View Full Version : Do you read books in more than one language?


ficbot
02-07-2010, 12:58 PM
Just curious how many multi-lingual readers we have here. Does anyone read books in more than one language? If so, what is your reason---books not available in your native language, trying to improve your second language, have to for business, something else? What is your native language and what other languages do you read in?

I am a native English speaker and primarily read books in English, but I read in French as well, both for work purposes (I teach French) and for fun because I am trying to develop my fluency (I am a better speaker than a reader). One of the primary reasons I upgraded from a Sony reader to a Kindle was the dictionary look-up feature. When I heard there was a French-English dictionary available which could be used with this feature, it was the first time I considered upgrading from the Sony.

So, how about you---any second languages you read in? What languages? And why?

HarryT
02-07-2010, 01:00 PM
Latin and (ancient) Greek for me. Just for fun. The nice thing is that the whole of "classical" literature in these languages is available for download on the web.

jcf
02-07-2010, 01:09 PM
I'm Filipino and I am fluent in Ilocano (hometown dialect), Tagalog (national language), and English. English was our medium of instruction in school so it is like a first language to me.

I am now in Canada so I am reading mostly in English. But lately, I read a Tagalog short story written by one of my country's award-winning journalists and I found out that Tagalog stimulates my brain in a different way. I find the experience/stimulation so pleasant such that I am now looking for more Tagalog and Ilocano stuff to read.

omk3
02-07-2010, 01:35 PM
I like reading books in the language they were written in, when possible. I have been known to try and learn new languages just because I liked a specific author that writes in that language. That said, I am only really comfortable with greek and english books, but I have read books in german, french and portuguese, and hope to someday be able to read in japanese (in a few hundred years from now or something :D)

kacir
02-07-2010, 01:45 PM
Nowadays I read the vast majority of books in English. I started reading in English in order to improve my foreign language skills.
I have started learning English when I was 20 years old.

Before that I was reading in two different slavonic languages.
I can read in even more languages, but I have only read significant number of books in three languages.

aceflor
02-07-2010, 01:46 PM
I like reading books in the language they were written in, when possible.

Ditto. I am a native French speaker, from a bi-national french/british family (we spoke french with our mother and english with our father), and I have been living in Germany for almost 20 years now. So in those 3 languages, reading books is no problem at all. The most enjoyable experience for me is reading in english though, God knows why.
We will be moving to Spain in 5 months so I am starting now to read in spanish, but mostly magazines for now since I found out 20 odd years ago that it was the best way for me to get at ease with a new language. I call it "rubbish reading with a purpose" :p.

eimert
02-07-2010, 01:50 PM
I am with omk3 on this one. I just prefer to read the original, if I can. In my experience the translations almost always loose something in the process. Unfortunately, that means only German, English and Russian for me. Never got around to learn enough French or Spanish :-(

netseeker
02-07-2010, 01:54 PM
From time to time i read books in foreign languages. Mostly in english, sometimes in russian. For work reasons as well as because some ebooks are just not available in german (my native language).

KarenH
02-07-2010, 02:25 PM
One of the primary reasons I upgraded from a Sony reader to a Kindle was the dictionary look-up feature. When I heard there was a French-English dictionary available which could be used with this feature, it was the first time I considered upgrading from the Sony.

That's something that I didn't know, and might nudge me into changing over to a Kindle also. Right now I read only in English, and it's been long enough since I used any of the French or Spanish that I learned in school that I don't remember very much of it. I really would like to improve my foreign language skills (especially the Spanish - the area where I live has quite a large Spanish-speaking community). I'm sure that if I started reading in French and Spanish it would come back quickly (I remember the grammar rules and usage, it's just the vocabulary that's missing).

pietvo
02-07-2010, 02:38 PM
I read boox in Dutch (my native language) and in English. Mostly because they are not available in the other language. I think it is about 50/50%. Occasionally I also read books in German, Spanish and French, mostly to practice these languages. For that I also read passages from the bible, the same passage both in Dutch and in one of these language.

dmaul1114
02-07-2010, 03:02 PM
Nope. English is my only language, so no option to read in another.

scoff
02-07-2010, 03:05 PM
I read in English (native) and in Chinese. I read in Chinese for work (research interests in China) and for pleasure in an attempt to become more familiar with popular Chinese lit. There wasn't an option to choose both so I had to choose 'other' ;)

Idoine
02-07-2010, 07:04 PM
:D I voted Other because this pool doesn't have multiple choices !
My native language is french, and I restarted reading in english (after school) for work : I needed to read books and publications that were in english only.
So to improve my english I began to read books in that language when they were written initially in english.
:p Now I wouldn't purchase a book in english if it's a french one initially, but I purchased some others in english because they weren't available in french on ebook format for a reasonable price (or at all !)

Then with a multiple choices pool I would have voted, 2+3+4... :D

Ben Thornton
02-07-2010, 07:31 PM
I voted no ... unless you count "parlez-vous franglais?"

theducks
02-07-2010, 07:48 PM
I read American, British, Canadian (en) and a few others. :p
They are not the same language, only close. :D

Sometimes the words go swoosh (right over my head).
:bookworm:

Mr. Dalliard
02-07-2010, 07:50 PM
English and Japanese mainly, but I want to start reading French books.

LessPaul
02-07-2010, 08:16 PM
One of the driving reasons for me buying my Nook was so I could read German language books. Paper books are prohibitivly expensive to import, a problem I don't have with ebooks. Of course with Calibre I also have dozens of German language news sites automatically transferred for easy perusal.

Squirsier
02-07-2010, 08:26 PM
I am French but I mostly read in English. This started when I moved to California for a few months with my significant other, a few years back. In order for me to better speak English, we were reading English books out loud - it helped tremendously and I kept the habit of trying to read a book in its native language (I so want to try Japanese...), and since I read mostly fiction from English writing authors...

Plus, reading in English is FASTER than French - less words, less pages :D

HansTWN
02-07-2010, 08:31 PM
I mostly read books in English, some in my native German, and some in Chinese (need to keep reading or I forget some of the characters). For other languages I find reading to tedious, since I don't know them well enough.

AlfonsVH
02-07-2010, 09:24 PM
My native language is Dutch, but I read most books in English -- mainly because the digital versions of the books are easier to find in English, but also to improve my language skills.

I occasionally read books in French or German too, but only if the book was originally written in that language.

ischeriad
02-07-2010, 11:53 PM
I read in German (native) and English, but mostly English at the moment. Most books I'm interested in are only available in or are originally written in English and I like to read the original if I can.
Of course, there is many literature in German I have to read for university, but that is almost always on paper.

Sweetpea
02-08-2010, 02:13 AM
I primarily read in English. Somehow, I don't like most Dutch authors. They either write drama, horror or literature. And I don't like those categories (the literature is generally not entertaining but mostly depressing).

Also, I like to read in the language a book is written. And as there are hardly any non-English translated to Dutch books in electronic format, I read the English version.

