Reading is the most effective way to quickly acquire knowledge. It is said that the average CEO reads at least one book per week, which gives them an edge to make better decisions. Taking one of the most illustrious examples of our time, Elon Musk reportedly devoured thousands of books and taught himself enough about rockets to found SpaceX just by reading. He also declared that humans should merge with machines in the age of Artificial Intelligence if we do not want to be replaced by robots. Whilst it might be a bit too late for us to catch up with such a supernatural force like Musk, you might still be interested to read more books for your own betterment. And in fact, we should all try to keep up and become cyborg readers according to his vision!
There are many speed reading tools and techniques available for us to read better and faster. It usually works quite well when it comes to reading in your own native language. But this becomes a lot more difficult when you have to process a foreign language where a lot of unknown words slow down your reading and lessen your overall understanding. This is particularly true if you are a non-native English speaker keen to read new trendy books from American or British authors in their original language. Reading English eBooks on your tablet, you have to juggle between multiple devices or screens to get a translation or a definition for the words that you don’t understand. And since you have to repeat this task over and over again, you end up quitting learning new words from the books that you read: when you realize the English language contains over 1 million words, it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed by this vocabulary tsunami.
But you should definitely not give up by a challenge that can be turned into such a fantastic learning opportunity. Here is a trick to help you save countless hours and spare a fair deal of frustrating moments in a few easy steps that will not cost you anything:
Step 1: Sign Up For Free On Vokabee
Vokabee is a translation website created by a tech startup using innovative machine learning technologies to help non-native English speakers understand and learn unknown English words faster. The online portal is powered by an algorithm that processes digital media in English and translates the most difficult words into your native language. To start using this learning technology, all you need to do is to go to https://vokabee.io/ and click on the Signup button.
Next, create your user profile. It is important to mention your first language because Vokabee will use this language to translate difficult English words. You should be able to find your mother tongue among the long list of nearly 30 languages available, from Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Thai to Spanish, Portuguese or French just to name a few.
Finally, take a quick test to register your initial English level profile. Once this is done, you’re ready to process your first e-book.
Step 2: Process Your eBook
Vokabee allows you to process e-books in “.epub” or “.txt” formats. Whilst it is easy to purchase an eBook online that you are interested to read, you can also download some eBooks in compatible formats from a variety of websites such as Goole eBook Store, Project Gutenberg or Open Library.
Once you have found a suitable eBook that you would like to read, click “Upload files” and browse your device’s internal storage to select your eBook file. The “Process it!” button will appear almost instantly. In my case here, I have chosen a classic: “Around The World In Eighty Days” by Jules Verne.
You will then need to calibrate Vokabee’s algorithm that automatically translates the difficult words for you within your eBook file. Select One-star if you think your level is “Intermediate”, Two-Star for “Pre-advanced”. Three-Star for “Advanced” or Four-Star for “Expert” readers.
You are now ready to click “Process it” and decode your eBook – which usually takes about 5 minutes depending on the size of the uploaded file.
This result page will appear when your eBook is duly processed. Click “Download files” to save a copy on your device.
Step 3: Read With Understanding Your Processed eBook
Now that your file is saved, you can open it on your eBook reader and started reading more comfortably since difficult words have been automatically translated within your eBook text. If your tablet or laptop does not already have a built-in eBook reader, there are plenty of open-source eBook readers available such as Sumatra PDF (http://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/) or FBReader (https://fbreader.org/).
Step 4: Learn New Words From Automatic Word Lists
Now that you have fully read your eBook, you probably realize that you will forget most of the new words that came across if you do not schedule to review them at some point in the future. Memorizing something new takes some repetition and Vokabee generates personalized word lists out of the articles that you have processed: simply click the “Review words” button.
On this list, you can find all the new words that you should know with an assigned value (Low, Medium or High) for your English learning progress according to your initial language level profile. A definition in English is also provided beside the translation in your native language. You also have the option to delete words from the list by pressing the delete button. However, if you already know a word it’s best to click “I know this word” as then the system will not translate it next time: this helps Vokabee to refine its algorithm and tune the translations with the evolution of your language level. Finally, you can also edit a translation in your mother tongue if you have a better translation for a word.
Step 5: Read, Learn, Repeat
And this is how you can continue your life-long journey towards more efficient learning. As you read more, you expand your English vocabulary which enables you to read faster with sufficient understanding. Note that you can also process online articles and movie subtitles to build up a broader library of digital content so you can learn from. Bon voyage!