I really started reading "L'ecume des jours" (remember that entry some days ago) today.
I guess, this book is probably not the best one to learn french with, because Boris Vian plays around with the language & uses an eloquent rich language (I should have started with children books), - well but if I master this one it will in future be much easier to read other french books - maybe soon I'll read Balzac, Victor Hugo or Molière in origin (at least Balzac - I read a lot of him already in German translation).
So today I succeeded in reading the very first page of L'écume des jours with my french dictionary at hand.
Since my french with 3 semesters of evening school a long time ago is still very poor - so I'll read this book like a scientific study, how my french will improve page after page.
So I also noted every word I didn't know yet with it's translation on a paper.
You know I have also the German translation 'Die Gischt der Tage' at hand, but don't look there while I translate. - I'll do it this way: I read one page with the help of my dictionary & afterwards read this page in German, to control my understanding or translation.
The result of my first page was like this:
I didn't know 27 words & had to translate them by dictionary. One word 'ceignait' I couldn't find (french words often change so much in conjugation), but later by the french translation I could figure it out - it came from 'ceindre' - (gürten) 'to gird'
To see the result in relation I even counted the words of the first side - hmm 187 words - so I didn't know every 6th word, but as I counted every word, also the articles, prepositions etc, like un, le, de etc., which of course you've learned in any beginners lessons & all the mass of unknown french words are verbs, adverbs, adjectives & substantives. - & I made the mistake to count all those ever repeated articles on each occurrence
So I counted again, this time only the verbs, adverbs etc. & these were 94, which shows that still the 3rd part of french language is a secret to me - but on the other hand - I know already 66 percent of French, which of course is nonsense if I put it in relation to the existing french words (my medium sized french dictionary has about 210.000 words & I probably don't know more than about some 100 or 1000 french words). But in relation to the words that are mainly used in average language I already at least understand more than half of it.
Let's see how I improve my french percentage. I think I'll check this about any 10 or 20 pages I read on. - I'll give report then..
Once I heard that average people use only about 400 words in daily life. - If that's true you should be able to learn about 10 languages within a year.
On the other hand I heard that the written language of Japanese is so difficult, that children need about 4 years to even be able to read a newspaper.
I'll never start learning Japanese!