With my just arrived copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Russian, I am not in possession of an Urdu edition and this one, with the Spanish edition checked out of the library along with the English original. I’m half-way through the English and Spanish and have started the Urdu at about a line a day and the Russian which has turned out to be quite easy. I’m looking forward to the French one that’s on the way. By the time I’ve read these, all languages (except Urdu) I don’t have much trouble reading, I’ll be ready to order the Latin, the Italian, the Norwegian, and the Modern Greek. The Latin shouldn’t be too bad, nor should the Italian; but by the time I get around to the Norwegian and Greek, I’ll have the books almost memorized.
I’m taking notes as I read. I am reading a book club selection in Spanish, a huge edition of newspaper articles that is very interesting to read, and I started a classic Village Prose book in Russian, Brothers and Sisters, and finding it right at my i+1 or 2 but comprehensible. I particularly notice the grace and power of the writing as the author describes a small Russian village of this period thawing out.
One of my obsessive pursuits is grammar. Just now I am going through a couple of books by the Leeds & Nakhimovsky collective, Volume 2 of Beginning Russian and The Twelve Chairs, books that are filled with really good usage notes, just what I need. I have tons of classics and others in Russian (and usually an English translation to bail me out if I lose track) and hope to get to the point where I can read the Russian with the same ease that I read Spanish. I’m close now. The French I’m not sure of; I’ve been reading some and do follow OK, but the H.P will help.
Another huge thing I ordered that is on its way is Betty Lou Leaver’s Individualized Study Plans for Very Advanced Students of Foreign Languages. I hope I can glean some ideas from that as I head into retirement and many more hours available for study.
In addition to studying and reading individual languages (Einzelsprache in German), I’m rereading John McWhorter’s What Language Is as well as listening to his DVD set on language. They make me realize that all the languages I’m studying, with the exception of Latin, Modern Greek, and Russian, have been cut down and simplified by time (Norwegian, English, French, Spanish, Italian) or by being a lingua franca (Urdu). I’ve left out Dutch b/c I haven’t done much with it. My reading in Dutch is The Hobbit, so seeing the movie may spur me on.