Last week we had a really difficult text that used a lot of concrete vocabulary I had never heard before in Hungarian class. I was finding it exhausting to read so instead of reading for comprehension it I just tried to burn through the text as quickly as possible and highlight every single word I didn't know (being strict with myself, if I thought I vaguely knew it I'd still highlight it). The next day I looked up all the words and listed the English and Polish equivalents, Hungarian definitions and example sentences in a word document. I then went back to the original text and it was actually really enjoyable to read, and I had zero trouble with comprehension!
I need to keep doing this for Hungarian, Romance languages and Slavic languages (including Polish and Serbian), maybe even a bit of German and Dutch if I find the time. I've noticed that when I print articles out I read them all in one sitting and don't get distracted, and I pay more attention to new vocabulary than on the computer (and I can resist looking words up and focus on getting through the material even if there are bits that I don't fully understand). Even if I don't end up looking up every word I feel like I'm learning a lot. I think it's time to bury the fantasy that I'm ever going to read novels in foreign languages, and stop trying desperately to find interesting YouTube channels (of course there is
lots of great material in many languages other than English but the YouTube algorithm keeps recommending interesting things in English to me) or Facebook groups/pages (again, there's a lot of interesting stuff there but I always get drawn back to English-language pages and channels) in every language I'm studying, and just make sure I'm reading loads of articles every day. Songs are still fun but I really can't do a massive amount of them since a lot of the time there is slang, metaphors, etc. that take ages to look up (although it's paradoxically quite a good activity for non-transparent languages like Turkish because if the song is catchy the vocabulary really sticks!).
I find it harder to read a massive amount of Hungarian in one setting than with the other languages but I've noticed that once I've already printed them out I end up reading at least one or two a day; since I've already picked the material it's the path of least resistance (honestly half of my procrastination in language learning comes from not being sure what to work on). Presumably after a couple of weeks of doing this I'll get into the flow of speed reading Hungarian texts, which will also be useful for my MA thesis because I'm writing about the Hungarian minority in Ukraine so I'll have to read some texts in Hungarian (as well as in Russian and Ukrainian, so I should put some more effort into that...).
Hopefully in a couple of months I'll be able to add Urdu to this group of languages; the vocabulary load is a bit higher for me to be able to read Urdu comfortably than for most European languages so I don't think I'm there yet. Once I'm reading comfortably in Urdu it shouldn't be too difficult to branch out into Hindi and Punjabi.
Regarding vocabulary specifically, I've noticed I'm much more strict with myself with what I 'know' when I'm not looking up words constantly and just underlining them. This is I think good practice when reading Romance languages, yesterday I read like eight articles in Portuguese and there were words I only even noticed because I was purposefully being strict about words I 'know' (I was like, 'turvar' reminds me of 'perturb' but am I actually sure what this means?). The same was true of Serbian where there were words I could more-or-less understand in context but wouldn't be able to define or translate; this may seem unimportant but there's so many of them that I think that this might be what's keeping me at my current plateau.