Your first book in a foreign language...

A place for everyone to have discussions about literature, classical and contemporary.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

french rescue
Posts: 23
Joined: 2012-01-14, 20:21
Real Name: Marc
Gender: male
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)

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

Postby french rescue » 2012-02-10, 20:47

I remember my first book in English as if it was yesterday. It was in the early 80's ; I was young, me and my friends had just discovered that American and British people had devised a strange new way to play games... : Dungeons & Dragons players handbook was the book that made us all fall in love with the English language.
A few months later, I could escape far in space and time with Asimov "foundation" cycle, another great moment - when you read all night long with an electric torch under your sheets so as not to be spotted by the parents...
Then I read "East of Eden" (Steinbeck), and ever since I have never stopped reading in both French (my native language) and English.
www.frenchrescue.com

divatz
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-02-17, 13:38
Real Name: vlad andrici
Gender: male
Location: Pitesti
Country: RO Romania (România)

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

Postby divatz » 2012-02-17, 13:53

I can still remember my first attempt to read a book in English. It was 5 or 6 years ago and i really wanted to read Stephen King's "The Stand".

I bought it as an e book, converted into a lot of notepad notes (there are some apps that can help you accomplish that) and imported it to my Apple iPad Video.

Even though I'm quite fluent in English, the author used in The Stand a lot of words that you don't encounter on a day to day basis so i had to permanently carry a pocket English-Romanian dictionary. I remember i even made what you can call a cheat-sheet with the most used unknown words that I've encountered.

Sadly, i never managed to finish the book (got pretty far into it though) and not because i didn't like it or because of the language barrier. Actually i don't know why i stopped, probably because reading on the iPod's tiny screen is not the most pleasant experience.

I'm currently planning to buy the hardcover (I'm through with that e-stuff) and read The Stand from the beginning.
Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 - Ready For The Future ?

Tirupatidarshan
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-04-03, 13:55
Real Name: Suresh Gowrigolla
Gender: male
Location: Tirupati
Country: IN India (भारत / India)
Contact:

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

Postby Tirupatidarshan » 2012-04-03, 14:00

My First Book in foreign Language is "Harry Potter" It leads to watch in theaters also. :)

_________________________
Tirupati Darshan

Cosanzeana
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-04-05, 16:55
Real Name: Ileana
Gender: female
Location: Portland
Country: US United States (United States)

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

Postby Cosanzeana » 2012-04-05, 17:04

It was a bit difficult for me to remember what was my first book in foreign language :) Now that I remember it is quite funny, it took me a couple of months to read it :))) It was "Outliers" by Malcom Gladwell.

melski
Posts: 1127
Joined: 2012-02-17, 1:13
Location: Nantes
Country: FR France (France)

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

Postby melski » 2012-04-05, 17:41

I don't remember reading books in a foreign language in high school, so I assume the first English book I read at university was something like Nation building in the Post-Soviet Borderlands for a political science paper... very exciting, I know !
For Portuguese, though, I read a fairy tales book (even if I did not understood most of it)
................Native: French (fr) French
................Fluent: English (en) English , Italian (it) Italian
.........Intermediate: German (de) German, Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br) Portuguese
.........Conversational: Catalan (ca) Catalan, Spanish (es) Spanish
....................Learning: [flag=Wallisian (East Uvean / faka'uvea)]wls[/flag] Wallisian (topic here)

User avatar
cantueso
Posts: 21
Joined: 2010-12-18, 14:46
Gender: female
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)
Contact:

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

Postby cantueso » 2012-04-13, 16:42

ILuvEire wrote:
Where do you guys get these books!


Maybe you don't know that many of the great books of the past are free at http://www.gutenberg.org/. All the European languages are there, and there are even illustrated editions for instance of Hans Christian Andersen's stories or Alice in Wonderland.
I just went and checked and there are even books in Japanese:http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/languages/ja

User avatar
Lur
Posts: 3052
Joined: 2012-04-15, 23:22
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)

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

Postby Lur » 2012-04-16, 3:08

Hello

I also find that literature is a great motivation for language learning. In fact, I think the main reason I dream of several specific languages is that I like something attached to them, be it books (Lem, Sapkowski...), be it films (Kurosawa...). Which was of course one of the reasons I know English now, other than devouring absurd amounts of English material on the Internet.

