The only right answer is to read books originally written in English in English, and reading books originally written in your native language in your native language. Same applies for other second languages and so on. For the rest, just read the best translation at hand
I pretty much only need to learn Russian these. I'm fluent in Spanish, English, German, French, and can read and write in Latin (though I am getting better with pronunciation). Also read in the language the book was written.
>>7666117 English books in English, Croatian books in Croatian. I struggle with reading German. Some Roman works I read in Latin, Spanish poetry in Spanish, but I struggle with it sometimes. Easier than German though.
I don't trust my mother tongue translators, read only a few books in it, now reading Homer. I love my language, it's beautiful and very delicate language, you have to master it on high level to sound naturaly. It doesn't apply for some dialects.
Frenchfag here. I usaally read translated book, but I've read some book in english. French translations aren't that bad, and there is a lot of french litterature (classic stuff like Hugo kinda bore me, but even without that there is a lot to read).
>>7666117 Icelander here, I used to read much more in english because it was inconvenient for me to get translated copies of the favorites discussed here. Also there is a much more offer of english translated classics than in my language.
However in the last few years there has been increasing republications to e-book format of icelandic classics such as all the icelandic sagas, old norse sagas and even some obscure medieval poems and stories. Even a translation of the Illiad which I couldnt find nowhere was given free online on ebook format.
Lately I have been reducing what i read in english and moving on to the Icelandic classics (sagas and such) and German classics (in german). I have a large backlog of english classics though.
German here. If a book is originally written in German, French or English, I will read the original version because I don't like translations. If it's not originally written in one of those languages, I read the German translation.
>>7666117 Russian anon here, I like to read in my mother language. But If I want to read a book that was originally written in the English language, then I won't buy it in Russian. I'm afraid that some of the core charm of these books can be lost when translated into Russian.
>>7666157 Actually Vietnam has good liturature, it's just the way the words are used is too hard to understand (like in The Tale of Kieu, or most pre-1975 books). But once you understand it, it's great, we also got badass poems.
>>7666157 And Vietnamese lituratures are hard to stranslate. This is a English translation of the first part of The Tale of Kieu, it is so unpoetic and rough compare to the Vietnamese version:
Within the span of hundred years of human existence, what a bitter struggle is waged between genius and destiny! How many harrowing events have occurred while mulberries cover the conquered sea! Rich in beauty, unlucky in life! Strange indeed, but little wonder, since casting hatred upon rosy cheeks is a habit of the Blue Sky.
>>7666497 I don't know what has been translated, but I can tell you chances you'll enjoy it aren't that high because its mostly locals writing about local culture and history, naturally. My personal favorite and an exception to that what I said could be Ranko Marinkovic's Cyclops and I believe its translated in English. As for other authors, definitely don't miss Nobel prize winner Ivo Andric, although he is Bosnian.
>>7666594 That whole post, and you pick Spanish to be skeptical of? When most of the United States, which dominates the board population, is basically required to take Spanish early on in their schooling? Bizarre.
I can read in Chinese, Japanese, and English. If I am reading western literature then most of the time I like to read them in English, the main reason is that Chinese translations are often way less reliable than the English ones.
Another reason is with the Chinese language itself. Although old Chinese (the language before PRC was a thing) was concise and beautiful, modern Chinese is just seriously fucked beyond help. Not many people in China can write proper Chinese anymore. Most of them write in a highly convoluted way, adding unnecessary words here and there, so to make the messages look "serious" and "scientific".
If you're learning Chinese and wish to read literature, try to avoid using modern sources like news report or TV show as your learning materials.
>>7666117 I am fluent in english, but i dont really have a choice in this - library has only translated versions. Only other way is reading ebooks in original, but its not very comfortable, i dont have kindle
>>7666638 >Most of them write in a highly convoluted way, adding unnecessary words here and there, so to make the messages look "serious" and "scientific".
This happened in the West before it happened in China. It's a sickly development. It's the child of the false humility of "Science", where you are not supposed to trust what you think, so you have to constantly stammer and wrap every statement you make in a dozen qualifiers -- "In my opinion", "It could very well be the case", "One might imagine" -- in order to avoid the criticism of being "dogmatic". Again, this is a FALSE humility. None of these people have the Socratic distrust of their own minds. The ancients just said what they thought clearly and let themselves be criticised for what they thought; they didn't try to shroud themselves in pseudo-skepiticism so that they could always back out of what they said by saying, "that's not really what I think, it's just an opinion."
Not everything is available in Lithuanian, so I have to use English sometimes, but I fucking hate it. Half the time I'm translating the words I can't understand. Fucking hell you guys have a lot of synonims.
I pretty much gave up on reading translated poetry after taking up French, unless it's in blank verse or in an "exotic" language. If it's in something like German, Spanish or Italian, I seek out the original text, an English and a Croatian translation.
Not buying English-language literature in translation anymore.
I rarely read Croatian novels since I prefer poetry. We've had some truly great poets; novelists less so. I wonder much of our literature is widely available in translation. Probably not much.
>>7666822 But the thriftshops and second-hand bookstores we do have are fucking GOAT. Amsterdam alone has four I regularly drop-in and I always come back with bags filled with books. One tip: close to the Book Exchange (which you can google), is a small alley filled with stands of books.
I like reading in both (Spanish is my mother tongue). Since english is just slightly harder for me it requires me to read more carefully. This sort of english-mode reading it's more rewarding sometimes, because I'm more focused. I also can read German. I hold this belief. For example if I'm gonna read a french or italian author I better read in Spanish since it's the closest language, kind of silly, kind of right. Do you guys do the same?