IvyRose
02-08-2010, 03:37 AM
I voted "to improve my language skills" since there's no multiple choice. I am a native German speaker (actually Swiss German) but read mostly English books to keep my language skills or improve them and because lots of titles are not available in German.

I also read more books in English than in German because I like English very much.

I can also read in French but not as well as in English and therefore it's much more exhausting and I usually am too lazy to read in that language.

Katti's Cat
02-08-2010, 03:38 AM
Well, I am German but live in Australia. Easier to get books in English here. Although that has now changed thanks to eReader.

I prefer books in the original so read German Authors in German whenever possible.

I also try and keep in touch with the languages I learnt a lifetime ago and keep reading books in french, italian & russian. Although admittedly that is hard going for me and usually a book can last as long as a year to get through - all that dictionary checking slows me down. :D

omk3
02-08-2010, 04:05 AM
Hmm, I see a trend here that the poll doesn't ask for specifically. People with english as their native language tend to read only english. The rest of us read whatever we can. I wonder, is it because people who speak english as their mother tongue don't learn other languages as often, or is it because more ebooks are available in english than in any other language?

acolsandra
02-08-2010, 05:07 AM
I read in my native language that is Dutch and I also read in English, because more books are available in that language. But before I got my reader, I also bought English books, they were sometimes much cheaper than the translated versions.

Jellby
02-08-2010, 11:16 AM
I read in my native Spanish, or in other languages I can understand, if they are the original language of the book or if it's the only/best translation available. At the moment it means I read mainly Spanish and English, in part because English is the foreign language I'm more comfortable with, and in part because the vast majority of available stuff is in English.

HarryT
02-08-2010, 11:18 AM
Hmm, I see a trend here that the poll doesn't ask for specifically. People with english as their native language tend to read only english. The rest of us read whatever we can. I wonder, is it because people who speak english as their mother tongue don't learn other languages as often, or is it because more ebooks are available in english than in any other language?

I suspect that it's because native English speakers are notoriously poor language learners, simply because we can get away without it.

Gaurnim
02-08-2010, 11:28 AM
My mother tongue is French, but I read in English and Italian for several reasons :
- availability (mostly for english books) : sometimes it's easier or quicker to find the book in english than wait for the french translation
- work : mostly for english documents now, but I used to work also in italian several years ago
- language skills (for Italian) : it's more to keep my fluency in Italian than to improve it, as I can't practice it as much as I'd like
- quality : sometimes the translations are not very well done, so it's better to read the book as it was originally written

Luxi
02-08-2010, 12:34 PM
I read mostly in Spanish (native) but I try to read in English as much as I can to improve my language skills.

thinkpad
02-08-2010, 12:41 PM
I read in English (native) and in Chinese. I read in Chinese for work (research interests in China) and for pleasure in an attempt to become more familiar with popular Chinese lit. There wasn't an option to choose both so I had to choose 'other' ;)
Now I'm impressed. Chinese can't be easy. Learning a decent amount of symbols to be able to comprehend a text must have taken some time.

mores
02-08-2010, 12:41 PM
How about
I read books in their native language
German from german authors, english for most authors ;) and, sometimes, french for Les Authors Francais

mtravellerh
02-08-2010, 01:00 PM
I like to read my books in the original where I can: German, French, English, Italian, Latin. Original books just sound better, if you know what I mean.

IceHand
02-08-2010, 01:02 PM
I read many books in English, either because they haven't been translated into German yet, the translated copies are out of print or the English version is considerably cheaper.
From time to time I read books in Danish mostly just to not get out of practice.

netseeker
02-08-2010, 01:02 PM
I like to read my books in the original where I can: German, French, English, Italian, Latin. Original books just sound better, if you know what I mean.
I'm getting a little bit envious. :chinscratch:

Lirael
02-08-2010, 01:07 PM
I'm a native English speaker, but I read Russian literature in Russian and Spanish literature in Spanish. This is mostly because I'm sick of bad translations and I like just going directly to the original - that way I know what the author actually meant to write and I don't have to rely on someone else's interpretation.

I've been trying to read a little bit in Finnish, but my Finnish isn't quite good enough to handle that yet, and there isn't exactly a glut of Finnish-language books available to me. Someday, perhaps...

scoff
02-08-2010, 01:09 PM
Now I'm impressed. Chinese can't be easy. Learning a decent amount of symbols to be able to comprehend a text must have taken some time.

Yeah, it definitely took a long time (good thing life as an undergrad was easy). It wasn't really hard, you just have to be persistent.

Joerg_Mosthaf
02-08-2010, 01:38 PM
Same as many others here - I prefer to read a book in the authors native language. Translations always lose something.
My native language is German, I read mostly in English and German and a little French and Spanish.

Laurentiu
02-08-2010, 01:55 PM
Now... how shall I cast my vote here...:huh:

Yes, I read in another language for work reason, but also because some books are not available in my language and, of course, because I try to improve my skills in the other language. Altogether I can speak fluently four languages.

Laurentiu
02-08-2010, 01:55 PM
.....

nikkie
02-08-2010, 02:03 PM
I'm a native English speaker and read almost exclusively in English. I occasionally attempt to muddle my way through things in German or Japanese.

With Japanese it is very hard because there are so many Kanji that I don't know yet. Has anyone seen an ereader or ereader software for Apple devices which contains the Hiragana and English translations for Kanji?

I also attempt to read in German occasionally, but not on my iPhone yet. Usually I am just trying to make sense out of a website written in German (txtr?!).

It seems to me that ereaders ought to be ideal for reading in foreign languages, but I don't know much about translation dictionaries on any of them.

Polyglot27
02-08-2010, 02:54 PM
I have been reading in Chinese and English since the age of ten. When I was in my teens I got interested in Japanese and German. A series of coincidences led to my learning French without really intending to at the ripe old age of 29.
At the moment, since I read mostly non-fiction, I do most of my reading in English and Japanese since the US, UK and Japan are extremely active in publishing books on practically every subject imaginable. Enjoyment is also important and I don't seem to enjoy reading Chinese and French now as much as I do the two previous languages.
I use a Cybook and have managed to stock it up with books in all 4 languages.

worxland
02-08-2010, 03:31 PM
I chose other, cos I read for reasons 2, 3, 4 and 5:

I read in my native (Hungarian) for native authors, and English for work (being an IT guy it is no big surprise), for a lot of untranslated novels, for not forgetting too much and for fun (Sir Pratchett is not translatable - I have read some of his works in Hungarian: many tried - all failed; it is not the same, the nuances and puns are not really there. Another one is Jeremy Clarkson, when you read his articles you can just hear the presentation method with which he delivers his speech - and that is only enjoyable in English).

opitzs
02-09-2010, 05:34 AM
I read seldomly german and often english.

2 reasons:
1.) German ebooks are few and the prices are very high
2.) Some "translations" are catastrophes

So I prefer to read english authors in english and the rest - well german authors in german and other authors: that depends on availability and price.