My first book in a different language was The Hobbit, and later A Princess of Mars. I'm now halfway through Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I've also read comic books in English.

I want to reread Jules Verne now in French! And I'm going through comic books series like Thorgal, Les Passagers du vent, Asterix, Valérian et Laureline, Tintin and more, to get a better vibe of the language, vocabulary, grammar...
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

Lapislazuli
Posts: 2
Joined: 2012-07-27, 15:38
Gender: female
Country: AT Austria (Österreich)

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

Postby Lapislazuli » 2012-07-27, 17:28

My first books in my languages were (as far as I remember)

English: The Death on the Nile (Agatha Christie)
French: Le mystère de la chambre jaune (Gaston Leroux)
Swedish: Det som tillhör mig (Anne Holt)
Hungarian: A varázsló unokaöcse (C.S. Lewis)
Italian: Il inventore dei giocchi (Pablo de Santis)

As much as I try to read in other languages, I still try to also read a lot in my native language, as I find myself "forgetting" it a bit, when I read too much other things, in the sense of having to think much longer sometimes to find the adequate word for what I want to say, and I really hate it when that happens in my native language.

User avatar
BlackZ
Posts: 1115
Joined: 2010-07-16, 20:53
Real Name: JSR
Gender: male
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

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

Postby BlackZ » 2012-08-01, 12:16

Only now I realized... I've never read books in other languages than in Portuguese, English, Spanish and... Esperanto! :shock:

English: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Spanish: Can't remember, it was probably the Bible.
Esperanto: La Libro de la Spiritoj (Allan Kardec)
Native: [flag=]pt-br[/flag]
Learning: [flag=]en-us[/flag] [flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]ja[/flag] [flag=]es[/flag] [flag=]ca[/flag] [flag=]de[/flag]

User avatar
Shiba
Posts: 294
Joined: 2010-05-20, 12:06
Gender: female
Country: ZA South Africa (Suid-Afrika / uMzantsi Afrika / South Africa)
Contact:

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

Postby Shiba » 2012-08-04, 17:11

I think I may have posted mine before, but I'm not sure.

English: Some or other children's book. The first book I read in English with no help, was something about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
German: Also a children's book; I really can't remember. Some of the earliest books I remember reading in German were the "Petzi" books - comic books about a bear, originally written in Swedish (I think) but translated into German.
Dutch: I recently started reading a Dutch mystery (it was translated from English, but very well), but I didn't notice the title and I only read the first few pages in a bookshop.

No books so far in Norwegian.
Native: Afrikaans (af) English (en) || Intermediate: German (de) || Beginner: Some odd combination of Riksmål and Bokmål and whatever (no) || Learning on-and-off: Russian (ru) || Curious: Breton (br) Welsh (cy) Finnish (fi)
Korrigere feilene mine, vær så snill!

Die HERE is my herder; niks sal my ontbreek nie. ~ Psalm 23:1

User avatar
bluejay390
Posts: 332
Joined: 2007-09-16, 20:18
Real Name: Lisa
Gender: female
Country: US United States (United States)

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

Postby bluejay390 » 2012-08-07, 22:16

Aside from English, I've really only read books in Spanish. :p

My first book in Spanish was an easy reader that my High School class all read. It was about a girl who gets kidnapped. Idk it was a little weird. The second book that I read was a short book by Gabriel García Márquez but it was above my level. I'll have to go back and read it again sometime in the future. The third book that I read in Spanish was a Young Adult novel about vampires translated from English. It was much easier to understand but boring in terms of the plot and characters.

Do children's books count? My first, and so far only, book that I've read in Chinese was a cute bilingual children's book. It also had pinyin so it was easy to read and look up words.

