Conversation posts

In French, or in English ?

Hello !

Grab a tea or a snack, today we shall discuss together how one choose in which language to read in. I’d love to hear other multilinguals’ imput on this !


As you might know, before the start of this year, I only went for French books (or translations in french) as I was sure I was unable to read in my second language.

I had the idea that because I was struggling so much in “mendatory reads” of High School, where i’d almost fall asleep in them (I never finished one..), it must meant that reading in english wasn’t for me. Oh was I wrong. reading something you want to is totally different than reading something because you have to, guys!

 

Two worlds now stand in front of me; French books, and English books. How do you choose what language to read in? What about a book that have both versions (original in english) ?

 

As a general idea, english reads tend to need more of my brain capacity. I can finish one, but it’d take me longer — as I may encounter some new words i’d need to look up constantly, or sentences I need to reread more than once to understand the meaning of them.

With french however, it tend to go by much smoother; unless I encounter words used in France that are different than thoses in my Canadian vocabulary — Which I would then need to check them to help my understanding; though in some cases, guessing can be used around the situation.

All that being said, for me it depends.

I do have a variety of both languages on my shelves, as after a while, it seems to be of help in reading slumps (or to avoid them) to switch back to reading in french after a while. Giving that poor brain a break ahah !

Now, if a copy own both languages, i’ll pick the french copy. Sure, you might say some of the original intent might get lost in translation.. but it end up being so much more easier on my brain ! And if I really want to, nothing is stopping me to get the original one afterwards and compare.

The key here is the matter of if : A) I know about the translation before reading any of it or B) I only realise it had one after already having read the original xd

 

What’s your languages story ?
Which languages do you read in, and how often ?
Which one would YOU pick if given the choice ?

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17 thoughts on “In French, or in English ?”

  1. English is my first language, and easier for me to read in, so I read in that one. Also, a lot of books are accessible in English and bloggers too, so I read that often. I do read Dutch books from time to time to keep up with reading in Dutch or when I am in the mood to read in it. I also sometimes read in Spanish but I am still learning that and I am not fluent yet, so it very rarely happens and it’s basic books.

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  2. This is such an interesting topic! My mother language is French, but I have been reading most of my books in English for a couple years now, mostly because I blog and write my reviews in English and also, because I kind of want to read the book in the original language it was written in, and I mostly pick books written in English that way 🙂

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    1. Yeah, im still in the starting stage of reading in my second language; as it’s not been a year yet. so that makes sense !

      I do like to pick books originally written in french, but now I get confused as to what to do with reviews ahah .. if it’s a translated one, I know what to do but if not … I always debate onto if I shall do a review or not 😐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OH I understand… well if it’s not translated, it’s a bit delicate, because your audience might not be able to buy or/and read it themselves, so that might make people frustrated :/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I wanted to hide after reading the great comments you received. I took two years of Spanish and have nothing to show for it. My grandmother is Japanese and never taught her children let alone grandkids any of her native language. But I am learning Korean, both to speak and write. ♥️

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    1. aww that’s a bummer.. I just learned 24years after (aka not long ago xG) that mom actually spoke sign language when younger.. and never showed me any of it !! rude.

      Goodluck in your learning ! xx

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  4. OK my mother language is French but I am fluent in English and Dutch. I also understand and speak Portuguese (but I forgot some) and understand Spanish, Italian and some German.
    Honestly I read in English like I read in French: effortlessly. I don’t see words I see images like I would in French. I read everything in English now as I hate translations. I think you always lose some nuances.

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  5. I’ve pretty much started reading only in English these days simply because many books I’m interested in never get translated to Finnish and I just have a LOT more to choose from in English in general. There are some exceptions like Outlander which is easily available in both languages but in that case I feel it would lose most of the Scottish culture stuff like characters’ accents. In the Finnish version Scots speak in my local dialect and it was too funny to take seriously 😂

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  6. I actually prefer reading in English over in Finnish. I just don’t really trust on translations because they don’t translate books from word to word. I find English books easier to review too!

    I read some books in Finnish though, like Rick Riordan books. Mythology is difficult enough in my mother language. I also read books I happen to find in a bookstore or library in Finnish because they don’t often have them in English.

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    1. Ah! Yeah, but in some cases word to word wouldnt have any meaning ahah i’m fine with that – as some english sentences actually lose me as I just .. dont understand the meaning.

      Yeah, same. Reviews for english books are simple, when I read french; if theres a translation im good but if not.. idk if I shall put a revier first of all, and then i dont know wether to put it only in french, translate all in english and put that up, OR do it in both languages. And if I do it in both, I have no idea how i wanna format it still xd
      Yes! We have some too, Quebec french books tend to not have english translations .. but I do love thoses authors so..

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