I can write and speak English quite well, I am not a mother tongue, therefore I still make mistakes. I like reading in English when it comes to reading articles etc... But I cannot stay focused when it comes to reading long books or sentences with a more complex structure. This is why I stick to my mother tongue most of the time when it comes to reading books as it makes me quicker (I am impatient). I think it's only a perception as I have read many 'difficult' articles in the past without finding it difficult at all. I think I am just being lazy.
>>7666117 I am Dutch but I almost exclusively read in English. It isn't doing my Dutch any good, but almost anything translated to Dutch just seems so shit. I furthermore like to discuss books with an international audience, so naturally I am inclined to read in English.
Will try to read some German works in German and perhaps, though I doubt it very much, read something in French if I am able to understand it to my satisfasction.
Hungarian here. If the book's original language is English then I obviously read it in English, otherwise I try to get the Hungarian translation, but the English one is usually easier to get your hands on, especially in ebook format.
It's a shame that Hungarian lit isn't well known aside from a few exceptions like Krasznahorkai.
Norwegian. It really depends on the source language. For example I will definitely read Russian or French lit in English because the translations are much better, but I always read German in Norwegian because it's very easy to translate between these two languages, so the prose feels the same.
I would have no problem reading Danish or Swedish but the translation is pretty much 1:1 to Norwegian so there's no point
>>7667524 Spaniards are butthurt because Latin Americans are more innovative and popular Take for example modernism in Spanish lit, it originated from America. Then came the Latin American boom stuff. Anyway, for Latin Americans, Spanish Spanish sounds retarded and vice versa.
>>7667524 In latin america they have dropped some verb tenses, and that triggers spaniards. In Spanish from Spain or Castilian or whatever they have a past tense for earlier in the day (or week or whatever the time reference is, which is the day if not stated) and one for stuff that happened before the present time reference. When latin americans say "desayuné" (I had breakfast) they are talking about that morning, but spaniards think it is wrong and it irks them. On the other hand, latin americans think Castilian sounds too affected and pompous. I've heard it is the same for Portugese and Brazilian.
German books in German, English books in English and in case of other languages else I prefer the German translation. Overall qualiyt is very high and due to the internet you can find out easily which version is the best one.
I bought the English version of 'Ningen Shikaku' / 'No longer human' because the German one hasn't been reprinted until 2015 for dozens of years and I didn't want to pay 120€ upwards for it whilst I paid about 5€ for the English one.
Brazilian here. I read most classics and books that are in English in English, but books that were originally wrote in a romance language I read in portuguese or spanish (if the book was in spanish). French books I read in portuguese. Russian books too, sometimes, except if there is no direct translation (I think that the Russians write in a way that sounds better in Portuguese).
>>7667499 >mfw I'm Hungarian and I don't like Krasznahorkai
Hungarian translations are generally fine, when I read a book for a first time, I read it in Hungarian even if its originally English, although I'm fluent. I'd like to learn French well enough to read French lit in original.
>>7666117 I'm Hungarian. I prefer original English if its available without too much hassle, but Hungarian is okay too. Non-English I obviously go for the translation. Rarely do I encounter something that I can not read in English, though it recently happened with Neuromancer. It was a terrible and I gave up after a hundred pages, but I might try the Hungarian version, maybe that makes more sense.
Also this thread has some weird people hating their own language, so now I feel lucky that Hungarian is pretty awesome.
Russian anon here. I always try to read books in original language and I can do it if the book is in English, German or Portuguese. However, for books in other languages I usually read English translations, except when it is in Polish, Czech or other Slavic language (in this case a Russian translation would probably be closer).
Croat here. Croatian books in Croatian, English books in English (even though Shakespeare can be a pain in the ass to understand). For translations from other languages, it depends. The Russians, for example, usually have great Croatian translators. Elsewhere, I'm more careful, I make choices on a case by case basis.
>>7670032 >Also this thread has some weird people hating their own language, To such people, English sounds exotic, modern and cool (owing to cultural imperialism), while their mother tongue sounds provincial. Nobody wants to look and sound like some sort of a hillbilly, so they start fetishizing English and hating their own language. That's my theory, at least.
As I see, Eastern European people tend to have that feeling, due to an inferiority complex they developed historically. >>7670032 must be familiar with the poet Ady Endre. His poetry (and journalism) is mostly concerned with the dual identity of Hungarians. He longs to express that he identifies as an all-European intellectual, as well as embracing his native, Hungarian, even semi-Asian heritage.
I used to have a hard time reading in my native tongue due to me growing up with the internet, games, etc. About 1/2 years ago I decided I ought to read more literature of my own country partially to get better at writing because I sucked at doing so, which did pay off. Besides, I was quite unaware that there is actually amazing literature in my language. I am Dutch by the way.
>>7667187 Pues aquí en España, en el siglo XX, tenemos tres generaciones: la generación del 98 (1898, no exactamente siglo XX, pero ya me entiendes), generación del 14 (o novecentistas) y la generación del 27.
De la generación del 1898 es muy destacable Antonio Machado. De la del 14, Juan Ramón Jiménez (autor de Platero y Yo, una obra bastante famosa aquí en España). De la generación del 27 (mi favorita personalmente) destacar a Gerardo Diego, Pedro Salinas, Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti, Luis Cernuda... Si te gustan busca más, hay algunos que me he dejado en el tintero.
BRfag here, basically every south-american book I read in portuguese because the translation will be better. The rest, I read in english because usually is cheaper and is easier to find lit books in english here.
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