Ciao
Sven

Ea
02-09-2010, 05:56 AM
I voted 'other reasons' because it was not a multiple choice poll. I actually read books in foreign languages for several of those 6 options. Work, language skill, not avalable, and because I can.

pepak
02-09-2010, 11:10 AM
I read mainly in english rather than my native language because I am sick of bad translations - with originals I can only be sick of bad writing :-)

Jaro
02-09-2010, 11:27 AM
I read in englich, german and rusian.They dont sell ebooks in our coutry.
And i dont like to steal.

t-town
02-09-2010, 11:29 AM
My native language is Dutch, but sometimes the translations are so horrible... So I read some books in English, and now, with my Kindle, I only read in English.

Eddie
02-09-2010, 02:48 PM
Native Romanian, read fluently in French and English. Bought some Manuel VŠzquez MontalbŠn books that were never translated in any of these three languages, never got the time to actually try and read them (although I can read Spanish newspapers all right, as I discovered during my holidays). I guess I'm a trilingual reader because there just weren't enough interesting books to read in Romanian when I was a kid... :)

mtravellerh
02-09-2010, 03:16 PM
Native Romanian, read fluently in French and English. Bought some Manuel VŠzquez MontalbŠn books that were never translated in any of these three languages, never got the time to actually try and read them (although I can read Spanish newspapers all right, as I discovered during my holidays). I guess I'm a trilingual reader because there just weren't enough interesting books to read in Romanian when I was a kid... :)

Why is it that so many Romanians (at least of the ones I know) are fluent in French? Is there some secret connection that has escaped me 'til now?

nothatkind
02-09-2010, 03:52 PM
I read mostly in English because you'll find almost everything in that tongue. But I also read in Spanish (native) and Italian ('cause I live in Italy, but there aren't many ebooks in italian) :-(

abjdiat
02-09-2010, 08:02 PM
I read mostly in Arabic, It's rich language with tons of lovely expressions you wouldn't find in other languages, I love reading Arabic because I'm a native speaker, plus I can understand it thoroughly, I can feel the setting pretty well..
sadly, e-readers can't support right to left languages like Arabic and Hebrew yet

I read English, especially novels which I can't find translation for or that translated cheaply,it's easy to read and I can find many translated novels from other languages..
reading literature take longer time to comprehend but I keep reading to improve my skills

hidari
02-09-2010, 09:10 PM
As some of the others posted: I read for many reasons thus chose other. I tend to read in my native English the majority of the time, but I like to read good literature in the native language as well as some newpapers. I read novels in Spanish and French and occasionally in Russian and German. Settled in Japan, So hopefully I can read some good novels in a few years time once my Kanji gets decent,Now, I must read only short stories in hirigana with bits and bobs of Kanji. I think reading in the original is a big reason for many as translations often fall short. I.E. Poetry in Russian and French is far richer in the original than any English translation I have ever read.

Gudy
02-10-2010, 03:54 AM
Why is it that so many Romanians (at least of the ones I know) are fluent in French? Is there some secret connection that has escaped me 'til now?

Well, Romanian *is* a Romance language, meaning that it is closer to French/Italian/Spanish/etc. than it is to the Slavic languages spoken in most of the other countries in the area. So one would speculate that French is simply relatively easy to learn for a Romanian. If there are other historical reasons for that French-Romanian affinity, I'm not aware of them.


As for what I read, it's mostly English with the occasional book in my native German thrown in for good measure. Why? I like English, I prefer reading English speaking authors in their native language, and I aim to improve my command of English as well.

hidari
02-10-2010, 04:05 AM
Well, Romanian *is* a Romance language, meaning that it is closer to French/Italian/Spanish/etc. than it is to the Slavic languages spoken in most of the other countries in the area. So one would speculate that French is simply relatively easy to learn for a Romanian. If there are other historical reasons for that French-Romanian affinity, I'm not aware of them.


As for what I read, it's mostly English with the occasional book in my native German thrown in for good measure. Why? I like English, I prefer reading English speaking authors in their native language, and I aim to improve my command of English as well.

And I find it fairly easy to read basic Romanian news articles. But, I would never venture into a novel..I think I would fall into the depths. My Spanish and French help me for the most part.... Fortunately Romanian Cases aren't the nightmare that Russian ones are... otherwise I would be cringing every time I look at a Romanian website. Love the language.... But not many speakers where I live at the moment.

Gaurnim
02-10-2010, 04:33 AM
Why is it that so many Romanians (at least of the ones I know) are fluent in French? Is there some secret connection that has escaped me 'til now?
I've always considered it normal, without looking into it.
There was a good number of Romanian students around when I was doing my engineering studies.

I searched in Wikipedia to try to understand.
It seems the main reason is the great cultural influence that France had during the "Age of Enlightenment" (SiŤcle des LumiŤres).
Immigration in the last decades has also strenghtened that bond.
Romania hosted the Francophonie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francophonie) summit in 2006 and around 25% of the Romanians speak French, according to the data posted in Wikipedia.

EDIT :
About the language itself, it is very frustrating to hear, because you always seem to recognize a word but you can't understand what is said.
I never tried to read it, though.

emai7s2
02-10-2010, 04:36 AM
I read mostly in Arabic, ..... sadly, e-readers can't support right to left languages like Arabic and Hebrew yet

I would like to use an e-reader to develop my reading ability in foreign languages such as Russian and Mandarin (preferably with dictionary support), but very few e-readers provide out-of-box support for such 'exotic' languages.

What is the best all-round e-reader for foreign character support? I have the impression that the Pocket Book and Jetbook provide better foreign-language support than major players like Kindle and Sony. Is there anything better on the market at the moment? I realize that many people are successfully hacking their devices to support Unicode fonts, but I would prefer out-of-box support.

yagiz
02-10-2010, 04:55 AM
These days I read mostly in English but I'm trilingual so I normally read in Turkish, French and English depending on the language that the book is written in. I also read novels in Spanish to maintain my otherwise-rapidly-degrading level.

Brandobras
02-10-2010, 06:09 AM
Hello,
as for me, i read in italian (it's my native language), in spanish (I live in Spain since 2003) and in english (to try to improve my knowledge of english).
At the moment, i'm reading a "traditional" book in spanish, but i have some "hot" italian ebooks waiting to be read: I'm going to receive my ereader by the end of this week...

Best regards

Brandobras

beachwanderer
02-10-2010, 10:50 AM
My native tongue is german but I prefer reading books that have been written in english in the original version.

Sadly I can't do so with texts in other languages :o

The Italians have this nice saying, what was it again ? Ah yes:"Traduttore, Traditore" ;) You inevitably lose so much with every translation ...

