Audio source missing

E10- Poison Island – read out loud to improve your target language (for libriVox)


Here you’ll find the whole poison island text from Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (1863 – 1944).

If you want to have a listen to the whole chapter, which I read out loud for the libriVox project, click below:

LibriVox front page

Transcript: (not finished yet)

You heard the typical introduction text of a Librivox audio book introduction. In English, German and Spanish.

I’ve already mentioned Librivox on episode 8, where I tried to introduce you to the world of Librivox. If you want to learn more please head over to episode 8.  In a nutshell, LibriVox provides the public with audiobooks, which are all read by volunteers from all over the world and by the way they are all for free. There is a massive catalogue of books in different languages and different genres. Everyone will find something of interest. Believe me on that.

I am by the way your host, the passionate language learner Daniel Goodson and in general, with my fluent podcast I want to share all my language experiences.

If you have a story to share, just contact me. I would definitely appreciate!

Well alright decided to read out loud and record a chapter for libriVox.

I hoped for a pronunciation and intonation boost!!

And that’s the topic for today what I want to talk about in this episode.

This was kind of a preamble and now

let’s get started with this episode called Poison Island, which is the name of the book I decided to read out loud.

I’m gonna be honest with you:

Listen up my friend:

I do not recommend you to do what I did. At least how I did it or proceeded this whole task.

Believe me, signing up to such a huge task to read out loud a very big chapter (actually over 2000 words) turned out to be quite a struggle.

It was indeed a chore, wich I fulfilled only because I wanted to keep my promise to deliver my spoken chapter to LibriVox. At all costs, I wanted to keep my word.

Nevertheless, in this episode, I want to share the experience I made .

And probably more interesting for you, what I could have done better. So feel free to learn from my mistakes!

First off, I must admit that I was kind of over-motivated when I had a first glance at Librivox the reading out loud bug got quite hard.

And you know motivation is a good thing. But – it turned out for me not always 🙂

To get you an idea of an audiobook which inspired me, I will show you now a short extract from a LibriVox Audiobook.


Ok, and

That’s why I decided on recording a whole chapter too quickly. I was very thrilled while listening to different audio books. And the idea of the whole project is just great: It had lead to a fatal decision of mine. haha hahaha!

Too rushly, I signed up, went to the forum and picked a book.

Poison Island. Yeah indeed Poison, you can say that again!

I did not look at the text beforehand. I did not know exactly if I could enjoy the book.

The words were way too complicated for me and the sentences were very long, I had issues to breath in between haha


while reading the very long phrases – oh my god. I tried looking to the text as much as possible.

print your text

And they give you 1-2 month to send the recording in.

Ok, don’t panic Daniel.

You will be fine. just breath.

I directly began reading out loud the first page and had to stop.

Pronunciation overload

I marked a bunch of words in a highlighter and looked them up on Forvo for the right pronunciation.

But where do I get the right sentence melody / intonation? That was the greatest issue here. Because I could look up for single words. But I could not know how the melody should be.

I went over to another application called hello talk where you can meet with other language learners. The goal there is to find a tandem partner.

It’s a pretty good application.

Over there I asked a friend of mine to read out loud a sentence from the book. He did so. I was amazed. The problem was that I had a million of more phrases to have checked.


Train your favourite words from Forvo


Finally, I went forward. At least a little bit

After about two weeks

I felt for the first time I had enough confidence  that I could read out loud the whole chapter in one row.
Well after having read and recorded the whole thing I felt quite overwhelmed. I had probably never ever read something for such a long time (I mean read out loud).

I saved the recording as a mp3 file, then I opened it on my application  called “smart repeat app” on my mobile phone and listened to it.

Well not bad I thought for a first try. But I came across lots of words, where I was not sure/happy with the pronunciation. I marked them on my app.

And then I relistened to the pronunciation.

Words I struggled the most with:

19:00 Falmouth
39:00 thus encounter (incounter bei einem Verb!)
2.25 encourage( inkoritsch)
4.00 Lieutenant (Lutenent)
6.:09 Creditable
6.44 unregenerate youngster
8.03 Effaced ( kommt von face)
10 28 socrates

My Conclusion.

1. For god’s sake, don’t try to do what I did.
2. You should set yourself smart goals, that means you need to find a text that suits you, which is not too difficult but not too easy as well.
3. Then focus on a short text and practice it. Look the right pronunciation.

If you have a native friend you can show him your recordings. That would be the smartest way.

Difficult words from the text (from pronunciation view):

Falmouth (Geography)
encounter (there are different ways to pronounce it, keyword homograph. I don’t want to go into detail that would definitely go beyond the scope of this episode…)
brigadier-general, Lord William Bentink (oh man…)
with which Sir John Moore (the combination)
the brigade
to encourage
fatal cannon-shot
endured in the bitter gale of January 1809
escape wreck
an invalid

  • Vaclav

    I would never know about LibriVox if it was not for your Podcast. Thank you Daniel.


      Vaclav, you are welcome! Thanks for tuning in!