culúrien wrote:I've never read a non-learner's book in a foreign language. I don't feel good enough in Spanish yet to do so, hopefully I'll get there eventually.
Really?? You really should try. If I can do it, you can do it (and I can read a lot of different books in Spanish). You've studied Spanish a lot longer. Does your local bookstore stock books in Spanish? If so, take a look at them. Pick the hardest looking books, paradoxically, they will be the easiest (because that's where the vocabulary of English and Spanish intersect.) Science books (I can get about 85%* of the meaning) will be the easiest, medicine (80% of the meaning), religion (70%) (althought Bibles are a bit harder), followed by history, travel, self-improvement (60-70%). As for fictional books, they will be harder than factual books, but some will still be readable. Children's books will be easy (80%), of course, but paradoxically, books for tweens (5%) and teens (10%) are the most difficult, and to a lesser extent fantasy books (30-50%). Try Mystery books (some ~60%). Many of them are readable without a dictionary, and you'll still get something out of them.
By contrast, German books for me (and I've studied German for far longer than Spanish): science books (10%), medicine (15%), religion (10%), history (10%), travel (30%), self-improvement (20%), children's books (30-40%), tweens (5%), teens (5%), fantasy (5%), mystery (7%).
French books are similar to Spanish.
Portuguese books are similar to French and Spanish, but the overall percentage of intelligibility is lower
Japanese books (~0.0001%).
Croatian books 2-3%.
Continental Scandinavian language books, similar to Spanish and French, but the overall percentage of intelligibility is lower.*Percentages are fuzzy, and based on about how much of the meaning I can comprehend (not the average number of words I can comprehend). They are based on reading without the help of a dictionary.