Ea
02-10-2010, 11:03 AM
Well, Romanian *is* a Romance language, meaning that it is closer to French/Italian/Spanish/etc. than it is to the Slavic languages spoken in most of the other countries in the area. So one would speculate that French is simply relatively easy to learn for a Romanian. If there are other historical reasons for that French-Romanian affinity, I'm not aware of them.


As for what I read, it's mostly English with the occasional book in my native German thrown in for good measure. Why? I like English, I prefer reading English speaking authors in their native language, and I aim to improve my command of English as well.
I must admit that it wasn't until a few years ago, looking at a (as it turned out) Romanian web page (with some interesting trick images), that I realised it was a Romance language. It looked so familiar, almost ... Latin? Italian? Almost, but not quite. I blame the iron curtain and growing up in the 80's - Eastern Europe wer a sort of blur i never really learned as much about as Western Europe. I do wonder if Romania, despite the language, is culturally more a slavic country than 'romannic'?

Gaurnim
02-10-2010, 12:30 PM
The Italians have this nice saying, what was it again ? Ah yes:"Traduttore, Traditore" ;) You inevitably lose so much with every translation ...
I read a very interesting essay by Umberto Eco about his experiences in translating and being translated : "Dire quasi la stessa cosa" (quick translation : to say almost the same thing)
I read it in italian, because reading the translated version of an essay about translation seemed a bit strange.

beachwanderer
02-11-2010, 03:43 AM
I read a very interesting essay by Umberto Eco about his experiences in translating and being translated : "Dire quasi la stessa cosa" (quick translation : to say almost the same thing)
I read it in italian, because reading the translated version of an essay about translation seemed a bit strange.

Well, well. Is there a translation of this piece somewhere for me ? :smack:

:D

Ah, found it. Rather a lengthy "essay" isn't it ? ;).

There is a german translation of this: "Quasi dasselbe mit anderen Worten: ‹ber das ‹bersetzen" (Umberto Eco, ‹bersetzt von Burkhardt KrŲber, dtv, 2009, 464 p.)

FBoespflug
02-11-2010, 05:37 AM
I read in French, my native language, but most part of time in german, because I love it and more and more in English now, to improve my understanding, for what's written at least. So it's becoming better and better and I like it.
That's why I totally enjoy my ebookreader, there are actually a lot of possibilities to find any interesting ebook in three languages.

somnolik
02-11-2010, 08:43 AM
I like reading books in the language they were written in, when possible.

+1

Sadly, my limited skillset restricts me to english and german texts.

mtravellerh
02-11-2010, 04:56 PM
Well, well. Is there a translation of this piece somewhere for me ? :smack:

:D

Ah, found it. Rather a lengthy "essay" isn't it ? ;).

There is a german translation of this: "Quasi dasselbe mit anderen Worten: ‹ber das ‹bersetzen" (Umberto Eco, ‹bersetzt von Burkhardt KrŲber, dtv, 2009, 464 p.)

Eco has always been a very wordy gentleman!

Ea
02-11-2010, 05:18 PM
Eco has always been a very wordy gentleman!
You don't say. Oh, my! :D

I'm actually holding back a little with Eco, because I really don't think it's an improvement if I, as a Dane, read him in an English translation. But I can't read Italian either - and his overall 'wordiness' creates quite heavy books.. ;) So... what to do.

zelda_pinwheel
02-11-2010, 05:40 PM
I like reading books in the language they were written in, when possible. I have been known to try and learn new languages just because I liked a specific author that writes in that language. That said, I am only really comfortable with greek and english books, but I have read books in german, french and portuguese, and hope to someday be able to read in japanese (in a few hundred years from now or something :D)
i agree, but sadly i can only read in 2 languages (so far : i have plans to learn several others, but i just need to find the time...) : french and english. so i also try to choose the translation depending on the original language. for example, a book that was written in italian or spanish, i prefer to read in french. a book written in german or danish, i prefer to read translated in english. i think the "tone" of the languages is closer, and i think it makes a really big difference.

maybe i should have chosen "other" because i have several answers (most important : for work, unavailability), but i voted "yes because of unavailability". since i started reading ebooks, i read mostly in english, just because most of the books i want to read are not available in french (or at least, there are a lot more books in english, so far). most of the french authors i like are not so far published in ebooks, at all. and even a lot of foreign authors are easier to find in english than in french. for example Alessandro Baricco is one of my favourite authors, i really want to buy his book "city", but since he is writing in italian i would prefer to read the french translation. but it's not available ; only available in english. i'm still hesitating, even though i really want to read it. i really hope this will change soon. sometimes i get really frustrated. i've read a lot of good ebooks (in english), but i miss reading in french.

zelda_pinwheel
02-11-2010, 05:41 PM
I read a very interesting essay by Umberto Eco about his experiences in translating and being translated : "Dire quasi la stessa cosa" (quick translation : to say almost the same thing)
I read it in italian, because reading the translated version of an essay about translation seemed a bit strange.

that sounds really interesting, i would love to read it. is there a version in french ? :o

Moejoe
02-11-2010, 05:44 PM
I'm bi-lingual when it comes to fiction.

Mainly I read in English, and English translations, but sometimes I read idiot when there's nothing other than Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyers available. ;)

Ea
02-11-2010, 05:47 PM
i agree, but sadly i can only read in 2 languages (so far : i have plans to learn several others, but i just need to find the time...) : french and english. so i also try to choose the translation depending on the original language. for example, a book that was written in italian or spanish, i prefer to read in french. a book written in german or danish, i prefer to read translated in english. i think the "tone" of the languages is closer, and i think it makes a really big difference.

I had not thought about this, but it is very good idea. Unfortunataly the foreign languages I can read books in are English and German (not good enough at French, unfortunately) - but I think it's a very sound idea.

BTW: do you know "Le livre saphir"? Never translated into English I think, but still good fun in danish.

Gaurnim
02-12-2010, 04:48 AM
that sounds really interesting, i would love to read it. is there a version in french ? :o
Yes, there is.
And the translation should be good, as I suppose he took extra care in translating this work. Plus he is fluent in french as he translated some of Raymond Queneau's work in italian (Exercices de style).

You don't say. Oh, my! :D

I'm actually holding back a little with Eco, because I really don't think it's an improvement if I, as a Dane, read him in an English translation. But I can't read Italian either - and his overall 'wordiness' creates quite heavy books.. ;) So... what to do.
From what I've read in this essay, I would tend to think that the translations of his work are good ones.
I haven't compared the french translations with the italian originals, as I read some of his books in french before I had a sufficient fluency in italian. This essay is his first work I read in italian.
Nothing jumped at me as being badly translated in the french version. Then again, he speaks french so that helps.
I suppose the english translations are been carefully done too, as they have been widely disseminated and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

If you can't read italian or french, I think you should go ahead and read his books in english.

Salgueiros
02-12-2010, 07:37 AM
I am a Portuguese living in Canada, so besides reading in Portuguese and Spanish (which for a portuguese is really easy to understand, not the other way around, generally), i read a lot of ebooks in English and French.

