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Do you read books in original? Or do you prefer to read books or articles in translation?
Mar 7, 2018 11:50 AM
Comments · 10


March 7, 2018

I always read the originals in the five languages I master more or less. I hope I will be able someday to do the same in the language I am currently learning, Arabic. I regret to have given up Latin and Ancient Greek, I enjoyed reading texts written in Latin.

amuse myself sometimes to compare translations, from Arabic and Hebrew authors for instance. I have  the impression that the author “writes differently” according to the French or Italian translator. There are good translations and less good ones.

I also tried to read a Russian novel BADLY translated to Spanish. They gave spanish names to the caracters, Piotr became Pedro that was awful, I gave up. Unfortunately I will never be able to read Russian authors in their original text. Life is too short!

March 7, 2018

A great many years ago, I read The Brothers Karamazov in Constance Garnett's English translation. I found the language (the English) so beautiful! Then I learned Russian, and read the same book in the original. As soon as I started reading the original, I was struck by just how different the text "sounded" from the book that I had read earlier (the English translation). The language seemed less formal somehow. Both were good, but I was really struck by the difference. 

On the other hand, I once happened upon a new translation of A la recherche du temps perdu. I found it in a bookstore (in the States), read the first paragraph, and was dumbstruck by how familiar it sounded (i.e. similar to the original). It was like reading Proust's French, only it wasn't French, but English. ;-) Granted, I only read a couple of sentences of the translation, but still. 
March 7, 2018
In the original. I rarely read translations. (The flip side of that is that I rarely read books that were originally written in a language that I don't speak/read.) 

Actually, my primary motivation for learning Russian was to be able to read Russian literature in the original (by now, I can do this quite comfortably). 
March 7, 2018

Hi Daria!

Usually I don't read translated things, but sometimes I read translated articles when I am in a rush. 

I like reading books in English (The book or Ebooks) and I like reading articles.

Do you read ebooks? Where do you find them?

I find them on I like this website because there are many books and the audibooks.

March 7, 2018
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Language Skills
English, French, Polish, Russian
Learning Language
English, French