Friday, January 13, 2006

Booking Through Thursday

I don't usually answer memes, but this one is especially interesting. I read a lot and usually in different languages. Now that I've found Booking Through Thursday, I may try to answer the memes regularly. This one is from December 01.

1. Have you ever read a book in a language other than your native language?
Yes. My mother tongue is Polish, but as I live in Germany the access to books in Polish is limited. There is a Polish library and I visit Poland often enough to buy a couple of books per year, but usually I am reading either in German or English. I'd like to read more in English, but unfortunately the British Council Library fee is quite high, so I'm limited to English books that can be found in regular libraries. I have also read "real" literature in French and some abbreviated versions in Italian and Russian. While learning a foreign language, the moment you notice that you can read an unabbreviated book gives me a thrill. Wonderful feeling.

2. If so, how would you describe your experience?
I admit that I like reading books in original. Translation, no matter how good, is a translation. Certain aspects get dimmed, some get over-punctuated. There are, of course, wonderful translations. Ones that I'd read just for the sake of the translation, but even then I prefer to know the original beforehand.
That being said, I have nothing against reading translations of books that are of slightly less literary value. I usually do not care much if I read Dan Brown in English, German or Polish and the funny thing is that after a couple of weeks I can't remember the language I read the book in.

3. Have you ever read a book translated from another language into your native language? Why or why not?
4. If so, how would you describe your experience?
Yes. Like I said above, in popular literature I do not see big differences. If the translation is decent enough (there are some really, really bad ones) it won't disturb my reading pleasure. Still, I'll take the original if I have a chance and know the language.


1 Comments:

Blogger Nicole and Phil said...

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I have only just worked out how to find your blog....I am new to this blog thing..but I love it! I have a friend called Gosia, also from Poland. When I thanked her for her kind comments on my blog, she looked at me very strangely!! LOL

8:49 PM  

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