The reason i read in other languages other than portuguese is mainly the availability of titles. Besides the classics and some smaller independent publishers there are still not a lot of titles available in Portugal. The situation in Brazil, however, is different and i get a lot of books to read in portuguese from brazilian websites, and given its huge market of almost 200 million people, this market is evolving quite rapidly.

ficbot
02-12-2010, 10:35 AM
I have been so interested to read the responses. I read in French to improve my language skills, but I don't think I am used to it enough yet that I enjoy it from the standpoint of 'reading in the original form is better than reading a translation.' Take for example something like the Three Musketeers series, which was originally written in French. English versions are widely available and are a good read. I would read it in French just for the sake of it but don't really believe I would enjoy it more...

The one exception so far has been song lyrics. I teach with some Disney songs and a few of them have versions in French that are better than the English ones---and I can see a little more clearly how a translator takes liberties because they often have to change things to keep it rhyming. So as a linguistic exercise, that has been interesting for me---whereas with a novel translation, I feel they would not take such liberties, so reading it in English vs in French, I would have pretty much the same experience...

Gaurnim
02-12-2010, 10:50 AM
Take for example something like the Three Musketeers series, which was originally written in French. English versions are widely available and are a good read. I would read it in French just for the sake of it but don't really believe I would enjoy it more...
It takes a good knowledge of the language and culture to really enjoy reading the original version (well, except if the translation is crap).
The most frequent translation errors that I see are linked to expressions or cultural background.

There is a funny example in the Eco essay about a translation of "training courses" from English to French in the context of scientists getting some training to improve their skills. It ended up translated as "courses de train", which means "train races" ...

EDIT : after re-reading myself, it's not a very good example for what I was saying.
Gotta go back to work, no time to find another one

The one exception so far has been song lyrics. I teach with some Disney songs and a few of them have versions in French that are better than the English ones---and I can see a little more clearly how a translator takes liberties because they often have to change things to keep it rhyming.
In the case of song lyrics, I feel it's more in the realm of adaptation than translation because, as you said, there are additional criteria about rhyming and rythm.
You also see this in movies. The subtitles and dubbing often differ a bit as they address different criteria.

HarryT
02-12-2010, 10:53 AM
with a novel translation, I feel they would not take such liberties, so reading it in English vs in French, I would have pretty much the same experience...

You may be surprised; sometimes a "translator" all but rewrites a book.

A classic example is the Jules Verne 1864 classic "Voyage au centre de la Terre", generally translated as "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". The most common English "translation" of this, and the one that you'll very likely still get if you buy an English edition of the book in any book shop, is the 1871 translation by Griffith and Farran. It's undoubtedly a good book, but it's not the book that Verne wrote. The plot outline is the same, but all the details are different - the "translators" have taken Verne's plot and written their own book.

If you want to compare the two, I've posted the Griffith and Farran translation to MR under the title "Journey to the Centre of the Earth", and an accurate 1877 translation by Malleson under the title "Journey to the Interior of the Earth". If you read the two, you'll find that they are two different books.

Mike_73
02-12-2010, 11:24 AM
For leisure and magazines I read english. I find the magazines less bloated with useless information. So I get a brief overview over a new product for example, and if I want to know more, I go online. I read German more or less only for work (standards and such). I think this has to do with my stay in the US. After approx. 1 year, my brain started to think in english instead of German and then translating. I found this kind of funny and got stuck. Also I'm thinking about getting a greencard as I really liked it sooo much in the US. I must say I felt more at home there as in Germany.

bspline
02-12-2010, 01:23 PM
A classic example is the Jules Verne 1864 classic "Voyage au centre de la Terre", generally translated as "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". The most common English "translation" of this, and the one that you'll very likely still get if you buy an English edition of the book in any book shop, is the 1871 translation by Griffith and Farran. It's undoubtedly a good book, but it's not the book that Verne wrote. The plot outline is the same, but all the details are different - the "translators" have taken Verne's plot and written their own book.

Very interesting, I wasn't aware of that. I'll try the accurate one, and see how it compares.
Being Brazilian, I tend to read in English (whaaa?), just because for a long time pocket books were pretty cheap in Brazil. Also, I've read some very bad translations in here, and not from particularly complex writers (Stephen King, for one).
Of course, *if* you can read the original without a massive effort, you should. Can't see Pratchett or Piers Anthony translated without losing enormously, as they depend too much on puns and wordplay.
Another thing that happens a lot in here is the translation to portuguese of translations. Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy, published not too long ago here in Brazil is a translation of the French edition.

That said, I can read in Portuguese, English, Spanish and I can figure things out in French.

zelda_pinwheel
02-12-2010, 05:44 PM
I had not thought about this, but it is very good idea. Unfortunataly the foreign languages I can read books in are English and German (not good enough at French, unfortunately) - but I think it's a very sound idea.
i really find it makes a difference. unfortunately, i am frequently obliged to ignore my preference, depending on the availability of the book (then again, when i was reading only paper books and getting the majority of them from the library, i frequently read english books in the french translation, because they were not available in the original version. i guess at least in that respect i have slightly more choice now).

BTW: do you know "Le livre saphir"? Never translated into English I think, but still good fun in danish.
do you mean this one http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Livre_de_saphir ? i've never read it, no, but the description does look good.

Yes, there is.
And the translation should be good, as I suppose he took extra care in translating this work. Plus he is fluent in french as he translated some of Raymond Queneau's work in italian (Exercices de style).
wow, if he can manage translating Queneau he must be really good !! i wouldn't want to try that. :stunned: i will definitely look out for that article, it sounds fascinating, and i like eco very much.

kiklop74
02-12-2010, 10:12 PM
I regularly read in English and Spanish apart from my native language - Serbian. English is mostly for books (fiction), while Spanish is mostly for news. However I can read most of the books in Spanish unless it is some 17 century work like Do Quixote de la Mancha.

weatherwax
02-13-2010, 01:34 AM
I read English books if that is the original language and otherwise German. But I'm impressed at the many really multi-language readers here.
So this inspired me to work on my French and Spanish, luckily I can find books in those languages here as well. :thumbsup:

mtravellerh
02-13-2010, 05:23 AM
Yeah, quite astonishing how many multilingual users we have here, especially compared to the statistical data! Then again, reading is a rather uncommon pastime, these days, which might influence this positively.

Victoria
02-13-2010, 06:09 AM
I read in English, but have been listening to french Radio Canada to improve my french language skills. I hadn't thought of reading in French- perhaps I'll try.

HarryT
02-13-2010, 06:11 AM
I read in English, but have been listening to french Radio Canada to improve my french language skills. I hadn't thought of reading in French- perhaps I'll try.

Are most people in Canada bilingual, as a matter of interest, or do a majority speak only French or English, and not the other language?

mtravellerh
02-13-2010, 06:19 AM
Are most people in Canada bilingual, as a matter of interest, or do a majority speak only French or English, and not the other language?