I wish I could easily get books in Malay. So far I've managed to find two on the internet. I have not finished either one yet but I did start one.
Selamat tidur kekasih gelapku♪♫

intu
Posts: 10
Joined: 2012-10-02, 18:35
Real Name: James
Gender: male
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

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

Postby intu » 2012-10-03, 4:48

Liurai Oan Ki'ik or, The Little Prince.

Not that many books published in Tetum, and it's still a little bit 'clunky' to understand as it traditionally hasn't been a written language, but it's awesome to understand a book in another language other than your own!

IpseDixit

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

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-05-07, 17:45

For me, my first real book in a foreign language was The Picture of Dorian Gray when I was 17 or 18 don't really remember... In hindsight maybe it was a very ambitious choice for my first reading in a foreign language, but very patiently I read it and finished it, even though I didn't enjoy it that much; I thought it was a bit better...it didn't live up to my expectations...

I have to say that thank God we have on-line dictionaries nowadays... they make it much easier to read foreign texts.

User avatar
Spaigelploatje
Posts: 930
Joined: 2009-04-12, 12:43
Gender: male
Location: Groningen
Country: NL The Netherlands (Nederland)

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

Postby Spaigelploatje » 2013-05-07, 20:58

I don't know. But I know the first video game in English.
It was Test Drive 1 when I was 3 y.o.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fif3mb3TkKc

I think the first book must've been when I was 9 or 10 in primary school? I do remember some excercises but I don't remember the name.

Other English books I've read are: It's not about the bike by Lance Armstrong, 50 Shades trilogy. I really don't like reading.

I have read several books in German and French as well but don't remember the names.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23409
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

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

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-26, 18:26

I'm surprised I missed out on responding to this thread earlier.

We read very little in my high-school Spanish classes, mostly just short texts in our textbooks. I only remember one free-standing publication, a Spanish-language translation of a Donald Duck comic[*], and I'm not even sure I read the whole thing.

When I took German in college, we started reading literature the very first day. Our reader was a graded collection of short stories called Der Weg zum Lesen. This was my first exposure to such titans of 20th-century German fiction as Böll, Borchert, Brecht, and Frisch. My second year we read Brecht's Die kaukasische Kreidekreis, a play, and Thomas Mann's Tonio Kröger, a novella. I bought the latter in an edition with Mario der Zauberer and read that, too.

My junior year abroad is when my foreign-language reading began in earnest. On a trip to Wales I bought my first Welsh novel, an abridged version of Yn ôl i Leifior by Islwyn Ffowc Elis, and on a trip to Spain I bought a book of short stories by Pere Calders, Cròniques de la veritat oculta. I read both of these either that year or soon after my return.

My experiences with German and Catalan showed me that short story collections were the way to go, so I picked up two compilations of short stories by Guy de Maupassant (Contes du jour et de la nuit and Le Horla) and used them to teach myself French. I might have learned Irish earlier than I did if I'd just had some easy way of getting access to short contemporary texts.


[*] What I remember is that Scrooge and his nephews visit a high mountain valley where the air is so thin that television broadcast signals are especially intense. This causes the inhabitants to believe that they are characters in television programmes. I tried reading through summaries but couldn't find it again.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
voron
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 4862
Joined: 2007-07-15, 3:29
Real Name: Igor
Gender: male
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

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

Postby voron » 2019-06-26, 19:01

The first novel I read in English was probably White Fang by Jack London. It was a hard read but I could finish it because I loved it. I was about 14-15. It wasn't for school: our English classes were atrocious and my classmates were still struggling with introducing themselves.

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 8625
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

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

Postby Osias » 2019-06-27, 0:42

The Bible in English. My father is a pastor.
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23409
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

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

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-27, 13:05

Osias wrote:The Bible in English. My father is a pastor.

Whee.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 8625
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

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

Postby Osias » 2019-06-27, 14:18

(I don't is this positive, negative, ironic or just whatever)
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23409
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

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

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-27, 14:21

Osias wrote:(I don't is this positive, negative, ironic or just whatever)

It's ironic. More or less the equivalent of "That sounds like fun. Not."
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


Return to “Literature”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest