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Poll: Do you prefer reading books in your native language(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Jun 17, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you prefer reading books in your native language(s)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anne-Sophie Cardinal. View the poll results »



 

Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:01
Member
English to German
+ ...
No .... I wonder why Jun 17, 2011

My mother tongue ist German. I live in France but I actually prefer to read books in English. Maybe because I prefer the universe of english speaking autors ...

 

Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
English to French
no preference Jun 17, 2011

it's more to do with the genre and type of reading.

Some books appeal more to me more than others regardless of the language - I prefer some writers over others, and I can start a book and never finish it because the author does not appeal to me. I can read in several languages and sometimes find a book more interesting than another even if I master the language less - then I arm myself with a dictionary to fully understand the author...
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it's more to do with the genre and type of reading.

Some books appeal more to me more than others regardless of the language - I prefer some writers over others, and I can start a book and never finish it because the author does not appeal to me. I can read in several languages and sometimes find a book more interesting than another even if I master the language less - then I arm myself with a dictionary to fully understand the author sometimes I can read a translated version to understand fully the author, and then I tackle the original version (occasionally with the help of a bilingual or monolingual dictionary
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FionaT
Netherlands
Local time: 13:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
As long as it's not translated Jun 17, 2011

I prefer reading English and Dutch (both native-level) to, say, French or German, simply because I am not skilled enough in those languages.
I do not prefer English over Dutch (or vice versa), but I do try to avoid reading English books that have been translated into Dutch, though. I find myself translating them back, wondering what the original said, etc. Comes with the job I guess!

[Edited at 2011-06-17 08:38 GMT]


 

Erika Pilar Pancella
Italy
Local time: 13:01
English to Italian
+ ...
post-colonial literature Jun 17, 2011

I agree with Rita, I love post colonial literature in English and I prefer to read it as it was originally written... even though I am a translator myself, I prefer not to read translated fiction if I can... oooops!

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jun 17, 2011

Only if the orignal was written in German. This applies to all origanl books in "my" languages.

 

Odile Breuvart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Original language Jun 17, 2011

I think it is natural to want to read a book in its original language. However we like our job, translating will always be an approximation however wonderful and accomplished the translator is. I actually think of translation as an alchemy, an art, especially of course in literature. Which is why the translator needs more recognition; in this instance he or she is a re-creator.

 

Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
No - I prefer reading books in English Jun 17, 2011

Since the age of 6, i.e. when I started attending English schools, I was exposed to English and somehow was 'brainwashed' into reading English. This process is irreversible, and later, when it came to reading Vietnamese books, I lack that strong interest. Only some Vietnamese books can trigger a strong interest in me and these are real literary, romantic works. As for communist works used as propaganda, no thank you, their place is the dust bin!

 

Cristina Lo Bianco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:01
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Same here Jun 17, 2011

Erika Pilar Pancella wrote:

... even though I am a translator myself, I prefer not to read translated fiction if I can... oooops!


That's exactly how I feel. Actually, I'd like to learn more languages in order to be able to read more books in their original version.

Cristina


 

Amandine Added  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
In original language Jun 17, 2011

I'd rather read a book in the original language (not possible for many of them unfortunately - only english, italian and french of course).
Clearly we are all translators and are doing our best to get the perfect translation but every translation changes, even imperceptibly, the style of the author and let the translator let his "touch"... so for books, I kind of like being connected directly with the author, no offense)


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 17, 2011

I don't usually have a lot of time for leisure reading other than occasionally the newspaper, usually the local spanish ones, but also UK papers, but usually online nowadays.
After translating all day every day, when I turn to a book I want it to be effortless, and in my native tongue. Usually.


 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Native language for relaxation Jun 17, 2011

I find it more relaxing to read in my own language (English), when reading anything in Italian my brain is always trying to translate it.
I wouldn't read a French or Italian writer in English though. That's just as bad ... as Fiona says, I keep trying to translate it back to the original.
And when I do read something that has been translated from a language I don't know (like the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson) I'm always conscious of it ... saying to myself, "that's a nice turn
... See more
I find it more relaxing to read in my own language (English), when reading anything in Italian my brain is always trying to translate it.
I wouldn't read a French or Italian writer in English though. That's just as bad ... as Fiona says, I keep trying to translate it back to the original.
And when I do read something that has been translated from a language I don't know (like the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson) I'm always conscious of it ... saying to myself, "that's a nice turn of phrase, I wouldn't have thought of that" or similar!

[Edited at 2011-06-17 10:36 GMT]
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Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 14:01
Member (2010)
Greek to English
Funny... Jun 17, 2011

All, or almost all, of the answers so far have seen this from a translator's perspective: "Do you prefer reading books either written in or translated into your native language?"

I didn't even consider the 'translated' option! My immediate thought was, "I prefer to read books written in Greek by Greek authors". I haven't read a book in English (other than a dictionary!) for many years.

Now, considering the option of reading books which were originally written in a l
... See more
All, or almost all, of the answers so far have seen this from a translator's perspective: "Do you prefer reading books either written in or translated into your native language?"

I didn't even consider the 'translated' option! My immediate thought was, "I prefer to read books written in Greek by Greek authors". I haven't read a book in English (other than a dictionary!) for many years.

Now, considering the option of reading books which were originally written in a language other than English, Greek or French... Yes, I'd prefer to read a translated book in my native language (English). Although, as a (weird) teenager, I did read the French translation of "War and Peace".
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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 15:01
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Original language Jun 17, 2011

When I was living on Reunion Island I read about 1/3 books in French and two-thirds in English (my native language).
Always preferred reading in English as all my cultural input otherwise (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) was in French and reading a book in English was the only way for me to not drown in a sea of French !


 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 08:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
I prefer reading in Spanish, French and German Jun 17, 2011

I find it stimulating to read in languages I do not automatically understand. I love it when I have to go to the dictionary to sort things out or piece together meanings of words and sentences. It is much like when I am translating and have to consult a dictionary, the web or an expert. Reading in English, especially if the work is a "page turner" is a bit like being on automatic pilot.

 
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