I have lived in Canada for quite a long time, so this is my view: Most french Canadians get along with English quite well, although with an accent for most of them. Most englishspeaking Canadians don't do so well and lose most of the French they learned in school. If not in contact with frenchspeaking people, they don't see the need to use that language. I used to live in BC, so this might vary with the region that you live in, obviously.

ficbot
02-13-2010, 08:19 AM
Most Canadians learn French in school as a required subject, but don't come out of it specially fluent unless they have a knack for languages, a French-speaking parent, an immersion program or some combination of the above reasons. I am a language teacher and I can tell you, the 'why don't they' is the cause for much study by curriculum people :)

BKeeper
02-13-2010, 11:46 AM
Whenever possible I read books in their original language.

I read mostly in English but I have a funny background and have no problem with French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. German is (sadly) a bit harder,
(So many great/untranslatable works in German....)

Language is an amazing thing. I have found that the same person speaking a different language seems to reveal a slightly different personality.

Each language is ultimately a just different platform (cage?) from which to contemplate reality, there isn't a 100% overlap, just the hope that we mean "quasi la stessa cosa." :)

@HarryT: I wish I could read Latin or Greek... My Latin only got my as far as "Commentarii de Bello Gallico". :o

ficbot
02-13-2010, 08:00 PM
Language is an amazing thing. I have found that the same person speaking a different language seems to reveal a slightly different personality.


That's interesting. I had a professor for a French course tell me once that I had a wonderfully crisp and concise writing style (in French) and I was completely floored. I guess I don't know enough of the fancy words, so I was, by default, direct and to the point.

Verencat has seen of the kiddie writing I do in French; I teach small children and prefer to use my own materials. I would not hold that up as an 'example' of my French writing by any means because I am greatly constrained by what vocabulary is used by the curriculum I teach with (they don't use 'vous' at all, for example) and age of my audience (the level of repetition I use is fairly heavy) but certainly it is a more measured and thoughtful process than my English writing; I think about every word fairly carefully. If someone were trying to 'assess' me based on my French writing and did not know I was not a native speaker, I can't imagine what they would conclude :)

People have also told me that I am a linguistic anomaly. Most second language learners prefer to read than to speak (I guess because they can take their time and use a dictionary) but I prefer speaking because I can choose only the words I know :) My one obstacle to breaking the 'intermediate barrier' is the verb issue. I get unreasonably hung up on verb tenses when I read. It it not enough to just recognize the meaning of a verb, I have to stop and decode what tense it is in and translate it. I actually have sufficient vocabulary to read most books, but the verb tenses trip me up every time. It's why I am trying to read more in French. I want to get better at it and I want this problem to improve so I can be fully 'bilingual.'

SplogSplog
02-14-2010, 03:37 AM
Foreign languages were the main reason I bought an eReader. Since retiring a couple of years back, I have become pretty heavily involved in language learning.

Pretty early on I discovered that the US Foreign Services Institute courses (used by the government to train diplomats for overseas postings) can be downloaded free of charge as PDFs.

It turns out these courses are very comprehensive (some are several volumes, each over 1000 pages long) and there was no way I could print them out, and reading them on my laptop screen gave me a headache. I bought an iRex DR1000, and put a bunch of these FSI courses on it. It has made a heck of a difference - so that I now study these courses for several hours a day.

HarryT
02-14-2010, 03:40 AM
Verencat has seen of the kiddie writing I do in French; I teach small children and prefer to use my own materials. I would not hold that up as an 'example' of my French writing by any means because I am greatly constrained by what vocabulary is used by the curriculum I teach with (they don't use 'vous' at all, for example)

That's interesting. I know that children use "tu" when talking to each other, but wouldn't it be considered rather rude for a child to use "tu" rather than "vous" when talking to an adult, or have times changed now so that's no longer the case?

It's still the case in German that you'd be committing a horrendous "social faux-pas" if you were to use "du" rather than "sie" when talking to someone that you didn't know well.

Jellby
02-14-2010, 05:51 AM
That's interesting. I know that children use "tu" when talking to each other, but wouldn't it be considered rather rude for a child to use "tu" rather than "vous" when talking to an adult, or have times changed now so that's no longer the case?

I was thinking the same, I believe only very small children would use "tu" instead of "vous"... but I understand the distinction is probably harder to teach to English-speaking children, and it can be better to start by teaching only "tu", and then progressing on "vous" when they are a little bit older (and they have at least heard about the "thou" and "thine" ;) )

HarryT
02-14-2010, 06:43 AM
I live in one of the parts of England in which "thou" and "thy" are still alive and well in the local dialect, so it would probably be a relatively easy distinction to teach here :).

Ben Thornton
02-14-2010, 07:12 AM
I live in one of the parts of England in which "thou" and "thy" are still alive and well in the local dialect, so it would probably be a relatively easy distinction to teach here :).
And where liv'st thou, where thy countrymen speak so?

HarryT
02-14-2010, 07:20 AM
Lancashire and Yorkshire dialect. Don't tha' know?

Ben Thornton
02-14-2010, 08:08 AM
Lancashire and Yorkshire dialect. Don't tha' know?
Aye, gradely - but there's no distinction between you/thee, is there? I (mistakenly) thought that you meant there was a dialect which retained that distinction in English - unless there is one?

HarryT
02-14-2010, 08:12 AM
Aye, gradely - but there's no distinction between you/thee, is there?

Yes, there is. People will say "thee" to one person, but "you" to many people, which is certainly one of the distinctions between the two. I agree that the "formal/informal" distinction probably has been lost.

Ben Thornton
02-14-2010, 08:32 AM
Yes, there is. People will say "thee" to one person, but "you" to many people, which is certainly one of the distinctions between the two. I agree that the "formal/informal" distinction probably has been lost.
I was thinking of the latter distinction, but you are right. I wonder why the I/we vs. thee/you distinction has remained, while the formal/informal one hasn't. Was the formal distinction ever there in English? In Shakespeare, there is "Assuredly, you know me" directed at Cleopatra (who, one would think, would merit a formal address) - it's not clear to me why this wouldn't be "Assuredly, thou know'st me" or something like that.

Ben Thornton
02-14-2010, 08:41 AM
I've answered my own question (to some extent at least) from here (http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/xThou.html).

ficbot
02-14-2010, 11:57 AM
I was thinking the same, I believe only very small children would use "tu" instead of "vous"... but I understand the distinction is probably harder to teach to English-speaking children, and it can be better to start by teaching only "tu", and then progressing on "vous" when they are a little bit older (and they have at least heard about the "thou" and "thine" ;) )

Yes, they do introduce it later. The aim is to teach the most common/useful forms first so that the children can begin communicating ASAP. Most of my students are under 7 years old and will not be communicating with anybody but me right now, and I will not be insulted :) I think even if they did try to talk to a French person, they would get cut some slack for being very small and for genuinely making an effort.

