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Poll: When you read for leisure, do you mostly read in your native language or in one of your working lang
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Local time: 20:03
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Dec 27, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When you read for leisure, do you mostly read in your native language or in one of your working lang".

This poll was originally submitted by Domenica Grangiotti

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:03
English to French
Original version Dec 27, 2006

I try to read the books in the language in which they've been written (English and French for me). Actually, I rarely read translations unless I don't understand the original language of course.

I equally like reading books in French (to keep up with my native language) and in English (to keep up with my understanding of English).

Emma


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Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:03
Danish to English
+ ...
Sad Dec 27, 2006

Isn't it truly sad that anyone at all replies 'I don't read for leisure'...??

Tina


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Cristine Martin
Brazil
Local time: 01:03
English to Portuguese
Equally in both Dec 27, 2006

I read for leisure equally in Portuguese (my mother lang) or English (my working lang). When I can, I prefer to read books in their original laguage; besides, it helps to "sharpen" my vocabulary and general knowledge.

Anyway, it´s very good to read for leisure, that´s something I always loved to do.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 01:03
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Same here Dec 27, 2006

Emmanuelle Hingant wrote:

I try to read the books in the language in which they've been written (English and French for me). Actually, I rarely read translations unless I don't understand the original language of course.

I equally like reading books in French (to keep up with my native language) and in English (to keep up with my understanding of English).

Emma


I agree with you wholeheartedly, Emmanuelle. I like reading books in their original languages. Part of the joy of reading is enjoying how texts are worded in their original language. There are countless words in each language that cannot be properly rendered in any other, and I love collecting these gems. I daresay I would refuse to read a translation (Isn't that like a Coca Cola executive refusing to drink Coca Cola products?)The great Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo gave me the idea, as he learned Danish just so that he could read Kirkegaard!

I also make sure that the topics of my pleasure reading have nothing to do with the topics that I translate.

Reed


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tastes vary Dec 27, 2006

Tina Colquhoun wrote:
Isn't it truly sad that anyone at all replies 'I don't read for leisure'...??
Tina


I have a friend who thinks it's tragic that there are people who don't enjoy climbing mountains and camping in a tent. Different strokes...

Generally, my leisure reading is in English or Spanish, and occasionally Catalan.

I usually read books in their original language, but occasionally I'll buy the same book in two languages just to see what the translator did. I especially enjoy this if the original relies heavily on writing style, jokes, wordplay, or unusual use of language, or if the book is very culturally specific.

For books written in languages I don't understand, I'll sometimes read two English translations in alternation (I've done that with Russian fiction, for instance). I figure that Dostoevsky's style lies someplace in the space between one translator's rendering and the other's.

[Edited at 2006-12-27 19:15]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 22:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Translators prefer originals:-) Dec 27, 2006

What a paradox!

I voted Equally. For example, to this day I feel that some Russian translations of O'Henry's novels read better than the originals.

It's great to have a capability to compare and enjoy both.

Happy New Year!


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Darin Fitzpatrick  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2006)
German to English
Time for Reading Dec 27, 2006

My leisure time is rather limited, and reading for fun seems to have slid down the priority scale. When I do read German it's almost always for work, not for play.

I did read "Die Unendliche Geschichte" recently, and enjoyed it greatly. I also buy German magazines whenever I can - I supose that counts as "leisure reading," too. Someday I'll pick up Thomas Mann again ....

On a more lowbrow scale, I watch German TV when I can. A news feature (Journal) is broadcast on public TV here at 2:00 AM, but with the magic of TiVo I can see it any time!


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 06:03
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
originals Dec 27, 2006

IreneN wrote:

For example, to this day I feel that some Russian translations of O'Henry's novels read better than the originals.



I could say the same thing for me regarding Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books - there is one Russian translation I simply adore and its way better than the original for me.

However I prefer to read books in original for I enjoy the original atmosphere of each masterpiece and consider myself lucky to have such priviledge in Italian and English (my TLs) and Russian as well as Latvian (my two native languages).

My best wishes to all of you for 2007!!!

Stella


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Neverending Story Dec 27, 2006

Darin Fitzpatrick wrote:
I did read "Die Unendliche Geschichte" recently, and enjoyed it greatly.


What a beautiful book! I reread the first few chapters a month or two ago, alternating between the English and Spanish editions (since I can't read German). I was surprised to find a few sentences and details in the Spanish that had been deleted from the U.S. English edition, probably to soften the edges for the kiddies. Nothing essential, but it seems silly that they messed with such a great book.

Someday I'll pick up Thomas Mann again ....


How cheerful. Happy 2007!

[Edited at 2006-12-27 21:43]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:03
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sad but true Dec 27, 2006

Tina Colquhoun wrote:


Isn't it truly sad that anyone at all replies 'I don't read for leisure'...??

Tina


I selected "working language" (English) as I love Russian literature + Milan Kundera, and I prefer English translations to Arabic translations (Arabic being my native language).

As to Tina's comment, it's sad but true. Personally, I haven't read a single book since the summer holidays. I find it impossible to fit any leisure reading into my daily schedule.
I already spend hours in front of the computer translating, so any remaining time needs to be dedicated to my house and family, and not straining my eyes with more reading. And I'm sure I'm not alone. Sad but true.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:03
English to French
+ ...
I answered both Dec 27, 2006

But that isn't exactly true. If I read a book that was originally written in one of the languages I speak, I will read it in the language it was originally written in. Anybody who has read most any Tolkien book in French probably understands the reason behind this. It is the same as trying to watch movies in the original language - often, things get lost in translation. However, if a book was originally written in Spanish, a language I don't speak well enough to read in, I will go for French first as it is a latin language just like Spanish. If there is no French version available, I'll go for the English one.

Either way, no matter what my native and working languages are, I will try to read everything in the language it was originally written in, and will only switch to another language if I don't speak the language the book was written in.

Just an afterthought: this is not to say that all translations are bad (reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac in French is a real treat, and the same book in Hungarian is pure extasy!). I probably read books sometimes in the original language whereas I could just as well read it in, say, my working language, and it would be just as well. I just don't want to take any chances on things lost in translation.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 22:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Nesrin, you are not alone Dec 27, 2006

Nesrin wrote:
straining my eyes with more reading.


Overall, I read much less than I used to, say, 5-25 years ago. Our trade takes its toll. I used to take books on every vacation and on the plane, but nowadays the sand in my eyes and the headache are sometimes back in as little as 20-30 minutes. Hard to concentrate too. So I go back to the sand on the beach.

Same with crowds. I love sneaking away for 3-5 days all by myself. This must be the occupational hazard related to interpretation - from time to time I feel like I can no longer process any signals coming my way and must retire to a silent solitude. Chatting with an occasional company for half an hour satisfies my communication needs for the entire day.

I scratch the never-dying itch for reading by savoring a few pages from my all-time favorites before going to sleep.

Back on the subject: C. Dickens' and Jerome K. Jerome's originals are unbeatable!


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Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 23:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Unfortunately, nowadays not exactly for leisure... Dec 28, 2006

When I was fifteen years old, I used to read every day different kind of books, by that time I had enough free time to do it, but currently I can not.

Sometimes I read my favorite sort of books about metaphysics, only in spanish. On the other hand I have lots of books in english in which I try to spend my free time and improve my life.


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Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 22:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Both languages Dec 28, 2006

I prefer reading books in their original language. Although I wish I had more time to read for leisure, I always have a book with me in case I have to wait in line while doing some errands.

I have read "Cien años d Soledad" and "La Casa de los Espíritus" both in English and Spanish, and enjoyed both versions.


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