooks for beginners
- 8 best Spanish audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best Russian audiobooks for beginners
If you want to learn a language for travel, follow my advice in 7 basic steps. You can start learning with my own language method that I developed over the past few years. I used to live, study and work in several countries, where I also learned several languages on my own. It helped me to connect more with locals and have a much better travel experience.
Generally, it just made my life a lot easier. And the language learning has been a lot of fun. Find out more about my language learning method here. Get more resources for your language learning and learn about the most important skill of language learning. Get my 8 language learning tips as well to boost your learning journey.