That said, I have spoken with several French people who were scandalized when I mentioned this detail, so I suppose the English-speaking creator of the program may not be seeing the social nuance in the same way as a native speaker. I had a conversation with Verencat about this when I met her in person in which I had several questions about when 'vous' is used :)

I can post one of my stories, if you want to read it :) The illustrations are all from Google Images and I am not sure if I have 'rights' to share the story as a consequence unless I cut out the text only...

digitaldolf
02-14-2010, 11:59 AM
Dutch is my mother tongue, English is my second language and German my third.
I like reading books in their native language if possible. Books that are originally written in any other language than these three, I like to read in my native language: Dutch.

zelda_pinwheel
02-14-2010, 05:06 PM
Language is an amazing thing. I have found that the same person speaking a different language seems to reveal a slightly different personality.

Each language is ultimately a just different platform (cage?) from which to contemplate reality, there isn't a 100% overlap, just the hope that we mean "quasi la stessa cosa." :)
actually i completely agree with this, it goes back again to the "tone" or "colour" of the language, which i feel can be quite distinct. i know there are sometimes things that we say commonly in french which i still have no idea how to express in english, because even if i know a litteral translation it doesn't have the same *tone*. i think i also feel slightly different when i am speaking in english than in french, and there are some subjects i find much easier to discuss in french than in english, although i have a decent vocabulary in both languages.

I was thinking the same, I believe only very small children would use "tu" instead of "vous"... but I understand the distinction is probably harder to teach to English-speaking children, and it can be better to start by teaching only "tu", and then progressing on "vous" when they are a little bit older (and they have at least heard about the "thou" and "thine" ;) )
meh, it really depends on circumstances. children / young people should in theory say vous to adults but more specifically to adults they don't know (and inversely, adults say "tu" to any child, whether they know him or not). most children say "tu" to their adult family members and friends and this is quite normal and not at all shocking. it's only in the real haute-bourgeoisie where there are a few families where you will hear the children say "vous" even to their parents ; i find *this* far more shocking than a child who says "tu" to a stranger they don't know...

Madam Broshkina
05-11-2010, 06:09 PM
Foreign languages were the main reason I bought an eReader. Since retiring a couple of years back, I have become pretty heavily involved in language learning.

Pretty early on I discovered that the US Foreign Services Institute courses (used by the government to train diplomats for overseas postings) can be downloaded free of charge as PDFs.

It turns out these courses are very comprehensive (some are several volumes, each over 1000 pages long) and there was no way I could print them out, and reading them on my laptop screen gave me a headache. I bought an iRex DR1000, and put a bunch of these FSI courses on it. It has made a heck of a difference - so that I now study these courses for several hours a day.

Here is the Link to the FSI Site.

http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php


Here you can access audio, text and tests in 41 different languages.

kacir
05-12-2010, 08:35 AM
Here is the Link to the FSI Site.

http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php


Here you can access audio, text and tests in 41 different languages.
Thank you.
:thanks:

Great textbooks.
I have had a look at the Czech textbook and it is a great text. At the moment it is a little bit outdated and many, many of the facts that refer to the "good old socialistic Czechoslovakia" are only nostalgic memories.

I was hoping I would find good quality English textbook there for my wife, but, I guess, American diplomats already speak good enough English :D

jblitereader
05-14-2010, 08:54 PM
Yes, just because I can. Why limit myself?

In fact, I have put hundreds of ebooks in Vietnamese up download on my own website.

Shayne Parkinson
05-16-2010, 02:22 AM
I mostly read in English (my mother tongue), but occasionally I read in French, in an effort to improve my skill (or at least to slow down my loss of skill :)) with the language. I can't read anything too demanding, though.

irenas
05-16-2010, 05:15 PM
For almost 20 years i read mostly in English (my second language) because there were more books available for me , but now with my book reader i read in English and Russian.

Freeshadow
05-17-2010, 09:33 PM
I'm Polish so reading in native language is one point.
Since I live nearle 20 years in Germany and speak german on the same level of quality as polish, i could name it as equal to native.

so the Poll misses an "I'm multilingual or multi-native speaker" option

Finally I've got to name english since i got used to read and use english texts by Linux usage and RPG :) from then on I read some of my stuff in english, even if I have to accept that it is a bit heavier sometimes *sigh*
But I'd never let myself frighten of bythe fact that a good book is available only in english to me and Cooks Wizardry series taught me it is worth the effort

tehKitten
05-18-2010, 02:03 AM
I'm Dutch, but I read all my books in the original language because then it feels more 'real'. So no translations for me. I use it a little bit for my language skills, but mainly for the real feeling ;3

trekker99
05-19-2010, 11:35 AM
I read mostly in English, but do enjoy reading an occasional Chinese novel. Since the education system in my country (Singapore) requires every student to study a second language (typically Mandarin, Malay or Tamil) up to middle school, everyone here is effectively bilingual. I have found that to be really good in the 2nd language, reading books in that language is pretty important.

Too bad the Chinese ebook library offered by my library uses a different DRM scheme, so I can't load it into my ebook reader.

rogue_librarian
05-19-2010, 11:44 AM
I am reading mostly English books, although it's not my mother tongue. Why? I enjoy reading books in the original language and abhor most translations. Sure, if I don't speak the language a good translation is better than nothing, but if the original is available and I speak it I much prefer that. I also read books in German and French on occasion.

Since I'm starting out to learn Spanish I expect to read a few books in that language as well before too long.

anabelee
05-28-2010, 05:43 AM
In the last six months, I read half the books in English, that is not my native language, I started to do this because they are unavailable in spanish ebook, generally.

But now, I prefer reading the author in its native language if possible, and as I read a lot of Science Fiction. There is a lot of good writers in english, so I try to read them from the original. I know now I was loosing a lot with poor translations, in some cases.

FlorenceArt
05-28-2010, 06:04 AM
My native language is French, but I hate to read poorly translated books. Unfortunately the only other language I can read fluently is English, so I read a lot of English books. Books in other languages I read in the French translation, sometimes grinding my teeth at the horrid translation :rolleyes: Of course I also read French books in French :p

lukasfikr
05-28-2010, 02:27 PM
Most of my books I read in English, but some in Czech (my native language), Slovak (very close), Russian (which I was forced to learn at school) and Spanish.

Mike_73
05-29-2010, 04:46 AM
I wish I could read russian. I find the alphabet very interesting :)

Latinandgreek
05-29-2010, 05:12 AM
I mostly read books in English, but I also often read in Croatian, French, Italian, Latin and Greek. Occasionally I read in Spanish. I took some Catalan, German and Japanese courses a few years ago and would love to start reading in those languages.

max861
05-30-2010, 08:26 AM
I just read a native language, speak as many languages as well:)

sorinxdx
05-30-2010, 09:18 AM
I don't read pretty much anything in my native language. I read in English. As for reasons they are diverse: work related, pleasure related(huge selection to choose from) and also because I'm always looking to improve my english. :)

Jaime_Astorga
05-31-2010, 12:46 PM
Although I am a native Spanish speaker, all of my "serious" education took place in English, so that is the langauge I know the most vocabulary and expressions in. Consequently, I mostly read in English. It works out for me, too, since between the U.S. and England, it is probably easier to find reading materials written in English than in other languages.

happy_terd
06-02-2010, 01:37 PM
Just English here. I wouldnt mind learning another language though.

