Your first book in a foreign language...

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-11-08, 1:46

Irrumpio actually means to give a blowjob, Nero.

It's more like "Blow me, granma!"
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Dunbots » 2010-11-08, 1:55

That is highly disturbing. :shock:
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-11-08, 2:11

See, I got the first bit, but I figured it was like Weib, ya know, vulgar now but used to mean something perfectly common. But apparently I was taken for a loop. You've ruined my innocence.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Nero » 2010-11-08, 2:39

KingHarvest wrote:Irrumpio actually means to give a blowjob, Nero.

It's more like "Blow me, granma!"


Ah - it's a long time since I've read Catullus :lol: . I just assumed it was some calque of "rumpo, rumpere"

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Kate 111 » 2010-11-12, 18:21

"The painted veil" by Maugham. It was my first serious book. I was a fresher :) But I didn't like it. :( I was reading "The painted veil" piece by piece that's why may be it didn't like me...

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Kaede » 2010-11-30, 21:29

I think it was Harry Potter und der Halfblutprinz (Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince) in German.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby e.makarova » 2010-12-16, 18:41

Oh no, it was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Lenguas » 2011-03-14, 4:19

culúrien wrote:I've never read a non-learner's book in a foreign language. I don't feel good enough in Spanish yet to do so, hopefully I'll get there eventually.

Really?? You really should try. If I can do it, you can do it (and I can read a lot of different books in Spanish). You've studied Spanish a lot longer. Does your local bookstore stock books in Spanish? If so, take a look at them. Pick the hardest looking books, paradoxically, they will be the easiest (because that's where the vocabulary of English and Spanish intersect.) Science books (I can get about 85%* of the meaning) will be the easiest, medicine (80% of the meaning), religion (70%) (althought Bibles are a bit harder), followed by history, travel, self-improvement (60-70%). As for fictional books, they will be harder than factual books, but some will still be readable. Children's books will be easy (80%), of course, but paradoxically, books for tweens (5%) and teens (10%) are the most difficult, and to a lesser extent fantasy books (30-50%). Try Mystery books (some ~60%). Many of them are readable without a dictionary, and you'll still get something out of them.

By contrast, German books for me (and I've studied German for far longer than Spanish): science books (10%), medicine (15%), religion (10%), history (10%), travel (30%), self-improvement (20%), children's books (30-40%), tweens (5%), teens (5%), fantasy (5%), mystery (7%).

French books are similar to Spanish.
Portuguese books are similar to French and Spanish, but the overall percentage of intelligibility is lower
Japanese books (~0.0001%).
Croatian books 2-3%.
Continental Scandinavian language books, similar to Spanish and French, but the overall percentage of intelligibility is lower.

*Percentages are fuzzy, and based on about how much of the meaning I can comprehend (not the average number of words I can comprehend). They are based on reading without the help of a dictionary.

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby モモンガ » 2011-03-17, 15:13

僕の第一冊目の日本語の本はハリーポッターと秘密の部屋だったよ。
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Gaelg » 2011-06-06, 19:14

Thérèse Desqueyroux by François Mauriac - First French book and foreign language book I had to read, it was short but extremely daunting and hard. It felt as if the school was forcing my ability of french too far and I didn't like the book for that reason, althought the story line was also quite dull.

At the same time tho, I also had to read a German book -> Biedermann und Die Brandstifter by Max Firsch but that was a play and not so challenging compared to french.

Since I was given these books at the same time, I have to say both are my "first books" to read in a foreign language. :)

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby ceid donn » 2011-06-07, 0:47

I honestly don't remember! It would have been in German. I know I was reading Der Spiegel articles and Brother Grimm stories in German by the end of high school. But a proper book? I don't recall. I remember reading Mann's Der Tod in Venedig as a freshman in college though, because I was surprised to find the German version our uni's library and that motivated me to check it out and read it. That might have been the first proper book in German that I read.

As for French, I think Le Misanthrope by Molière was the first thing I read that wasn't in a textbook. But not a proper book either. I did read Candide not long after that.

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Michael » 2011-06-07, 0:55

My first book in a foreign language was probably some Italian thingamajig I've now forgotten.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Antonym » 2011-06-22, 8:51

In English I think it was Holes by Lous Sachar. Not 100 % sure that it was the first book I read, but at least it was the first book I read where the language wasn't really any problem.

First book in German was Phenomena, a fantasy book (actually written by a norwegian author and then translated) that my mother got me when she was in Germany. My German improved so much after reading that, I was really surprised. Starting using verb times I'd never learnt in school and so on.

First book in Spanish...I think it might've been a Harry Potter book, but I don't think I finished it. Thought I'd rather read a book where I don't know what happens, it's more interesting that way.

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby ILuvEire » 2011-06-22, 9:26

Holes was one of my favorite books as a kid!
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Lalaith en Noldor » 2011-07-31, 22:48

My first English book was "The Rule of Four", 5-6 years ago. I didn't even finish it, mostly due to the lack of vocabulary (my English wasn't good enough at that time to actually read something challenging). First completely read book was, I think, Nick Hornby's "Slam".

In German, I remember reading a shortened version of Erich Kästner's "Das doppelte Lottchen", aimed at language learners.

In Hungarian, I bought Agatha Christie's "Tíz kicsi néger" and read it together with Croatian translation, but I've come only to the half of the book... in Hungarian :P
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Elishamod » 2011-08-24, 5:46

"A collection of Agatha Christie's best stories" or something like that, in English.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Dormouse559 » 2011-08-24, 6:09

Le Petit Prince en français. Le passé simple était un peu difficile d'abord, mais j'ai bien aimé le livre.

The Little Prince in French. The passé simple was a little difficult at first, but I enjoyed the book.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language

Postby MillMaths » 2011-08-24, 9:37

My first foreign-language book was Cinq petits cochons, a French translation of Agatha Christie's Five Little Pigs. :D

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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby Remis » 2011-10-02, 14:31

Uhh, I don't remember what book I first read in English, haha. I've read so many, because I more or less quit reading in Norwegian when I was 11/12. Nowadays I only read books in Norwegian if a) the original language is Norwegian (or Swedish/Danish, though I prefer reading those in the original language as well) or b) I have no other choice.
...Actually, now that I think about it, it could have been Angels & Demons, which I know that I read when I was 10/11-ish. Pretty sure it was in English, too.
As for Italian, I haven't read any proper books yet, but I am looking through Short Stories in Italian/Racconti in Italiano, which was designed for language learners.
Planning on my first French book to be an Astérix comic book, but I'll have to find one first.
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Re: Your first book in a foreign language...

Postby ich » 2011-12-20, 12:02

My first book was a watered down version of Robinson Crusoe in German. It was about 200 pages or so. I told my teacher that I wanted to learn German outside of school and he gave me the book to read.
Even though the writing wasn't actually all that hard, it was a painful read. I felt like throwing the book up against the wall. I had to look up every five words.

Next came Harry Potter Book 1. Another hard read at first but about half way through the book, I changed my reading style (I started to say the words in German and understand it as that, rather than just looking at the words and then piecing them together in my mind into English) and I was slow at first, but by the end of the book, I was reading comfortably in German.

It took about 400-500 pages to get to that comfort level where I could enjoy books in German.


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