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Poll: Do you read more literature in your acquired language(s) or in your native one(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:12
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Nov 1, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you read more literature in your acquired language(s) or in your native one(s)?".

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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:12
German to English
mostly native Nov 1, 2013

When I first moved to Germany in 2001, I read everything in German (to improve my German, of course!) but then I slowly realised that my English was suffering and I was having to look up ever more words! So I had to stop and go back mainly to English. I read various journals and magazines in German, like PM, Welt der Wunder, Geo and so on. In English I read New Scientist, IEEE, etc. The rest is 90% English novels.
I'm not sure this happens to other translators as well as my history is a bit different, I did not grow up in England, but in a circus/variete environment where we travelled all the time and had contact with lots of languages, so English was never really the root language for me. I spoke bits of around 5-10 languages at some point and English was only really spoken with my parents. So, I tend to gain and lose fluency in languages very easily.
And that is why I read mainly in English!
icon_smile.gif


 

Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 09:12
English to Romanian
+ ...
both Nov 1, 2013

I used to read a lot of fiction novels in my native language, on paper.
Since last year, when I got my iPad, I switched to e-books and read mostly in English (my main source language).

@ Heather, WOW, you grew up in a circus!! that is so exotic and must have been so much fun!icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2013-11-01 08:49 GMT]


 

Josef Šoltes  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:12
Member (2013)
English to Czech
English Nov 1, 2013

I read mostly in English, because there is not enough books to read in my sci-fi field in Czech. I guess, I will have to translate them to improve the score... But in Czech I read every day some scientific websites and news websites, so I won't lose touch with it.

 

Marion Plath  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:12
Member (2013)
English to German
Both equally Nov 1, 2013

I am a German living in the UK and I use both languages approximately equally. I have both English and German friends here, so I switch the spoken language a lot throughout the day and regarding written language, I read about as many books in German as in English. I often have a look at the website of the German magazine Der Spiegel before I read the news on the site of the BBC or another British news provider.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:12
Hebrew to English
Native - English Nov 1, 2013

Mostly because access to literature in Hebrew isn't exactly easy for me living in rural England. Every so often I order in a new haul from Israel and occasionally find a book or two on ebay/amazon/other sites and sometimes I "borrow" some from friends, but it's not like I can just pop to the local town centre and run into the bookshop when I've exhausted my supply.

I read what I can in Hebrew on the internet though, although how this fits into the description of "literature" is debatable.

@Heather

Growing up in a circus - every kid's dream.


 

Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:12
German to English
hebrew resources? Nov 1, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

Mostly because access to literature in Hebrew isn't exactly easy for me living in rural England. Every so often I order in a new haul from Israel and occasionally find a book or two on ebay/amazon/other sites and sometimes I "borrow" some from friends, but it's not like I can just pop to the local town centre and run into the bookshop when I've exhausted my supply.

I read what I can in Hebrew on the internet though, although how this fits into the description of "literature" is debatable.

@Heather

Growing up in a circus - every kid's dream.


yes, trouble was, that was the normal reality for me, so nothing unusual. I only really appreciate the experiences I had back then the older I get. Looking back, I had a fantastic life, still do, but just in a totally different wayicon_smile.gif

@ Ty: do you know this link: http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/resources/


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:12
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Depends Nov 1, 2013

I do read in my source and target languages and usually have several books on the go at once, in a variety of languages. However, at the end of a busy day spent deciphering cyrillic texts, I am more inclined to curl up with a good book in English, so that the brain cells don't have to work quite as hard.

 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:12
Russian to English
+ ...
All languages, are acquired. Nov 1, 2013

I am not sure really what you mean by "acquired languages" . All the languages you speak are acquired -- sometimes the time of acquisition may vary, but you are not born with a Language.

I read specialized literature in English only (related to language and linguistics). I read law related articles in English and Russian, mostly I read some other literature and poetry in a few other language as well. 90% of what I read is in English.

90% of what I have read in my life has been in English, the rest in Swedish, Russian, Polish and a few things in Lithuanian and Spanish (2 short novels and some poetry). some literature in Old English, Middle English and poetry in German as well. I think interest in the particular types of literature is the deciding factor. Also the alphabet might have something to do with it -- although I love russian literature it has taken me thirty years to read in Russian with almost the same speed as in English. I still read maybe 20% slower if something is written in the Cyrillic, although I learned both alphabets at almost the same time.

[Edited at 2013-11-01 11:21 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Native Nov 1, 2013

Because that's the language of the country I live in
I suspect it generally boils down to availability


 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Native mainly, Nov 1, 2013

except when I've just been in the country of one of my source languages and come home with a new haul of novels and poetry (like now).

 

Ellen Soors  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Since I live abroad, my native language Nov 1, 2013

I used to love reading books as much as possible in their original language (usually English or French), but since I've been living abroad I really prefer reading in Dutch. I think it's important to not lose touch with my own language.

So my mom has been sending me packages with books and magazines every once in a while (and yes, Belgian chocolates too), but because that's expensive I recently decided to buy a Kindle. Too bad it turns out to be a hassle to get non-English books on it...


 

Grazia Brunello  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:12
English to Italian
+ ...
Acquired Nov 1, 2013

I'm Italian but much prefer reading in English. I fell in love with the English language when I was 12 and it's still going strong!
I find Italian too convoluted and ornate and I have to force myself to read a book in my native language.
And I live in London, so it doesn't help!icon_smile.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:12
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Availability Nov 1, 2013

Chris S wrote:

Because that's the language of the country I live in
I suspect it generally boils down to availability


That's why I read much more in French or English than in Portuguese (except for a few newspapers and magazines I subscribe to and for some books I buy when I go to Lisbon - there is a good Portuguese bookshop in Brussels but unfortunately it's not close to my home and I seldom go that way)


 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:12
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Native, but a question of availability Nov 1, 2013

I'm native English and am reading and writing native English right here on this poll/site, in fact I was just reading the news on the BBC in English, so I guess I live and breathe, especially in my dreams, in English.

However, I live in Brasil and talk to everyone in Portuguese. In fact, pretty much everything is in Portuguese, so when I casually pick up a book, let's say 'Game of Thrones', it's already translated into Portuguese. So the choice is; read it in Portuguese and suffer a little, or try and get hold of a copy in English, which may not be immediately available.

It's a question of availability, but if I have a choice I would always prefer to read in native English.


 
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