Logseman
06-02-2010, 05:59 PM
I read in Spanish and English indifferently. German needs an effort from my side, an effort that I really want to make.

livre
06-04-2010, 10:46 PM
I read in native language, french or english. While I'm glad to see a lot of classic books available, I'm a little worried when it comes to books from french contemporary authors. The prices of their ebooks are so expensive! Sometimes the ebook version costs even more then the paperback (jelis.ca). Because of thoses prices I now read more english books then french one.

I learned that in quebec, the price of an ebook will be 75% of the price of the the paperback version, knowing that french bestsalers prices are around 25$ to 35$ that means they will sale their ebooks between 18$ to 26$!! :eek: Do people will pay that price? I know I won't. If they don't, will we see the end of french literature? Ok, maybe I'm overreacting :)

What do you think? Do you face the same problem in other languages?

Les Affaires: http://www.lesaffaires.com/secteurs-d-activite/technologies-et-telecommunications/comment-les-editeurs-quebecois-se-preparent-a-l-arrivee-du-livre-numerique/506489

Ea
06-05-2010, 05:19 PM
I read in Spanish and English indifferently. German needs an effort from my side, an effort that I really want to make.
Me, too. I also want to make an effort at reading German. I coluld have been more diligent at it though :)

....
What do you think? Do you face the same problem in other languages?

Not sure whether to call it a "problem" or not, but books as such are quite expensive in Denmark. A newly published book, in hardback or trade paperback is about the equivalent of $40-50. Ordinary paperbacks, published 6 months later or so, is about the half. E-books though (and it's still quite few) are overall a bit cheaper than printed books. However, so far it's only of the few big publishers who've dipped their toes, so the market is still very very young.

thinkpad
06-06-2010, 07:13 AM
Not sure whether to call it a "problem" or not, but books as such are quite expensive in Denmark. A newly published book, in hardback or trade paperback is about the equivalent of $40-50. Ordinary paperbacks, published 6 months later or so, is about the half. E-books though (and it's still quite few) are overall a bit cheaper than printed books. However, so far it's only of the few big publishers who've dipped their toes, so the market is still very very young.
I would say that books in Scandinavia is quite expensive and the argument for this is that the market isn't as big as that of the English. There are only so many people up here in the north, and the people interested in reading books is declining with competition from Film, TV, Internet. I'm not sure I contribute either since I tend to read more and more foreign authors and then reading the books in English.

YGG-
06-06-2010, 07:23 AM
I would say that books in Scandinavia is quite expensive and the argument for this is that the market isn't as big as that of the English. There are only so many people up here in the north, and the people interested in reading books is declining with competition from Film, TV, Internet. I'm not sure I contribute either since I tend to read more and more foreign authors and then reading the books in English.
I've heard it said that the last Harry Potter was available in translation in Danish even before it was published in English, for they wouldn't have sold any the other way around???

thinkpad
06-06-2010, 07:30 AM
I've heard it said that the last Harry Potter was available in translation in Danish even before it was published in English, for they wouldn't have sold any the other way around???
Might be true for Denmark, ea knows that better than me, but here in Norway I don't think the youth have any problem reading in English. But I'm guessing Harry Potter is an exception with it's huge marketing force, so translations to different languages would be made quickly to combine the PR work. I know people stood in line queuing to get the latest Harry Potter book here in Norway when it came out. Now that's a sight you don't see often when a book is released.

Ea
06-06-2010, 08:53 AM
I've heard it said that the last Harry Potter was available in translation in Danish even before it was published in English, for they wouldn't have sold any the other way around???
If by that you mean sold in English in Denmark, it might be true, but I doubt it. I've never heard of it, but then the last Harry Potter book I read was no. 5 in the series. Those who wanted to read it as soon as possible would have bought the English edition.

Books such as Harry Potter and Dan Brown's bestsellers have been translated as quickly as possible - but they can't start translation until it's been officially published in English.

Ea
06-06-2010, 08:55 AM
I would say that books in Scandinavia is quite expensive and the argument for this is that the market isn't as big as that of the English. There are only so many people up here in the north, and the people interested in reading books is declining with competition from Film, TV, Internet. I'm not sure I contribute either since I tend to read more and more foreign authors and then reading the books in English.
Yes, tiny markets really - and then when books are expensive you don't buy that many in the first place. I didn't really start buying books as a matter of course until I started to buy e-books. I have perhaps only a handful of books that I've paid full price for. I usually only buy books on sale - or get them as presents.

thinkpad
06-06-2010, 10:33 AM
Yes, tiny markets really - and then when books are expensive you don't buy that many in the first place. I didn't really start buying books as a matter of course until I started to buy e-books. I have perhaps only a handful of books that I've paid full price for. I usually only buy books on sale - or get them as presents.
How about the libraries in Denmark have they started with e-lending? I know Elib (http://www.elib.se/) in Sweden is quite active providing new books in digital formats to the libraries for lending. In Norway it's at a standstill there's been a pilot project with a couple of small libraries but nothing big, and it moves really slow, no real initiative.

Ea
06-06-2010, 11:32 AM
How about the libraries in Denmark have they started with e-lending? I know Elib (http://www.elib.se/) in Sweden is quite active providing new books in digital formats to the libraries for lending. In Norway it's at a standstill there's been a pilot project with a couple of small libraries but nothing big, and it moves really slow, no real initiative.
A new service has just started this year, ebib.dk (http://elibrary.ebib.dk//Home/html/index.asp), but not all libraries offers the service yet. There aren't all that many books yet either (see here (http://elibrary.ebib.dk//Home/html/subjects.asp?institutionID=12)), but at least it's there, and will hopefully improve not too slowly. It helped that Gyldendal (large prestigious publishing house), have put much more focus on e-books since last year.

thinkpad
06-06-2010, 11:39 AM
A new service has just started this year, ebib.dk (http://elibrary.ebib.dk//Home/html/index.asp), but not all libraries offers the service yet. There aren't all that many books yet either (see here (http://elibrary.ebib.dk//Home/html/subjects.asp?institutionID=12)), but at least it's there, and will hopefully improve not too slowly. It helped that Gyldendal (large prestigious publishing house), have put much more focus on e-books since last year.
I think it's safe to say that Sweden is making an effort to embrace the new medium and have the will and curiosity to move forward. I don't know if this is thanks to some few single people burning for the cause or if Sweden is just more open minded to new technology. Norway feels hopelessly behind sometimes.